Receiving a surgical procedure like a dental implant can be a scary experience for some patients. In fact, many believe that getting implants is extremely painful after what they see on the internet – the drills, the access holes into the gums, and all the bleeding. However, that is merely a myth. So how painful is a dental implant procedure? 

how painful is a dental implant

Read on with Sydney Dental to learn about the possible level of pain and side effects associated with a dental implant surgery so you can have your peace of mind about this effective and durable tooth replacement method.

dental implant

1. Does it hurt to receive dental implant surgery?

As the dentist will use local or general anesthesia, the patient won’t feel any pain during the procedure. After the surgery, as the anesthesia starts to wear off, you may experience some mild pain and discomfort. Depending on where the implant has been inserted, discomfort may also present in your chin, cheeks, or under the eyes.

It is very rare to experience severe discomfort after an implant surgery. This may be on account of an ill-fitting implant or an infection. Other side effects a patient may also have following a dental implant surgery are:

  • Bleeding at the wound site;
  • Swollen gums and face;
  • Slight bruises;
  • Pain in the jaw.

2. How long will pain and discomfort last after surgery?

Typically, you may feel some discomfort and soreness in the wound site, face, and jaw for around 10 days. Some swelling may also occur, which can be helped with painkillers and antibiotics prescribed by the dentist. From day three after surgery, pain and swelling will start to subside. 

The pain will go away completely once the implant is fully healed within a timeframe of two weeks. If pain or swelling still persists after the 2 week mark, you need to contact your dentist immediately as this is an indication of possible infection.

3. How to deal with post-implant pain and discomfort?

To facilitate a smooth recovery and keep pain and discomfort at a minimum, you can apply the following tips after a dental implant surgery:

  • Adhere to post-op directions from the dentist. These may involve taking pain relievers as instructed and taking antibiotics if any to fight off infection;
  • Keep the surgical site clean by sinsing gently with a lukewarm saltwater solution. This helps kill bacteria and stimulate healing;
  • Refrain from hot, spicy, or crunchy foods for the first 10 days to avoid disruption to healing after surgery;
  • Practice proper hygiene;
  • Brush gently near the implant area to prevent infection;
  • Apply ice packs to manage any pain;
  • Pay scheduled visits to the dentist for checkups.
how painful is a dental implant
how painful is a dental implant

4. Post-implant throbbing pain 

Throbbing pain is a rare problem among dental implant receivers. One may notice some sharp pain in a few hours following surgery as local anesthesia starts to wane off. However, this pain should be alleviated with pain killers and time.   

If the pain lingers for a prolonged time, that may be a sign of a possible complication. This requires timely medical attention. Potential complications associated with a dental implant can be the following:

Wound reopening

This is one of the most common post-implant complications, which is when the access hole to the implant opens again after the procedure.

Reopened wounds are usually accompanied by pain and irritation. The dental care provider may ask you to use a mouth rinse several times on a daily basis or take antibiotics to fend off infection. If the pain doesn’t get better over time, contact your dentist promptly for timely examination and checkup.

Improperly fitting dental implant

Pain and discomfort may be signs that the dental implant isn’t fusing to the jawbone very well. If that is the case, you may want to have the dental implant taken off and then replaced at the dental clinic.


Infection occurs when bacteria enter the gum tissue and interfere with your healing. This may lead to reopening of the wound site and failed recovery.

5. Other indications of post-implant complications

Apart from pain and discomfort, there are certain signs that a patient may have developed a complication after dental implant surgery. Seek immediate medical help if you:

  • Run a fever;
  • Are sick in your stomach or vomiting;
  • Have swelling that is worsening;
  • Have excessive bleeding that doesn’t go away in a few hours post-procedure.

6. What to do about post-implant pain that still lingers after 2 weeks?

Pain that persists after 2 weeks or that worsens should be looked at by your dentist since it isn’t normal to experience pain this long after the procedure.

how painful is a dental implant
how painful is a dental implant

7. What if the pain is still there after months or years?

If you have a failed implant or disease developing in the implant site, you may suffer from pain for months or years. The success rate for a dental implant surgery is usually very high but there’s still a small chance of failure. If your implant site is tender, it may be an indication of an implant failure. Other signs include:

  • The dental implant is moving horizontally;
  • Jawbone loss occurs;
  • Inflammation;
  • The crown cannot be attached to the metal post.

An implant failure is more likely if you have the following: 

  • Bacteria growing in your mouth;
  • A history of periodontal diseases and periodontitis;
  • The habit of smoking;
  • Uncontrolled diabetes.

Pain to your surgery area is a result of improper care for prosthesis. Just like your original teeth, dental implants have to be kept clean. Good hygiene practice involves brushing, flossing, and rinsing twice a day and seeing the dentist for cleanings and checkups once every 6 months. Bad oral hygiene may cause peri-implant issues as bacteria build up in the tissue around the implant site, which can lead to loss of jawbone, tissue damage, and inflammation.

8. A word from Sydney

Some short-term pain following a dental implant surgery should not be a cause of concern. This discomfort can be managed with the help of medication and will reduce with time. Persistent and deteriorating pain, however, can indicate a possible complication. Contact your dentist if you still have soreness and discomfort after a week following dental implants. 

Hopefully after this post from Sydney Dental you’ve learnt what to expect during and after a dental implant surgery in terms of pain, what to do to manage it as well as signs of potential complications to look out for. If you are still unsure of anything in search of a new unforgettably stunning smile, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC, Vietnam looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!


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