Our smile is an essential aspect of our day-to-day lives. It plays a crucial role in our self-esteem and serves as the foundation of our confidence. When we happen to have a missing tooth, we look and explore for ways that could help us fill the gap. Dental implant surgery is perhaps one of the best solutions that a dentist would suggest among all teeth restoration options. However, like most dental procedures, unexpected results could happen. Some people may complain about dental implant pain after their treatment.
While it is normal to experience some kind of pain a few days after your implant placement, it can also be an early sign of an implant failure. If you have second thoughts about getting a dental implant to replace your missing teeth, consider this your lucky day. This article will guide you in evaluating your options.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dentures, bridges, and dental implants are some of the most common options that could help restore your smile. As they serve the same purpose of filling the gaps in your teeth, a dental implant can be a little different as it involves an invasive surgical process. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what the operation involves to know what sort or how much discomfort you could expect.
The Dental Implant Process
We can break down the dental implant procedure into two stages. The first portion is the dental implant surgery itself, and the second is the healing stage. Your dentist will surgically insert the implants in your mouth during the implant placement, specifically in the gum area. This might lead you to imagine an excruciating experience but fret not. It is not actually as painful as it sounds like, thanks to a local anesthetic. This numbing agent reduces the painful sensation and makes the process more bearable. Once the target area is entirely numb, the dentist makes an incision to your jawbone. Because the region is completely sedated, you will feel no discomfort.
Afterward, the dentist will close the incision. Since the local anesthetic is still in effect, the patient will experience no pain. However, it is normal to feel some kind of dental implant pain as the anesthesia starts to wear off. At this point, the healing process begins.
How Painful Is Dental Implant Surgery?
Many people are hesitant about having dental implant surgery. Naturally, there is some apprehension, and the most common concern is the anxiety of experiencing dental implant pain. While dread of discomfort is understandable, dental implants have gone a long way in terms of technology and processes.
Dental Implant Pain During Surgery
A dental implant, like any other dental surgical operation, can cause a slight pinch of discomfort. However, to answer how painful the dental implant treatment is more of a matter of personal preference. Each patient is unique, and everyone has a specific pain threshold.
In today’s modern practices, there is an improvement in pain management. Dentists can now provide a surgical procedure that is almost pain-free. As previously discussed, there are several sorts of sedation practices that can help with your pain and anxiety. Moreover, non-narcotic medications are sufficient for many people.
Dental Implant Pain After Surgery
Since the dental implant process can be a complex procedure, it may influence the recovery period. Some people may experience swelling, bruising, and even bleeding. However, the healing varies on several factors. On average, it could take from seven up to ten days for someone to completely recover. That is dependent on how the person is capable of healing.
After the anesthesia wears off, you might expect some soreness. It is, however, not insurmountable. Suppose you experience any discomfort throughout the recovery period. In that case, your dentist will likely prescribe that you use over-the-counter pain medicine. During this time, you must follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions.
Is Dental Implant Failure Possible?
Although dental implants have a high success rate, they are not fail-proof in certain circumstances. According to research, dental implants can fail about five to ten percent of the time, either immediately after the treatment or months or years afterward.
What Factors Influence Dental Implant Failure?
The success of a dental implant is influenced by a variety of variables. These are some of them:
1. Gum Disease
Dental implant placement requires healthy gums, and you cannot undergo this treatment if you have progressive gum disease. Gum disease is a dental condition that affects the jaw, bones, and gums. If there is an untreated infection near the implant, the treatment might fail. It might affect the jaw structure in severe cases, and you may need to undergo a bone grafting procedure.
Therefore, before getting an implant, it is essential to discuss with your dentist to treat your gum problem.
2. Insufficient Jaw Bones
Sufficient jaw bone to sustain the implant is also necessary for a successful operation. The surgeon will not be able to place the implant root into your jaw if there are insufficient healthy bones. As your bone density decreases, your jaw structure deteriorates. When bones grow more fragile, the risk of developing fractures is very likely. If bone degradation is seen, bone grafting is necessary. The bone grafting process helps restore the health of your jawbones, leading to a successful dental implant.
3. Poor Oral Hygiene
Following your dental implant surgery, the capacity to maintain good oral hygiene influences the success rate. If you have constraints that limit your range of motion or make it difficult to clean your teeth adequately, you are not a good candidate for this treatment.
4. Dental Implant Replacement
While having a replacement implant made of different material isn’t an issue, there is still a possibility of having a complication. According to experts, the replacement process is too risky, to begin with. When you remove your dental implant, the bone structure is also taken away. This bone is essential to secure and keep the implant in its place. When this happens, your chances of having a dental implant failure can increase. That is unless you undergo a bone grafting treatment.
5. Dental Care Provider
Not all dental providers have similar experience and expertise. If you choose an unskilled surgeon, you can risk dental implant failure. When it comes to tooth replacement, a skilled surgeon understands the complex procedures. They know what is necessary to support the process, how many implants to utilize, and the likes. This factor is critical because miscalculation on implants can put an excessive amount of stress on the structure, causing it to fail.
It is best to choose a surgeon who has been through a lot of experiences. Ask them to go through the procedure and recovery plans and see if they can accommodate your inhibitions. If you are having trouble finding a competent surgeon, you can get recommendations from your friends and family.
We can never really tell when a dental implant surgery might cause complications or issues. It can happen right after the treatment or years afterward, or if you’re lucky enough, it may not happen at all. It’s critical to understand the risks so you can make efforts to increase your chances of success.
Successful treatment takes more than practicing proper dental hygiene before and after surgery. It is also crucial to seek treatment in case you are experiencing bone or gum abnormalities. Moreover, it is your responsibility to choose your surgeon, too. In conclusion, it is essential to do your part as a patient to prevent these from happening.
Judy, K. (August 2012). Dental Implant Surgery: What To Expect Before, During, And After.
Frank, C. (September 2018). What to Know About Dental Implant Complications and Failure.
Forum, J. (June 2017). Why Do Implants Fail?