If you are considering getting a dental implant, or have already decided to do so, you may be understandably a bit nervous about undergoing the procedure. While it’s true that getting a dental implant is a complex process, and does involve a degree of discomfort, the pain you experience should be minimal. Read on to learn what to expect during a dental implant.
Step 1: Getting X-Rays
The first step of getting your implant will be taking X-rays. Your dentist will use either panoramic X-rays or a 3D CT scan to assess your bone and gum condition. This step is painless, although may be a bit nerve-wracking for those with technology phobias.
Step 2: Taking Impressions
Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth to replicate your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. To do this, he will fill a plastic or metal U-shaped tray with a soft, gummy liquid, either alginate or polyvinyl siloxane. You will bite down on the putty-like material and hold the bite for several seconds, being careful not to move your teeth. This step is not painful, but can be uncomfortable for those with an active gag reflex, as excess putty is close to the back of the throat.
Step 3: Tooth Extraction
This is the part of the procedure that scares most people. However, the most painful part of a tooth extraction is the Novocaine injection. This feels like a small prick, followed by the strange, but non-painful, feeling of the needle placement within the mouth. Any discomfort or pain disappears quickly as the Novocaine starts to take effect. Once the Novocaine has flooded the tissues, you will feel a bit of tugging and pressure as your dentist removes the tooth. If you do experience pain, hold up your hand to tell the dentist to stop, and let him know that you need more Novocaine.
Step 4: Taking Care of the Socket
Now that you have an empty socket, it is important to take care of it lest you develop a dry socket, an extremely painful condition when the blood clot at the site of the extraction fails to develop, dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed. For a minimum of 24 hours after the extraction, you will be asked not to smoke, drink through a straw, spit excessively, or blow your nose. Click here to read more about taking care of your tooth socket after surgery.
Learn More About Dental Implants from a James Island Dentist
Now that we’ve discussed the pain involved in the initial steps of a tooth implant, we will discuss the next steps: inserting the implant, placing the abutment, and placing the permanent crown. Click here to read “Do Dental Implants Hurt? Part 2” from our James Island dentist office.