If you have lost one or more teeth, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option. They look like natural teeth, function like natural teeth, and can give long-lasting, even permanent results. However, some people still have concerns about dental implants that keep them from taking advantage of this exciting dental treatment.

One of the biggest concerns people have about dental implants is that the procedure might be painful. However, the dental implant procedure typically causes little to no pain. In this article, we’ll explain some factors that might cause you personally to experience more or less discomfort. If you talk to a Wichita Falls implant dentist at StarImage Dentistry, they can give you an answer specific to your situation.

Why Dental Implants Cause Little Pain

As we’ve said before, people typically experience little pain when they get dental implants. Many people compare it to the discomfort of getting a filling, and say that they can control the discomfort using just over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication.

Why don’t dental implants hurt? It comes down to several factors:

  • Dental anesthesia
  • Minimal trauma
  • Few nerves in bone

First, dental anesthesia is highly effective at controlling discomfort during your procedure. At StarImage dentistry, your Wichita Falls implant dentists make sure you are adequately numb before starting the procedure. This means that you will feel little to no discomfort as your implant is being placed. You’ll just feel a little pressure.

However, as the anesthesia wears off, you would expect there to be discomfort from your procedure. This isn’t as much as you’d think because dental implants don’t cause much trauma to your jawbone. Dental implants are small, usually smaller than the natural tooth root they’re replacing. Common implant sizes range from 3.5 mm to 6 mm in diameter (~ ⅛ inch to ¼ inch) and 6 mm to 8 mm in length (~ ¼ inch to ⅓ inch). Modern CT-guided dental implant techniques can limit damage to your jawbone to the specific area where your dentist places the implant.

We also have the advantage that your jawbone where we place your implant has few nerves. Although there are some nerves in the bone, there are less than in other body tissues, so the same amount of trauma will cause less pain in the bone than elsewhere in the body.

Factors That Might Affect your Dental Implant Pain

Although discomfort is typically minimal, in some cases you might experience more than typical amounts of pain.

Your personal pain levels will be affected by your:

  • Personal pain susceptibility
  • Oral health
  • Dental implant procedure plan
  • Dentist’s implant technique

These can make it hard to accurately predict your personal pain levels without looking at your case specifically.

Pain Is Personal

One important factor to remember is that pain levels are very personal. Under the same circumstances, two people might report very different discomfort levels. This might be subjective to some extent, but it also relates to natural variations in your anatomy and biochemistry.

If you have a history of experiencing more pain from dental procedures than expected, you will likely experience more from dental implants too. Make sure your Wichita Falls implant dentist knows if you have high pain sensitivity so they can work to minimize your discomfort.

In addition, dental anxiety can increase the discomfort a person feels from any dental procedure. Sedation dentistry can help you overcome your anxiety and help you avoid additional discomfort.

Poor Oral Health Can Contribute to Discomfort

Another potential factor that can lead to discomfort is if you have poor oral health. Gum disease, infected teeth, and damaged bone might all lead to additional discomfort. If you have serious oral health problems, your implant dentist might recommend an additional procedure to treat gum disease, fix damage to the bone, or perform extractions of toxic teeth.. This not only separates the more painful part of the procedure, it can improve the odds of success with dental implants.

Your Implant Plan Affects Pain

The details of your dental implant procedure can affect how much it is likely to hurt. Extractions typically cause more discomfort than placing dental implants, so if you have a combined extraction / implant procedure it is more likely to hurt more. Getting bone or gum grafts from a donor site might also lead to more discomfort.

Implant Techniques Can Affect Discomfort

Finally, your Wichita Falls implant dentist’s technique can affect how much discomfort you experience. At StarImage Dentistry, we use a CT guided dental implant procedure that lets us do more detailed presurgical planning and construct 3D printed dental implant guides to help ensure the surgery goes precisely as planned. This minimizes discomfort from your dental implant procedure. In addition, our experienced implant dentists, Dr. James Green and Dr. Dustin Van Tassell have performed many dental implant procedures and have learned from experience how to practice implant dentistry with a gentle touch.

Not all implant dentists follow the same procedure. Talk to any potential implant dentist about their surgical techniques, tools, and experience.

Learn More about Dental Implants in Wichita Falls

Are you considering dental implants? Don’t let fear of pain keep you from getting the dental implants that will best replace one or more lost teeth. As you can see, discomfort is typically minimal. Wichita Falls implant dentists Dr. James Green and Dr. Dustin Van Tassell can help you understand how your personal experience might compare to the average.

Please call 940-322-2252 or use our online form to request an appointment at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, near Wichita Falls High School.