If you’re considering a dental implant but wondering how long pain could last following the procedure, the simple answer is around ten days.
Perhaps that seems like a long time. But considering you’ll be changing your dental health - and your overall health - through implants, and that there are effective treatments to minimize discomfort, you might find it’s not that long at all.
Dental implants can make an enormous difference in your appearance and also prevent bone loss and a negative impact on other teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are durable and long-lasting. They look just like your natural teeth. Fused directly to your jawbone, they’re permanent with proper care. Implants replace the tooth root, as well as a missing or decayed tooth itself, and by doing that, greatly improve and strengthen your jawbone and surround bone health.
Implants are made up of three separate parts:
- A metal post or screw serving as the artificial tooth root, and the base for a replacement tooth
- A metal abutment, which connects the post or screw to the replacement tooth
- An artificial replacement tooth, or crown
The implant is surgically attached to your jawbone, where it fuses with the bone, for long term stability.
When the implant is in place, you’ll perform the same dental hygiene you practice for your own natural teeth to care for your implant. As always, it’s important to brush and floss twice daily, and to schedule 6 month regular dental check-ups and cleanings with your dentist.
Performing an Implant
Attaching an implant is a surgical procedure.
First, the damaged tooth or teeth are removed, if they are not already missing.
If your jawbone has disintegrated or softened, bone grafting may be necessary to prepare it for a successful implant. If your jawbone is strong enough, however, your dentist will surgically open the gum, and drill holes in the bone to insert the metal post. The process is painless using anesthesia.
Once the posts are inserted it can take a month or two for the posts to grow into the jawbone; you may be fitted with a temporary denture during this period if you wish.
Once the implant post has fused with the bone, the abutment is attached to it; the artificial tooth is positioned there.
While your level of discomfort may vary, you’ll receive pain medication to minimize it. During the usual ten-day healing process following implant placement, you will likely experience:
- Minor bleeding
- Swelling of face and gums
- Pain at the implant site
How Implant Pain is Alleviated
Along with taking prescribed pain medication, pain and discomfort can also be minimized by following these simple self-care steps:
- Use a warm salt water rinse to ease pain and prevent any potential infection
- Apply ice packs to your cheeks
- Consume soft, cool foods such as smoothies
- Get plenty of rest
And, here’s what you should definitely not do after an implant:
- Smoke, which ups the risk of infection
- Consume hard or sticky foods
Learn More About Dental Implants
So there you have it. While dental implants are not a pain-free procedure, the discomfort is minimal compared to the benefits you will receive.