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Do dental implants hurt?

This is by far the most common question I get asked during dental implant consultations.

The truth of the matter is – it depends. The reacxtion to dental implants vary hugely from person to person. Some people report that there was little or even no pain at all. Other people report some pain for a few days after implant placement, but normally this can be controlled well with over the counter pain killers.

Obviously, how much tenderness and swelling to expect depends upon how much is being done. For instance, a single implant involves less work and less preparation than having 6 or 10 placed in a single session, and so we should expect less pain and swelling. But this is not always the case.

But generally, most people report minimal discomfort and some mild swelling for a few days after implant placement.

What about during implant placement?

The majority of implants that I place are done under local anaesthetic. This is usually perfectly sufficient to place implants. I have placed over 400 dental implants, and I have yet to have anybody ask to stop the procedure due to pain. It just doesnt happen.

Dental implants are a lot less traumatic than having a tooth taken out. The hole that we make in the bone is about half the size of a root of a tooth, and it is done in a controlled way with plenty of cooling during the procedure. Bone has fewer nerves than the ligament that surrounds teeth, so it is much less liely that you would feel any of the procedure than when having a tooth taken out.

So do they hurt? During placement, no. Afterwards, it is normal to experience some mild tenderness, but this is likely to be less than a dental extraction.