After a surgical procedure, you will feel some level of pain, soreness and discomfort, especially once the anesthesia wears off. It should not surprise you if the pain extends to different parts of the face such as the cheeks, chin or eyes. This depends on pain intensity. Pain after a dental implant is not supposed to last long and maybe intense in the first few hours after the effects of the anesthesia start to wear off.
There are many causes of pain after a dental implant. The intensity of pain also depends on individuals and the extent of the area affected during the operation. People with a low pain threshold can experience pain from just seeing a needle. Others have a high pain threshold and can withstand minor to mild levels of pain comfortably.
Most people wait until it’s too late to seek help. If the pain is unusual, or something about it doesn’t feel right, visit a dentist at the earliest opportunity for a proper diagnosis and rectification.
The following tips can help lessen the pain after dental implant surgery:
Tip #1: Lessen the pain with medications
The dentist will prescribe medicines such as antibiotics, painkillers and a mouthwash to reduce the pain after dental implant. Follow all the instructions to avoid infections and more pain. Since different people respond differently to medication, it’s advisable that if you don’t get adequate relief at first, consider supplementing each painkiller with an analgesic such as aspirin.
Should you take the first pain pill before the anesthesia wears off, you should be able to handle the discomfort much better. Should taking painkillers make you nauseous, eat a small amount of food before taking the pain pill.
Tip #2: Use an unfastened healing cap
To protect the gum, a healing cap is placed on the dental implant, which can lessen the pain after dental implant surgery. Depending on the experience and expertise of your dentist, this cap may be left loose or unfastened as required.
Get the healing cap appropriately fastened if it’s loose, or have it removed and reapplied.
Tip #3: Remove the loose dental implant
Remove the implant if it doesn’t adhere to the jawbone. You will feel pain if too much pressure is exerted over the implant or if there’s less bone density to support the implant. Avoid teeth clenching and grinding and try to relax. Keep your jaws open.
Tip #4: Check for nerve pressure or damage
The process of getting an implant involves the drilling of the jawbone to create space where the implant will sit. This drilling can sometimes happen very close to the alveolar nerve, which runs through the lower jawbone, causing further damage.
Sometimes, the dental implant is placed very near the nerve, resulting in undue pressure in that area. Where pain is caused by nerve damage, remove and replace the implant.
Tip #5: Use ice pack or ice cream
Treat yourself to a cup of ice cream since its cooling effect has been proven to reduce pain. An ice pack applied to the sore part relieves pain. When it comes to the cold stuff, get creative and use a bag of frozen vegetables.
Tip #6: Take care of dental hygiene
Always use the prescribed mouthwash to keep your mouth fresh and clean. Don’t gurgle but swish it around your mouth. You can also use warm water mixed with salt to wash and cleanse your mouth.
Take a ¼ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and rinse with portions for five minutes. Repeat two to three times daily.
Tip #7: Eat solid foods
Sometimes you feel so hungry you want to eat until your stomach is full. However, keep in mind the fact that the process of getting the dental implant was surgical in nature, and a foreign object was introduced to your jawbone.
Avoid solid foods to prevent accidental injury to the incisions. Besides, undue pressure to the jawbone when chewing may cause the implant to shift or get displaced, causing you more pain.
Tip #8: Get lots of rest
As with any surgery, the body needs to heal and repair the damaged tissue. Take enough rest and allow other people to help with house chores and other activities that require your attention. You can take leave from work, but remember to leave the work in the office. Don’t carry your laptop home. Take naps occasionally. Relax and allow the medications to do their work for quick recovery. Grab a cup of your favourite ice cream and watch your favourite TV series or movie.
Complications arising from a painful dental implant have a lot to do with your choice of a dentist. Always get an experienced dentist with a proven record of credible practice to carry out the surgery. A combination of pain medication, good oral hygiene, ice pack, and rest will help you survive the pain after a dental implant. It’s expected that the discomforts of dental implants are more pronounced during the first 2 -3 days after the surgery. After that, you should slowly adjust to a normal life.