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28 February 2017

Pain-Free Dental Implant Surgery


While the impressive results achieved by dental implants are very appealing to those looking to replace broken or damaged teeth, the fact that it is a surgical procedure can be very off-putting. Anxiety and worry are major deterrents against any form of surgery and there is also a belief among many that surgery equals pain regardless of any comforting assurances proffered by qualified private dentists. The good news is that all those fears are unfounded thanks to modern medical advances and dental implant surgery is relatively pain-free and safe.

Bone Grafting

It is not uncommon for those who with missing teeth, or who have worn dentures for a long time, to experience loss of bone or bone density in the jawbone. Implants need sufficient healthy bone if they are to take root successfully and it may be necessary to undergo bone grafting before the actual process of fitting implants can be undertaken. The good news is that bone grafting or “augmentation” is a painless procedure but takes time to complete which can be stressful for some.

Surgery

It must be borne in mind that the fitting of dental implants is a surgical procedure which always has an inherent risk factor. That said, the most likely problems a patient will have are discomfort and some very slight pain during recuperation. However, any post-op pain is minimal and easily controlled.

  • Basic Implant Surgery. A local anaesthetic is usually sufficient for the simplest dental implant and the only pain a patient might suffer is possible soreness in the gums. In most cases, however, even sore gums are unlikely and patients usually recover fully within 48 hours.
  • 2, 3 or 4 Implants. As this is clearly a more complicated, and thus a longer, surgical procedure, a general anaesthetic is quite likely and there may be some mild discomfort after the operation. The areas around the new implants could be tender and slightly sore to the touch or when eating but these problems are easily treated with mild pain-killers. Some bruising or swelling might be noticeable but this disappears within a few days and patients usually recover completely in less than ten days and sometimes as few as three.
  • More Complex Surgery. Sometimes (rarely) private dentists will perform extremely complex surgery which can involve the fitting of up to sixteen implants. As the patient is fully sedated during the operation, the procedure itself is painless but the patient can expect some slight pain in the gums and light swelling of the face is also likely. However, the discomfort is easily controlled with a course of pain-killers and any bruising or swelling quickly fades away.
  • Implant-Retained Dentures. Similar to dental implants, implant-retained dentures must be fitted surgically. These are used for patients with no teeth remaining but with sufficient bone density to support implants to which a set of dentures (usually the bottom teeth) is attached. This procedure can take months to complete as the implants are installed a few at a time but the surgery is straightforward and tenderness of the surrounding gums is the most common complaint for patients.

No Guarantee

It would be foolish (and irresponsible) of any private dentist to guarantee that having dental implants fitted is a totally pain-free procedure. It can be said that any slight pain or discomfort suffered is very manageable and quite insignificant when weighed against the rewards of a healthy mouth and a dazzling smile to restore your self-confidence.

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