Pain is a part of life. Sorry to start this article off with a slap of reality, but it’s true.
Many people who need dental implants are worried about the pain associated with it, wondering how long pain lasts after dental implant surgery.
Most likely, there will be pain, how long it lasts and how mild or intense it is varied. Plus, there are plenty of ways to cope with and minimize it.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Yes, you will experience some pain after getting an implant. During the dental implant procedure, there shouldn’t be pain as you will have been given anesthesia. However, as the numbness wears off, you will most likely start to feel some discomfort.
The amount of pain afterward depends on how involved the procedure is and how many implants were put in. The longer the procedure and the more implants, the more pain you may have afterward.
How Long Will The Pain Last?
It’s difficult to say how long the pain will last, as every patient is different from the next. Typically, you could experience some pain and discomfort up to 10 days after the surgery. Hopefully, your dentist will prescribe you pain medications to help. There will also be swelling, and that should subside after about 3-5 days.
Dental Implant Pain Timeline
Here’s a general timeline of what to expect in terms of pain during your recovery period:
Dental Implant Pain After One Week
It’s normal to still have some pain at this point. Continue with your dentist’s recovery instructions. This period can last up to 10 days.
Dental Implant Pain After Two Weeks
At this point, the pain should have subsided. Contact your dentist right away — you may have an infection.
Dental Implant Pain After 3-4 Months
Pain at this stage is most likely due to one of these causes:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Poor blood supply
- Interactions with other medications
- Poor overall health
- An infection,
- A complication called overloading
- Your body’s rejection of the implant
- Allergic reaction
- Nerve or tissue damage
In each of these cases, you should contact your dentist immediately.
Dental Implant Pain After One Year Or Longer
If you start experiencing pain a year or several years after your procedure, this could be due to one or more issues:
- Continual smoking
- Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
- Poor oral hygiene
- Lack of gum tissue in the area
- Radiation to the head or neck
- Lack of bone in the jaw
Factors That Can Cause Additional Pain
Aside from typical pain from a complication-free procedure, there can be other issues that lead to more discomfort and pain.
Loose Healing Cap
Sometimes the small screw inside the top of the implant becomes loose during the healing process. In this case, the dentist will need to remove the cap, clean it, and refit it. Until then, it could cause you some discomfort.
If the jaw does not have enough bone mass, the dental implant can become loosened. This can cause discomfort and sometimes pain. In most cases, the dentist will need to remove and replace the implant.
Any type of gum infection can cause pain as well. If caught early, it might be treatable.
Rejection Of The Implant
Sometimes, a dental implant will not integrate with the patient’s bone and the body will reject it, also known as a failed implant. If this happens to you, it can cause the implant to become loose, therefore causing pain.
This is not a common complication, but it has happened. Sometimes the heat of the dentist’s drill can damage the bone around the surgical site. Obviously, this will cause a good amount of pain and discomfort. If this happens, the dentist will need to remove the implant and any affected bone.
This one is also rare. If the dentist damages a nerve via their drill or by placing the implant to close to the nerve, this will cause pain. The implant will need to be removed and replaced.
Dental Implant Pain Management Tips
There are plenty of things you can do to help manage and minimize the pain you may experience from dental implant surgery. If you call your dentist about the pain, they will probably suggest one or some of these options.
Choose The Right Dentist
Although choosing the dentist with the lowest prices seems appealing, it’s not a good idea. That typically means the quality of their work matches the price they charge. This means that if you do call them complaining of pain, they may not have as helpful of advice as a more seasoned professional.
Follow The Post-Procedure Instructions
Whatever your dentist tells you to do after the procedure, make sure you follow those instructions. It’s crucial to the health of your mouth and your whole body that you follow the given steps to the letter.
Your dentist might recommend you take painkillers after the procedure to help with the discomfort, usually Ibuprofen. If the recommended dose is not relieving the pain, contact your dentist to talk about increasing the dose or considering alternative medications.
Within the first couple of days — and especially on the first day — you can use ice to numb the pain and cut down on the swelling. Applying it to your cheek over the sensitive areas will help, either in the form of ice packs or frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth.
Gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help with the pain and fight infection-causing bacteria. It may burn as you rinse, but it will help overall during the recovery period.
Cold And Soft Foods
Avoid hard foods and candies during your recovery and stick with mainly cold and soft foods. This includes smoothies, yogurt, and anything pureed.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing every day 2-3 times a day is recommended. This tip is very important and you should always follow it, but your dentist might recommend avoiding brushing the area of surgery.
Make sure you give your body and jaw plenty of rest. Don’t do any strenuous activity or lift heavy objects. Let your body use as much energy as it needs to heal your mouth.
Even though dental implants hurt (which shouldn’t be a surprise), the pain should last no longer than 10 days. If it does, contact your dentist. In the meantime, there are plenty of ways to manage the pain, including over-the-counter medications, ice, and rest.
And it’s just a little pain for a lifetime of new and beautiful teeth.