If you have a tooth that is missing, you might be thinking about getting a dental implant to replace it. When we smile, the teeth are a big part of the way it looks. When patients aren’t happy with their smiles and want to replace a tooth, getting a dental implant is a good option for many people. Not everyone is a good candidate for getting a dental implant, but many people are able to get this tooth-replacement option.
Dental implants are growing in popularity for their many benefits, including how durable they are and their permanence. However, some patients put off or decide against getting a dental implant because they are worried that it may be a highly painful procedure to get. When a new tooth is implanted, every effort is made to make the process as painless as possible.
During the implantation process, you won’t feel anything at all. Patients are generally sedated and kept asleep during the procedure so that they don’t feel a thing. When they wake up, there may be some soreness, but there are medications that can help with this feeling. It isn’t so painful that it should be avoided or postponed due to fear. We take care to make sure you aren’t feeling pain and to take care of any that you may have at home as well. Dental implants are such a good way to replace a tooth that any soreness shouldn’t put you off of the process.
The Dental Implant Process
There is a process to install dental implants that is broken up into different steps. The first part of it is when the doctor installed the implant during surgery. The doctor will implant a titanium post directly into the jawbone. This post will be what holds the crown in place. The jawbone doesn’t have nerves, so there is no pain when the post is put into place. The area will also have a local anesthetic applied, and you will most likely be asleep during the whole procedure. Getting the post-implanted will take about one hour. When you wake up, the area will still be numb from the local anesthetic that was applied to the area.
When the post has been implanted, there is then a healing process that can take several months. Once the area has completely healed, the doctor can install a crown onto the post. Getting the crown installed is not painful. You may feel slight pressure as it is fitted over the post, but you won’t have any pain. Many times, there is no local anesthetic needed for this step.
After the Surgery
We know that you won’t feel anything during the surgery, but what about after it’s over? After a few hours, the local anesthetic will wear off. That’s when you will likely feel tender and sore at the surgical site. You might have a prescription for pain medication to take for a couple of days after the surgery, or the doctor may tell you that you need to take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen.
For the first few days, there are a few things you can do to stay more comfortable and to keep the incision site clean and healing. You will be told not to use a straw for at least 24 hours. There may be some minor swelling for the first three days or so, and this can be relieved by using an anti-inflammatory medication that is over the counter. This can include Ibuprofen. You will need to rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day as directed. To avoid pain, don’t eat foods that are very hot for the first two days. For the first day or two, you may feel better if you eat a liquid diet.
The way that your healing and recovery time progresses will depend on a lot of factors. Everyone is different, and their healing time will be different. You shouldn’t have much pain during your recovery as long as you take good care of the surgical site and follow the instructions given to you. Getting surgery can make people nervous, but there is no need to be nervous about coming to our office for your dental implant. We make sure that we listen to you and keep you comfortable and pain-free throughout the process.
Can You Get a Dental Implant?
You may wonder whether you will be able to get a dental implant to replace your missing tooth. Not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure. If you have a lot of bone loss because the tooth has been missing for a long time, you may need either a bone graft or a sinus lift to build up the bone in the area of the missing tooth. This will make sure that you have enough bone to hold onto the titanium post. If you need one of these solutions to your bone loss, they will have to fully heal before you can get your post implanted.
If you want to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, call us at The Center for Family & Implant Dentistry to consult with the dentist about having this procedure.