Dental implant are a permanent solution for missing teeth. With good oral hygiene, they can last a lifetime.
How painful is dental implant surgery?
Your dentist will take X-rays and/or CT scans of your mouth and jaw to see whether you have enough bone for an implant. They may also ask about your general health, as certain chronic conditions (like diabetes or leukemia) and uncontrolled medications can slow healing after surgery.
During the procedure, your surgeon makes an incision (cut) in your gums where they’ll place the implant. Then, they create and enlarge a site (called an osteotomy) in your jawbone to fit the implant fixture. Once the implant fixture is placed, the bone grows around it and holds it in place. This process is called osseointegration.
Some patients have to wait for the implant site to heal, up to several months. Other patients can have their replacement tooth attached to the implant immediately.
You can reduce pain and swelling after your surgery by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen. You should avoid exercising and raising your heart rate for a few days after your surgery. You can also wear a compression garment, which can help keep pressure off the surgical site. If you have stitches, they will usually self-dissolve or be removed by your doctor. Infections in the implant site can cause complications and affect your general health. If you experience symptoms such as fever, swelling, or bleeding, contact your doctor. You can report side effects from implants to the FDA by calling MedWatch or going online.