So you and Dr. Lin have decided that the best plan of treatment for you is a dental implant. This is an exciting time in your life, but if you’re like most people, it’s also a little stressful.
You can’t wait to have the new smile your implants will give you, but you’re worried about the process and the possible pain that might come with it.
It’s a perfectly normal concern to have, and we have all the answers to your questions about what to expect with your dental implant procedure right here.
What to Expect at Your Procedure
By this point, you’ve had your x-rays and Dr. Lin has created your impressions. The impressions were sent off for processing, and your new implants are ready to be placed!
So what’s next?
The Extraction Process
Well, if you have to have a tooth pulled before the implant can be placed, this will likely be done at the same appointment. Before extracting your tooth, Dr. Lin will explain your anesthesia options. Typically, a local injection is sufficient, but if you need anything more, you’ll know ahead of time so you can plan for someone to drive you home.
The Implant Itself
After the extraction, or to get started if the tooth is already gone, a hole is drilled – under an anesthetic – into your jawbone. It’s kind of like when you have a cavity filled, but you may need a small incision in your gum so Dr. Lin can get to the bone.
The implant is then inserted into your jawbone deeply enough that it acts like your natural tooth’s root. It is implanted securely so that it can hold your new tooth.
This part of the implant will take an hour to two hours, depending on the complications of your extraction and implant. You should be able to drive yourself home and resume daily routines if you have a regular local anesthetic, but you’ll need to stick to soft foods for a while.
Adding the Tooth
Your jaw will need time to heal over the implant before your new tooth can be placed. This can take a few weeks up to a few months. During this time, Dr. Lin will check on you regularly to see how well the healing is going, and when you’ll be ready for your new tooth to be placed.
When it’s finally ready, you’ll have what’s called an “abutment” placed on the implant. This is the foundation for your crown, or your new tooth. The abutment is tightened securely so it won’t loosen with use. Then the permanent crown is placed, and you leave with your new tooth!
But What About the Pain?
The anesthetic keeps you from feeling any pain during the procedure. You’ll probably feel some pushing and pressure, and the vibration from the tools. This can be uncomfortable or annoying, but not painful.
Once the anesthesia wears off, you’ll probably feel discomfort where the implant was placed. If you had an extraction, this will be a little worse, but you should still be able to handle your regular daily tasks.
In fact, most people don’t feel any discomfort after a day or two, unless they’ve failed to follow the after-care orders.
If you stick carefully to the list of instructions our dentist and staff will be giving you before your procedure, you’ll quickly be on your way to an easy recovery!
However, if you feel anything more than discomfort or dull ache that you can handle, talk to Dr. Lin or a nurse before you take any pain medication. Some medicines can increase bleeding or cause side effects.
The final answer is: Like with any dental procedure, the worry is often worse than the actual work. You’ll have some discomfort with your dental implant, but if you do your part and let Dr. Lin do his, it won’t be anything you can’t handle!