Surgical placement of dental implants is considered a relatively minor surgery which, under ideal circumstances, results in minimal discomfort to the patient. Different variations on the specific surgical techniques used in a dental implant procedure can cause either more or less discomfort, and any pain resulting from treatment can be easily managed with mild pain medication for most individuals.
Pain During the Dental Implant Procedure
Local anesthetic or nitrous oxide sedation is typically all that is required to keep patients comfortable during the surgical placement of dental implants. General anesthesia, through either intravenous (IV) or oral sedation methods, can also be used during surgery. Ultimately, the type of anesthetic used is up to the discretion of the surgeon based on preferential input from the patient. The extent and complexity of the surgery is likely the most significant determining factor in the type of anesthetic used.
Factors Influencing Pain Levels During and After Dental Implant Surgery
There are many factors that may influence pain levels during and after dental implant surgery:
- Surgical technique used – Is the implant placement “flapped” or “flapless”? The flapless technique does not require cutting and retraction of the gum tissue, which dramatically reduces the potential for post-op pain.
- Type of anesthetic used – When a local anesthetic is administered, the implant can typically be placed with little to no discomfort. Patients under general anesthesia will generally not feel or remember the procedure at all.
- Required tooth extraction – Tooth extraction can be the most uncomfortable part of the procedure if it is required. Most patients report that tooth extraction produces more sensitivity than flapless placement of a dental implant.
- Post-op pain management – Mild pain medication typically combats any discomfort, and it is common for patients to report not needing the postoperative medication at all. Antibiotics can also be prescribed for use after surgery to prevent the formation of any infection, which can be painful and hinder healing.
Ultimately, every dental implants case is unique, and therefore the pain associated with each procedure can vary. Following a thorough evaluation, your dentist should be able to provide a more personalized idea of what you may be able to expect based the specifics of your procedure.
Contact Dr. Horak to Discuss Dental Implants
If you are considering the placement of dental implants to restore your smile, contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Horak. He can determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants and discuss all of the implant dentistry options we offer.