Pain Control and Dental Implant Surgery Part I

It is quite common that patients who are considering, or about to undergo dental implant surgery to be in the dark when it comes to predicting how much pain to expect.

pain control questions for dental implants

We hope this will help understand the implications from

a) the surgery itself
b) during the recuperation period immediately post-surgery (ie the next week or two)

And although at Winning Smiles we always encourage new implant patients to have a chat with patients who have had the whole ‘implant experience’, most patients won’t actually take us up on that offer – even though our previous implant patients are usually very happy to talk about it!

So I thought it might be useful to pen a broad classification of what pain and trouble you might expect from our implant procedures here at Winning Smiles. All implant surgery is not the same, so I have divided it up a bit (with a note on sinus surgery/bone grafts at the end)

1) Simple implant surgery ie 1-2 implants, no ridge splitting, no sinus work, no grafting

No need for sedation unless you are a nervous patient

Pain during surgery: none

Recuperation period: 2 days, mild soreness around gums, most patients will go back to work next day without the need to take even an aspirin.

2) ‘Middle of the road’ cases ie 3-4 implants or 2 implants with ‘extras’ like sinus surgery/sinus ‘tap up’/simple bone grafting/ridge expansion

Sedation recommended

Pain during surgery: none! (No, really!)

Recuperation: 3-10  days. Mild to moderate soreness around gums, mild  swelling. Individual patients respond very differently in these cases.

For some patients it is very easy and they get only minor post-op soreness. At the other end of the spectrum a few patients will have to take painkillers for a few days and may bruise (in fair skinned patients the bruising can be quite noticeable).

3) Complex cases ie a whole upper jaw/lower jaw, 4-16 implants, ‘block’ bone grafts, etc

Sedation strongly recommended

Pain during surgery: none

Recuperation: 7-14 days. Moderate soreness around gums, moderate swelling, pain killers for the first week. Bruising can be quite widespread in fair skinned patients (ladies – buy concealer before you come!)

4) Sinus surgery:

no pain during surgery, little or no pain afterwards with mild swelling. Bruising on fair skinned patients.

5) ‘Block’ bone grafts – where we take bone from the chin or lower jaw and screw it into place somewhere else (often upper front area)

Ok, again we would expect no pain during the surgery but considerable soreness/bruising and some swelling for 1-2 weeks afterwards.

Similar to ‘complex’ cases above, it’s not something we enjoy doing to patients but in some cases the only way forwards – and they do work very well.

This is a lot of detail, but we find people would rather know these things up front, rather than find out after the event.

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