Are you thinking of giving your smile a makeover? Replacing the pearly whites with a newer, fresher model? Unfortunately, teeth wear out, get cracked, get broken, stained and ugly due to various precarious lifestyle choices. Luckily for us though, the marvel and practices of modern dentistry can rectify even the most imperfect pearly whites. If your tooth or teeth are too far gone to fix you may need to get dental implants.
Dental implants require an implant point created in the jaw bone then a prosthetic tooth can be screwed or fixed to the implant. So to put it in layman’s terms the dentist will drill into your jaw bone insert an implant usually a screw that your new tooth is attached to. It sounds painful, all the drilling and the dentist generally conjures feelings and images of pain.
I’ve been there and done it. Unfortunately, I took my pearly whites for granted and put them through their paces by my unsavoury lifestyle of too much sugar, smoking, and sheer neglect. I didn’t give my teeth the tender loving care they needed to last my entire lifespan. Well, not even half. I got my first implant when I was 39. I had been avoiding the dentist like superman tries to avoid kryptonite. One bad experience at the dentist when I was younger scarred me. I’d do anything not sit in that chair and hear that wailing drill ever again even if it meant putting up with severe pain on a daily basis.
Dealing with severe pain on a daily basis can make your life very unpleasant for yourself and those around you. I was like a bear with a sore tooth. Waking up in the morning to a throbbing tooth is no way to start the day.
My wife eventually intervened and booked me into the dentist to get the problem sorted once and for all. The verdict was that my tooth was beyond repair and I had two options. Lose it, or get an implant and me being too vain to walk around with gaps in my smile opted for the implant. It was an obvious choice. There is something unsettling about seeing a smile missing some teeth. It just doesn’t look right.
So I decided to grit my teeth and bear, to what I thought, would be an anguish filled painful process and the dentist’s explanation of the procedure didn’t exactly fill me with confidence that it was going to be relatively pain-free.
D day arrived and it was time to face my fear and get this implant once and for all. The implant procedure was a breeze. I wasn’t actually conscious for it, so I don’t know what I was worried about there. Afterwards, there was some slight discomfort and a little bit of pain. It’s a two-part process. So the dentist installs the implant then after that heals and is accepted by the body the new prosthetic tooth is installed.
The intermission between the two procedures was time for healing. When you’re in this phase of the process there is slight tenderness and sometimes uncomfortable sensations that weren’t pleasant, but weren’t unbearable all the same. It was totally manageable. You just have to look after yourself a little bit better. Don’t smoke, keep your mouth clean and be wary of cold drinks. A healthy body will heal a lot faster than a body that is not. So it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise during this period. Your dentist will give you a run-down of all the do’s and don’ts.
The initial visit when the dentist drills into your jawbone is the scariest part, but luckily your asleep so it’s not so bad. Once you get this out of the way and it has healed nicely, it’s smooth sailing from here on in.
In this period, I found out that my tolerance to pain is pretty low to medium. So if I can deal with it anyone can.
After I got my first implant my fear of the dentist had been conquered and I have since had a few more done. My smile is better than it was previously and the constant pain I was enduring through my poor oral health was gone.
The discomfort I went through getting these implants was minuscule compared to the pain I was dealing with through having a mouth full of bad teeth.
So to answer the question of whether implants hurt? Not really, of course, you will feel some initial pain and uncomfortable sensations but it is to be expected when someone is drilling into your jaw. But as I said earlier you’re out cold anyway so that part isn’t painful at all. It’s when you wake up is when you start feeling it. It’s nothing a few painkillers won’t fix and the recovery time is quite fast.
The benefits far outweigh the discomfort and if I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.