When a patient has lost some teeth, the dentist may recommend dental implants to replace them. The biggest question patients might have is: Does it hurt to get a dental implant? The overwhelming response to that question is “no”! If getting a dental implant were painful, then there would be plenty of evidence to support that contention since hundreds of thousands of implants are placed each year.
When patients are considering implants, but are concerned about the chance of feeling pain, the most important thing to always remember is this: the actual procedure to get a dental implant is most often done with the use of a local anesthetic injection to totally numb the area. This “total numbness” is why dentists can emphatically say that getting a dental implant does not hurt.
Although the implant procedure itself is essentially painless, the “shot” to administer the local anesthetic can hurt. That pain can be a sharp sting, followed by pressure. But, both of these sensations are very short lasting. Some patients may feel some pressure during the implant placement, but this is usually not interpreted as “pain”.
However, dentists are very aware that there are patients who will say, “My dentist can never get me numb!” These patients are often even more anxious and worried about getting dental implants than most patients.
For these patients, there are a number of things that they can actually do to help themselves “get numb”, so they do not feel any pain during the dental implant procedure:
- Many dental professionals will be happy to give their patients medication to take prior to the appointment. These anti-anxiety medications are very effective at helping alleviate any anxiety the patient may have about the procedure. They not only help relieve patient’s fears, but they also help the local anesthetics work more effectively.
- Another helpful hint is for the patient to take an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medication (some common ones are ibuprofen and naproxen). Taking these as directed before your implant procedure reduces inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect makes the local anesthetics be more effective and also helps reduce the chances of pain after the procedure. If patients are allergic to these types of medicine, using acetaminophen can be helpful.
- If patients feel that even these steps probably will not help them, they can consider using a dentist who offers intra-venous (IV) sedation. This method will essentially put the patient “to sleep” for the procedure, thereby insuring the patient experiences no pain.
People looking to get teeth replaced are usually very concerned about missing teeth either due to difficulty chewing, the drifting of teeth, or esthetics. Dental implants offer a super way to replace those teeth. And, the actual procedure to get those implants does not hurt!