One thing that keeps people from getting dental implants is that they are afraid it will hurt. There is good news, though: dental implants don’t hurt the way you think they might. In fact, dental implants can be one of the least painful dental procedures you ever have. Sound incredible? It’s true!
Few Nerves in the Bone
Most people’s experience with dental discomfort comes from tooth-related procedures, such as a dental filling, getting a dental crown, or even root canal therapy. But that’s not a good basis for comparison with dental implants.
Teeth have a high concentration of nerves. The nerves are designed in part to help the tooth sense pressure through two hard outer layers: the enamel and the dentin. When the inner parts of the tooth gets exposed to vibrations and pressure from a source that’s partly broken through these layers, such as a dental drill, the tooth nerve can get very sensitive. And the interior of the tooth can start to swell, just like any other hurt part of the body. With nowhere to swell into, though, swelling just causes pressure on the nerve, which leads to more discomfort.
However, the bone where we place dental implants has a lot fewer nerves, so it’s less susceptible to pain than the tooth itself. And because the bone isn’t as constrained as a tooth, so swelling doesn’t cause pain the same way.
Of course, any time we’re dealing with biology, we have some uncertainty and may not be able to control circumstances, which can lead to additional discomfort.
While we can’t completely control your biology, we use our digital dental implant protocol to understand it so that we can design an implant procedure that is as efficient as possible and unlikely to cause unnecessary discomfort. CT scans let us image the area precisely in 3D so that we can design the procedure. Then we create surgical guides that allow us to execute the plan with maximum accuracy. This reduces the risk of unexpected problems and the complications that can come with them, such as pain.
Anesthesia and Sedation
Imaging also helps us identify the exact location and density of the major nerves in the area, which can help us properly anesthetize the surgical site. When we do this right, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the procedure itself, likely just some pressure.
Of course, much of the discomfort from dental procedures is psychological, often related to fear and tension. We do our best to help with this. We answer all your questions and explain the procedure thoroughly in language that you can easily understand. With all your questions answered, you will likely feel at ease. But if you still have anxiety, we also offer sedation dentistry options.
Postoperative Care to Control Discomfort
While we can control discomfort during the procedure, you will have the most influence on discomfort after the procedure. If you follow postoperative instructions closely, you can minimize pain after your procedure.
Applying ice to your cheek near the surgery site can help control swelling and discomfort. Rotating ten minutes on, ten minutes off often works to control discomfort. Depending on your procedure, we may or may not prescribe pain medication. If you have been prescribed medication, take it according to instructions. If not, you can use over-the-counter medication according to the label instructions.
Hot and spicy foods can also increase your discomfort, so avoid them for at least the first day after your procedure. Gradually return to a normal diet as discomfort and swelling diminishes. Usually, discomfort diminishes and you’ll feel back to normal about 5-7 days after surgery.
Considering Dental Implants in Sydney?
If you are considering dental implants in Sydney, don’t be put off by the risk of discomfort. While no procedure is painless, our implant surgery patients typically report that the pain is much less than they expected.
If you want to talk to us in person about this or any other questions you may have about dental implants, please call (02) 9686 7375 today for an appointment with an implant dentist at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills.