If you’ve ever seen a diagram or informative brochure about dental implants, the appearance of these state-of-the-art restorations can seem a little bit intimidating. Although a dental implant looks just like a natural tooth when you’re smiling, the “root” portion resembles more of a small screw than anything else. Such characteristics can often leave people wondering, “Does it hurt to get dental implants?”
The Truth About Dental Implant Pain
Getting dental implants isn’t painful at all! In fact, having your new implant placed into the bone where a tooth once stood is a relatively simple and gentle procedure. Since there are no pain receptors in those areas, the process is even more comfortable than most Houston dental implant patients might expect.
So what do you feel when you’re getting dental implants? Isn’t even a little discomfort to be expected?
Just like any other type of surgical procedure, there will be some minimally invasive steps that need to be taken in order for your dental implants to be installed. This includes a minor incision made in the gum tissue above the installation site. Fortunately, a small amount of anesthetic makes this process easier than having something like a dental extraction.
Opting for More Than “Just Numbing”
While numbing your dental implant site during surgery is just fine for some people, it isn’t for others. The truth of the matter is that many people suffer from sensitive teeth, are uncomfortable with the sensation of tools in their mouths, or exhibit a general fear of dentists altogether.
Fortunately, our Houston dental implant patients can take advantage of comfortable sedation dentistry options to help them relax from start to finish. With sedation, it’s possible to go through your procedure with little to no memory of the appointment at all.
There are varying levels of sedation our Houston dentists may recommend during an implant treatment at Summit Dental Center. Here are a few of the different types available and when you might want to choose one over the other:
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) — The lightest form of dental sedation is one that most people are already familiar with: nitrous oxide. Since getting implants is an already fairly comfortable procedure, laughing gas is great to take the edge off if you’re feeling mildly anxious or only worried about the sensation of the small shot at the beginning of your implant treatment.
Oral Conscious Sedation — Prefer to “tune everything out” around you? Oral conscious sedation is one of the most popular options for implant treatments at Summit Dental Center. This type of dental sedation uses one or more prescription strength pills that are taken just before your scheduled procedure, with the results lasting anywhere from a few to several hours (more than enough than what’s needed for your dental implant placement). While the amnesic effects of oral sedatives usually leave most people forgetting their entire procedure, you’ll still be able to respond to simple instructions throughout the appointment.
IV Sedation — A deeper sedative experience is possible when the medication is delivered via a small intravenous line in your arm. Even the IV site can be numbed with anesthetic before the line is placed! The medication takes effect within several seconds, making it feel as if you’re daydreaming or taking a nap. Such sedatives begin to wear off as soon as your IV line is removed, but they leave you drowsy for several hours (so it’s important to have someone with you to drive you home).
Electing to have dental sedation during your implant treatment not only keeps you comfortable, it allows our Houston dentists to work more efficiently. In fact, you’ll be able to complete more procedures in fewer appointments if you so choose, saving you time and money (less missed work!) in the long run.
After Care Matters: Keeping Your Implant Site Healthy
It’s possible for a dental implant site to start hurting if an infection sets in after your procedure. To ensure proper healing and integration of your new restoration, you’ll have special instructions to follow on how to clean the implant site each day. This includes steps such as special mouth rinses, follow-up appointments, and foods to avoid as you recover.
Once your implant site has fully healed, all your new smile requires is a dedicated home hygiene plan. Brush and floss around your implants as if they were real teeth, keeping the gums and bone around them as healthy as possible. If you don’t, a form of implant-associated gingivitis and gum disease (known as peri-implantitis) can set it, leading to infection, pain, and implant failure.
With great care and maintenance, the majority of dental implants should last a lifetime. Simply follow the home care routine provided and schedule regular checkups with our Houston implant dentist to make sure your new smile stays healthy for years to come.
Getting Implants is Easier Than Ever
Most people find that getting dental implants is more comfortable than they would have imagined, leaving them wishing they had invested in this permanent tooth replacement years sooner.
Investing in dental implants is something that helps you have a more durable, healthy smile overall. If you’ve ever had a tooth pulled, getting dental implants feels even easier than that. Plus, having an experienced sedation dentist on your side means that the process doesn’t have to hurt at all!
To find out if you qualify for implants or to talk with our providers about what you can expect, we invite you to schedule a consultation at any one of our Houston area locations. Summit Dental Center offers flexible scheduling options, including evenings and weekends!