If you have chosen to receive dental implants, you may be wondering about possible side effects and how much pain to expect. Although everyone is different, most patients only experience minimal pain and discomfort. To help you visualise the amount of pain to expect, previous patients have compared the pain level to that following a tooth extraction or root canal.
What to Expect After the Procedure
During the procedure, you should not feel any pain due to the dentist using anaesthesia. As the numbing agent wears off after the procedure, you may start to experience some of the following side effects.
The First 48 Hours
Once the anesthesia wears off, you can expect to feel some discomfort and swelling. The swelling should subside within 3-5 days. During the first 48 hours, you may also see some bruising around the implant area, but this is entirely normal. Expect some minor bleeding as well, biting on a piece of gauze with constant pressure should keep the bleeding under control.
The First 10 Days
Usually, dental implant pain can last up to 10 days after your procedure.
Two Weeks and More
If you are still experiencing dental implant pain, swelling, or other side effects, get in contact with your dentist immediately. Persistent pain and swelling are an indication of an infection or other complications with your dental implants.
How to Manage Dental Implant Pain
Although many patients report little to no pain with their dental implants, experiencing a little discomfort is normal.
Keep reading to discover some strategies on how to manage dental implant pain.
- Apply Ice
Using ice helps tackle two problems at once: Pain and swelling. Apply ice packs to any sensitive areas for the first few days following the procedure.
- Pain Medication
Pain medication is a standard pain relief technique for dental implants. Following your procedure, your dentist will recommend an over-the-counter painkiller. If you are still experiencing dental implant pain, contact your dentist to discuss increasing the dose and other pain relief methods.
- Salt Water Solution
Like some of the other strategies, salt water solutions help ease multiple side effects at once. Gently swishing a warm salt water solution fights bacteria growth and possible infections. Although it may burn or sting while the solution is in your mouth, it is an essential step during the recovery period.
It is best to wait a day or two before you start to use the solution to give the incision time to heal. If you begin gargling salt water directly after your surgery, you could aggravate your wound and cause more pain especially when spitting.
- Excellent Oral Hygiene
Although your mouth may be sore, it is essential to keep up your oral hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Keeping your mouth clean minimises the risk of infection.
- Cold & Soft Foods
Directly following the procedure, avoid hot foods since they can open up the blood vessels and cause more bleeding. Hard foods that require chewing can cause pain since you may accidentally use the freshly operated-on site. Stick to cold and soft foods like yogurt or ice cream until you feel comfortable chewing again.
Although it may seem self-explanatory, give your body some time to rest. This way, it can work on healing your implant. Do not push yourself to get out of the house and start working or exercising.
Above all, have an open dialogue with your dentist about your dental implants and what you should expect after the procedure. Given our experience with dental implant procedures and feedback from our patients, we can help you with pain management for dental implants, so you can always give us a call on (02) 9158 6328 to discuss any concerns you might have.