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Will dental implants hurt?

Many people worry about dental pain and for some, just visiting the dentist can feel like a stressful experience. It is important to remember that good dental treatment should not be painful and that there are ways to mitigate any worries you have leading up to a dental procedure.

A lot of people are unsure about getting dental implants fitted as they worry that it could be painful. However, dental implant procedures are usually pain free and there are many benefits to having dental implants. Although the procedure may be a little uncomfortable, the implants could help to prevent further issues and discomfort.

When You Might Need Dental Implants:

  • The tooth cannot be saved by other means.
  • You might otherwise have troublesome dentures and you are interested in being able to chew, speak and laugh properly.
  • You would like the better quality of life brought about by having implants.
  • There is damage to a tooth and other cosmetic procedures may be inappropriate.
  • Dental implants are fitted to replace a missing or decayed tooth as a permanent alternative to dentures. They are commonly used when a patient requires a permanent solution for more than cosmetic reasons. Implants can mimic the natural tooth so that patients are able to return to speaking and eating as they would have done before tooth loss occurred.
  • If you are looking for a cosmetic solution, implants are perfect for gaps where veneers and composite bonding are not viable solutions because there is no structure from which to rebuild the tooth.
  • After an injury, an otherwise perfect set of teeth may require implants due to gaps created by impact. If the tooth is simply chipped, composite bonding might be used to build upon the existing tooth creating a seamless repair.
  • Where the tooth is no longer present, an implant is a perfect option – as it is necessary to build a firm structure on which the crown can be placed.

How many appointments will you need?

Your implant journey can take anything from 3 – 15 months, depending on how many implants are required and whether additional supporting treatments are necessary. There are multiple stages to fitting implants, including an initial consultation, the placement of the titanium implant and after healing, an appointment to fit the crown to the implant. Along the way, you may need X-rays, CT Scans and other work to optimise your dental health.

Occasionally you may need further procedures as part of your dental implant treatment. For example, where there is less bone present under the gum it may be necessary to complete a bone graft or sinus lift. This can be a little uncomfortable but there are numerous options to help alleviate pain.

As with implant procedures, bone grafts and sinus lifts should not be painful. You will receive local anaesthetic and there will also be the option of IV sedation should you need it. Any discomfort during recovery and healing time can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

At Revitalise, we use CopaSky implants which are suitable for patients with low bone density. At your consultation we will determine whether you have sufficient bone density to receive your implants. Low bone density in candidates for implant treatment is not unusual as common causes of tooth loss can also cause bone loss in the jaw.

Low bone density can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Periodontal Gum Disease – This may be the reason an implant procedure is required as gum disease can rapidly break down the bone in the jaw, loosening the tooth and causing decay.
  • Tooth Extraction – The space left after tooth extraction can sometimes become infected, affecting the adjacent teeth and causing bone loss.
  • Infection – Recurring infection can cause bone loss over time.
  • Injury – Impact from injury can cause damage to teeth and bone loss.
  • Bone Graft

A bone graft may be necessary for patients who do not have the necessary depth of jawbone to receive a CopaSky dental implant. There are a number of types of bone graft available and your Revitalise Practitioner will discuss with you the best options for your individual surgery and needs.

Bone graft materials include:

  • Bovine – demineralised cow bone, which is the most commonly use
  • Synthetic – man made particulate, suitable for vegans
  • Bone – the patient’s own bone, taken from other parts of the mouth.

If you need a bone graft, you will be notified after an X-ray has been taken to assess your bone density.

Sinus Lift

If implants are being fixed within the top arch, then a sinus lift may be necessary. Unlike a bone graft, a sinus lift does not rebuild the jaw but adds volume to the sinus space. Studies show there is an increased success rate and longevity in implants where a sinus lift has been performed.

Bone grafts and sinus lifts can be performed under local anaesthetic and where a patient prefers, the option of IV sedation is also available.

Doing everything we can to put you at ease

There is no need to feel apprehensive about having your implants fitted. The Revitalise team will provide you with reassurance at every step of the way.

When an initial enquiry is received, Revitalise will send a downloadable pack to your email address so that you can learn more about dental implants and decide whether they are the right option for you. The guide gives in depth information on the treatment process and lays out each step of the procedure so that there are no surprises along the way.

From your first consultation, your Revitalise Practitioner will discuss the best treatment options for you. They will outline recovery and healing timescales and talk through any worries you have about implant treatment.

They will also advise on appropriate aftercare to ensure that your mouth remains healthy long after having your implants fitted. A comprehensive plan will be devised that gives you a detailed schedule of appointments and milestones for your dental treatment.

Depending on the overall health of your mouth and other relevant genetic factors, you may have to have some additional supporting procedures and your implant treatment may be spread over a longer period. This will depend upon the scale of the work to be completed and will be covered in your consultation. Outside of appointments, a Revitalise Practitioner will always be on hand to answer any concerns or questions you have.

Your implants will be fitted by a member of our highly skilled team which includes Simon Martin. Simon is a dentist and implantologist with over 25 years of experience in restorative dental treatment. He has extensive knowledge of procedures that aim to preserve much of the patient’s tissue whilst rebuilding areas. During the implant procedure, Simon uses a combination of IV sedation and local anaesthetic to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during treatment.

What is IV sedation?

Ideal for patients who may feel the need for extra reassurance, IV sedation is a conscious form of pain relief which allows the patient to remain awake during treatment. IV sedation is administered through a vein and will allow you to feel deeply relaxed but still able to respond.

What is Local Anaesthetic

As with many dental procedures, local anaesthetic is also used in fitting implants to numb the area which will be treated. By numbing the affected area, your dentist or implantologist will be able to get to work on restoring your smile.
At most, a patient may feel a small degree of pressure, but the combination of sedation and local anaesthetic will ensure that the procedure is virtually pain-free.

The Dental Implant Procedure

Once your jaw is ready to begin the procedure, our expert team will begin the process of fitting your implants and crowns.

During your first appointment, your titanium implant will be fitted; this is the screw which holds the crown in place. In some cases it may be possible to fit the crown immediately. For other patients, it may be necessary to allow a few weeks before fitting the crown. This usually takes around three weeks and during this time we will take moulds of your mouth and our technicians will create your crowns at our on-site laboratory.

Our technicians will work from moulds of healthy teeth, photographs and shades taken of your teeth to create natural looking crowns which compliment your mouth and reinvent your smile. When the titanium root has fused with your jawbone and your gums have healed you will be invited back for another appointment to fit the crown.

Where you might need multiple teeth replaced, we may not need to fit each tooth with a single implant, if healthy teeth are still present, it may be possible to fit an implant supported bridge. This will reduce the number of surgically placed implants needed.

Even in the case of a full set of 32 replacement teeth being required it is not necessary to fit individual implants. In fact, it may be possible to replace an entire row of teeth with just 2 or 3 individual titanium implants.

 Recovering From a Dental Implant Procedure

As with any surgical procedure, there is a period of recovery during which tissue heals and the body adjusts to the implant. The recovery period for an implant procedure will depend on the patient, their overall health and the extent of the work being done.

As with any dental treatment, there are steps to take and factors to be aware of:

  • Expect some minor swelling for 2 to 3 days.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with salt water 3 to 4 times daily after surgery to aid healing.
  • Avoid overly hot food in the first 48 hours after surgery
  • Stick to a liquid diet for approx 24-48 hours.
  • Avoid smoking for at least three days following surgery.

After a dental implant procedure, some discomfort in recovery is natural and any discomfort can be relieved with over-the-counter pain relief. Recovery is a different experience for everyone and should be relatively pain free. If in the rare event you do experience any severe pain, you should seek medical attention and arrange a follow up appointment with your dentist.

Cost vs. Benefit

Although dental implant treatment may seem daunting, the small amount of discomfort caused by the procedure could save you from a lifetime of painful problems.

Teeth and gums can become infected when food debris is caught and starts to decay. Having fewer teeth can also affect your confidence to laugh, speak and smile and how and what you are able to eat.

A limited diet caused by having fewer teeth can also have an impact on the jawbone, where a lack of motion due to less chewing causes the jawbone to weaken or waste away. When there are gaps between teeth, alignment can change over time and when teeth move substantially, patients can experience headaches, jaw ache and an inability to bite properly.

Although implants can feel like a big step the benefits often outweigh the potential risks of leaving your mouth with gaps.

Fitting dental implants is a routine procedure that should not be painful and could dramatically change your quality of life. Once fitted they should last for around 20 years with good oral care, giving you both comfort and security.

If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, take a look at our downloadable Implant Guide, or speak to a member of our team.

About the author


Martin Docking is the Founder of Revitalise Dental Centre. Widely recognised as a leading Clinical Dental Technician Martin has a passion for embracing new skills, techniques and materials to deliver the best products, service and patient care.

Connect with Martin Docking on LinkedIn.

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What our Clients say

Marion visited Revitalise to reclaim her smile with a complete implant treatment. In this video, she explains how the staff at the practice put her at ease and why she recommends Revitalise to everyone she meets.

Client: Marion
Treatment: Complete mouth secured with implants

“The minute I met Martin, I just knew he was so calm and relaxing. So then we had a discussion and Martin said what he could do and it had to be what our pocket could afford as well and we went ahead with it. The experience I had at this dentist was unbelievable, it was a journey I loved every minute of.”

Client: Dee
Treatment: Dental Implants

“There’s always smiling, handshakes, hugs and plenty of tea and coffee. They looked after my husband who was there for the day. They do the sedation and Hayley looked after me. Obviously I was unaware of exactly what they were doing, but they always make you feel so comfortable. Although you’re nervous, I don’t think I could’ve gone and got the same treatment anywhere else.”

Client: Carolyn
Treatment: Dental Implants

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