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How painful is getting a dental implant?

Does getting a dental implant really hurt?

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Written by NoFrills Dental

This dental article has been curated by the clinical team @ NoFrills Dental 🙂

November 3, 2021

tooth implant dentist in Singapore

Have you made the first big step and decided to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant?

Do you feel a slight sense of apprehension and doubt because you don’t know what to expect and how painful it will be? You’ve come to the right place! Many patients fear the dentist and the word ‘implant surgery’ can throw them off the edge. Dental treatment with a good dentist shouldn’t be painful and there are always ways to mitigate your worries before a dental procedure.

“Implants are screws that are placed right into the jawbone, won’t it be really painful since it is going right into bone?”

Quite the contrary, actually! This article aims to reassure you that the procedure won’t be painful or traumatic, your dentist will do whatever it takes to ensure that you are fully numb with local anesthetic before he begins. You are in full control of the appointment, and they won’t give you something that you can’t handle.

Read on more to find out about pain and post-op care of your dental implant!

So… is getting a dental implant painful?

woman afraid to get dental implant

Your dental surgeon cannot fully guarantee with 100% certainty that the implant surgery will be pain-free for all their patients because of these patient-related factors stated below. They will do their best to make sure you are comfortable before starting the procedure. At any point you feel discomfort do not hesitate to let your dentist know and they can top you up with more local anesthetic if needed.

Variables that may contribute to whether or not the patient experiences pain when getting a dental implant:

  • Pain tolerance and threshold,
  • Skill and experience of the dental surgeon,
  • Quantity of implants placed in one appointment,
  • Medical history of the patient,
  • The need for bone grafting prior to placing the implant,
  • Presence of dental fear and anxiety,
  • Presence of anatomical risks associated with the surgery

What kind of anesthetic options are there for dental implant surgery?

Anesthetic is a definite, resounding YES as it is part and parcel of any dental implant procedure. During your consultation appointment, your dentist will present and recommend different anesthetic or sedation options best suited for your case.

Knowing the effects and level of pain control you can expect from these options can put your mind at ease as they plan your surgery with your best interests in mind.

Local Anesthesia

Local Anesthesia

Many patients undergo implant surgery with just local anaesthesia. It involves injecting medication into the soft tissues of your oral cavity, numbing the area where the surgery is being performed so that you will not feel any discomfort. While local anesthesia is very effective in blocking pain, pressure and sensations can still be felt when the surgeon is working in your mouth.

Should you feel any form of sharp scratches or pain during the procedure, don’t suffer in silence. Pop your hand up and let the surgeon know, they will be able to administer another cartridge of local anesthetic before finishing up.

conscious sedation for dental implants

Conscious Sedation for Dental Implants

Sedation is a technique in which “the use of a drug (or drugs) produces a state of depression of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) enabling treatment to be carried out, but during which verbal contact is maintained throughout the period of sedation”.

Conscious sedation is used in patients that have the following:

  • Dental anxiety and phobia,
  • Patients with bad gag reflex,
  • Prolonged or traumatic dental procedures,
  • Medical conditions potentially aggravated by stress or affect the patient’s ability to cooperate

This technique puts patients in a drowsy and relaxed state enough to allow treatment to proceed safely and with minimal stress. Your dentist may use different levels of sedation depending on the difficulty of the implant surgery, expected treatment duration and anxiety level. 

Inhalation Sedation with Local Anesthesia

Inhalation sedation is a procedure where patients inhale through a nose mask that contains a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. At high concentrations, nitrous oxide provides varying degrees of pain relief and skeletal muscle relaxation.

You will be fully conscious during the entire procedure, just a little tingly and heavy, especially in the arms and legs.

Nitrous oxide sedation is generally used in combination with local anesthesia to provide a greater level of pain relief and comfort than local anesthetic alone. It has a wide margin of safety, no side effects and reversible. Once the administration of nitrous oxide is stopped, the recovery process is rapid, and you will be back on your feet within minutes.

Intravenous Sedation with Local Anesthesia

Intravenous (IV) sedation is the deepest form of dental sedation. They introduce a dental sedative into your veins which enter the bloodstream to help you achieve a deeply relaxed state. You will still be able to respond to verbal and physical stimulation, but concentration can be difficult as you will be quite drowsy! Local anesthesia is also administered after the patient is sedated to reduce the amount of peri and post-operative pain.

IV sedation is the preferred method of sedation in Singapore and is most often chosen by many nervous patients who want to get a dental implant placed.

This will fully guarantee a pain-free procedure and a brand-new implant in your mouth!

General Anesthetic

Implant procedures requiring general anesthesia require careful planning and execution. It is administered by an anesthesiologist and surgery is performed in a hospital setting in Singapore.

General anesthetic is not normally recommended for implant surgeries since IV sedation offers a 100% pain-free experience with fewer risks and costs.

inhalation sedation with local anesthesia

Inhalation Sedation with Local Anesthesia

Inhalation sedation is a procedure where patients inhale through a nose mask that contains a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. At high concentrations, nitrous oxide provides varying degrees of pain relief and skeletal muscle relaxation.

You will be fully conscious during the entire procedure, just a little tingly and heavy, especially in the arms and legs.

Nitrous oxide sedation is generally used in combination with local anesthesia to provide a greater level of pain relief and comfort than local anesthetic alone. It has a wide margin of safety, no side effects and reversible. Once the administration of nitrous oxide is stopped, the recovery process is rapid, and you will be back on your feet within minutes.

Intravenous Sedation with Local Anesthesia

Intravenous Sedation with Local Anesthesia

Intravenous (IV) sedation is the deepest form of dental sedation. They introduce a dental sedative into your veins which enter the bloodstream to help you achieve a deeply relaxed state. You will still be able to respond to verbal and physical stimulation, but concentration can be difficult as you will be quite drowsy! Local anesthesia is also administered after the patient is sedated to reduce the amount of peri and post-operative pain.

IV sedation is the preferred method of sedation in Singapore and is most often chosen by many nervous patients who want to get a dental implant placed.

This will fully guarantee a pain-free procedure and a brand-new implant in your mouth!

General Anesthetic

General Anesthetic

Implant procedures requiring general anesthesia require careful planning and execution. It is administered by an anesthesiologist and surgery is performed in a hospital setting in Singapore.

General anesthetic is not normally recommended for implant surgeries since IV sedation offers a 100% pain-free experience with fewer risks and costs.

What are some post-operative instructions I should follow after my implant surgery?

Post-surgical pain and discomfort is common, and it typically starts to kick in three to four hours after surgery when the local anesthetic has worn off.

initial dental implant consultation

Immediate Post-operative Care

Care should be taken right after your implant surgery to minimize contact with the implant. Try to keep the surgical site as clean as possible, and extreme care must be taken to keep this area free of food particles and debris. You may also want to limit your diet to softer foods and chew in the area away from the implant if it is sore.

Some other instructions and helpful information:

Avoid smoking

Please do not smoke for 24-48 hours after implant placement. Blood clots are extremely important for recovery, and smoking can dislodge the blood clots that are forming, significantly lowering the body’s ability to heal.

Pain and soreness

Pain and soreness are expected after surgery. Your dentist may prescribe the appropriate pain relief medication, please take it according to the directions stated on the packet.

Rinse your mouth

Gentle mouth rinsing with a warm saltwater mouthwash (1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water) 24 hours after surgery will be helpful in disinfecting the wound and aiding the healing process.

Swelling and bruising

Some swelling and minimal bruising is not unusual, it is just the body’s normal reaction to surgery and healing. Swelling normally reaches its peak 2-3 days after surgery and may persist for 7-10 days. This can be controlled by the immediate use of ice packs. Apply them in 20 minute on – 20 minute off intervals for about 2-3 days.

Blood-stained saliva

You can expect blood-stained saliva for up to 24-hours post-surgery. Take a clean handkerchief, place it at the bleeding site and apply pressure for about 30 minutes.

Conclusion

Getting an implant placed is not something you should fear or be worried about. There are many ways we can help make this experience pleasant for you! Pain-free dentistry is what many dentists advocate for – a patient who is relaxed makes their minds feel at ease and they are more likely to execute the surgery the best that they can!

NoFrills Dental Team of Professionals | Professional Team of Dentists in Singapore | Best dentists in Singapore

References

Looking to get started on your brand new & improved smile? Speak to our dentists today!

Our team of experienced dentists are fully dedicated to providing patients with high-quality and affordable dental care. Our dentists are well-versed in the cosmetic dentistry, and highly adept in producing highly aesthetic and long lasting results for all of our patients.

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We are conveniently located at these locations:

NoFrills Dental @ Suntec City

3 Temasek Boulevard
Suntec City (North Wing)
#03-317
Singapore 038983

T: +65 6337 7319
E: suntec@nofrillsdental.com.sg

NoFrills Dental @ Marina Square

6 Raffles Boulevard,
Marina Square,
#B1-11
Singapore 039594

T: +65 6227 8885
E: marinasquare@nofrillsdental.com.sg

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