Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?

One of the most frequently asked questions during and implant consult revolves around the amount of pain the patient should anticipate during and after the surgery.  Every case is different and each patient has a different tolerance and threshold for pain.  With this in mind, the answer to the question can be made in general terms.

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     Like other dental procedures, the surgical placement of dental implants is generally completed under local anesthesia.  Local anesthetics are very effective in producing a profound numbness that allows the placement of dental implants without any pain.  There is absolutely no reason a patient should feel discomfort or pain, at any level, during implant surgery.  Predicting post-operative pain is a more difficult proposition.

    Most pain receptors in the region of a dental implant are related to the surrounding tissues or gums and inflammation plays a dramatic role in post-operative pain.  Generally, anti-inflammatory medications are given immediately after surgery and are continued for 24-48 hours.  These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are very effective in mediating pain in dental procedures.  The feedback we receive from patients drives our post-operative medication protocol and we have great confidence that over-the-counter pain medications like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) are the most effective medications in limiting post-operative pain.  I would describe most post-operative pain to be mild or moderate, depending to a great degree on the amount of swelling a patient might experience.

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    We counsel patients that a day or two of recovery is usually sufficient when planning to have dental implants.  Fortunately, dental implant surgery is not a procedure that produces a great deal of short term or long term pain and the recovery is usually uneventful.

Bruce Twaddle, DDS, DICOI | Plaza Dental Implants