Are Dental Implants Painful?

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"Do dental implants hurt?" This is a question many people ask when they're considering this dental procedure. The thought of getting dental implant surgery can be nerve-wracking because of potential discomfort. However, understanding how the procedure works and hearing about others' experiences can help calm your worries. In this guide, we'll dive into dental implants, explain the procedure, clear up common misconceptions, and share tips for dealing with any discomfort. So, let's get to the bottom of it: Are dental implants painful?

What does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve? 

Let's break down what happens during the dental implant procedure to understand "Do dental implants hurt." Before placing the implant, the area is often prepped with a bone graft to promote new bone growth, strengthen the jawbone, and aid implant integration.

The dentist drills into the jawbone during the surgery and inserts a metal post as an artificial tooth root. This post requires time to fuse with the jawbone, a process that can span several months but is crucial for a secure implant. Typically, the abutment, which supports the dental crown, is not placed until after full integration.

Occasionally, a minor surgery is necessary to install the abutment, primarily involving the gums. Though there may be some bleeding and swelling, the discomfort from this step is generally milder compared to any post-operative pain from the initial metal post-placement.

How Painful are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery involves some degree of trauma to the gums and jaw. Dentists typically administer numbing agents to ensure patients don't feel any pain during the procedure. However, as the numbness wears off, some discomfort is normal.

Many dentists recommend pain medication to help manage any post-surgery discomfort. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers suffice for mild pain following the procedure. Generally, getting a single implant is less painful than having multiple implants placed. Patients might experience discomfort for about 10 days after the surgery, though it can also subside sooner.

If patients continue to experience significant discomfort beyond the initial 10-day period, it's crucial to reach out to a dental professional. Persistent pain could signal an infection at the implant site, necessitating prompt intervention to preserve the implant.

Is it true that Dental Implants Are Painful? 

Now, let's address the burning question: Are dental implants painful? The answer is multifaceted and varies from person to person. Here are key points to consider:

  1. During Surgery: The implant placement surgery itself is performed under anesthesia so that the patients do not experience pain during the procedure. Most patients report feeling pressure or minor discomfort, similar to having a tooth extracted.
  2. Post-Surgery Discomfort: After the anesthesia wears off, some patients experience mild to moderate discomfort, swelling, or bruising around the implant site. This is a natural response of the body to the surgical procedure and typically resolves within a few days to a week.
  3. Pain Management: Dentists often suggest painkillers or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to deal with post-operative discomfort. Additionally, ice packs help in reducing swelling and alleviate pain.
  4. Individual Variability: Pain perception varies widely among individuals. Factors such as overall health, pain tolerance, and adherence to post-operative care instructions can influence the level of discomfort experienced.

Which Type of Dental Implant Are More Painful?

Let's explain the two main types of dental implants:

Endosteal Implants: 

These implants are the most common and are directly placed into the jawbone. Made of titanium, they resemble small screws and act as the foundation for artificial teeth.

Subperiosteal Implants: 

Positioned under the gum tissue but above or on the jawbone, these implants are used when the natural jawbone is lacking, and bone augmentation surgery is not preferred. They are custom-fitted to fit within the jawbone and provide support for artificial teeth.

There isn't a specific type of dental implant that inherently causes more pain than the other. Pain sensitivity varies individually and is influenced by factors such as pain tolerance, procedure complexity, and post-operative care. It's essential to discuss pain management strategies and expectations with your dentist before any dental implant procedure.

How to Reduce Pain and Discomfort After Dental Implants? 

Here are some tips to help minimize pain and discomfort following dental implant surgery:

  1. Follow Post-Op Instructions: Adhere closely to your dentist's post-operation guidelines. This may include taking prescribed pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol and any recommended prophylactic antibiotics.
  2. Rinse with Saltwater: Regularly rinse gently with a warm saltwater solution. This helps eliminate bacteria and promotes healing in the implant area.
  3. Watch Your Diet: Avoid hot, spicy, or crunchy foods during the first 10 days after surgery to prevent infection and irritation.
  4. Maintain Oral Hygiene: Brush gently near the implant sites to maintain excellent oral hygiene. This helps prevent infection and avoids causing injury.
  5. Apply Cold Compresses: Use cold compresses as directed to reduce pain and swelling in the treated area.
  6. Keep Follow-Up Appointments: Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist as scheduled. This allows for monitoring healing progress and addressing any concerns promptly.


The question "Are dental implants painful?" is a common concern among individuals considering this transformative dental treatment. Through our exploration, we've learned that while some discomfort is normal during and after the procedure, modern techniques and pain management strategies make the experience manageable and worthwhile for most patients. The benefits of restored oral function, aesthetics, and confidence far outweigh the temporary discomfort associated with dental implant surgery.

For those considering dental implants or seeking more information, we encourage you to reach out to experienced professionals like the team at Springhill Dental Health Center in Mobile, AL. Book your appointment online for convenience, and rest assured that new patients can call (251) 265-7808, while current patients can reach us at (251) 343-1521 for personalized care and guidance throughout their dental implant journey.


How long does the pain last after dental implant surgery?

Pain after dental implant surgery is usually manageable with medication and typically resolves within a week as the healing process progresses.

Are dental implants painful during the surgery?

Patients are usually under local anesthesia during surgery, ensuring they don't feel pain. However, some discomfort may occur during the recovery period.

Can I resume normal activities after getting dental implants? 

It's recommended to avoid strenuous activities immediately after surgery. Your dentist will provide guidelines on when you can gradually resume normal activities based on your healing progress.

What our Patients say about us


My visit was incredible. I had my “All on Four” appliances cleaned, and it was a painless and thorough experience. Dr. Scott and all his staff are very friendly. During the cleaning, Mary was gentle and let me know everything she was doing and how it would feel. She gave me tips on how to clean my implants/appliances better and gave me a small brush to do the underside more effectively. Dr. Scott and Mary suggest cleanings take place every 3 months so I will be back in December.

Bette D.
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Meet Dr. Byron C. Scott

Dr. Byron Scott is a highly-trained and accomplished dentist. He attended The University of Alabama School of Dentistry and subsequently completed numerous Advanced Studies and Trainings. Dr. Scott is Board-Certified by The Academy of General Dentistry and has earned Mastership status (MAGD), an honor shared by only 1% of dentists. He has numerous memberships and associations, including Diplomate status with The American Board of Oral Implantology (D-ABOI) and The International Congress of Oral Implantologists (D-ICOI). Overall, Dr. Scott has dedicated his life and career to helping patients improve their oral health through expert dentistry. His goal is to help each patient keep their smile healthy, attractive, and comfortable for the duration of their lifetime.

Learn More About Dr. Scott
Springhill Dental Health Center

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