After wearing removable dentures for 12 years, I have decided to get implants. My denture has become so painful that I understand it is best to attach it to implants rather than have it make sores on my gums. I am so tired of the pain that I must ask what to expect with implant dentures. Do they hurt? – Thank you. Stuart from Round Rock, TX
Thank you for your question. Your experience with implant overdentures will be much more comfortable than with removable dentures.
Implant overdentures do not hurt. Your implant dentist or surgeon will ensure your comfort before, during, and after surgery. We will explain what you can expect with implant-supported dentures.
Before surgery, your implant dentist or surgeon will numb your gums with a local anesthetic to block the nerves and pain. Also, you may choose to have sedation because it further relaxes you and prevents you from feeling pain.
Immediately after surgery, the pain-blocking medication will continue to work for a few hours. Your doctor will tell you when and how to take medication to keep comfortable as the anesthesia wears off. Most patients manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Any swelling after implant placement will peak within three days. Applying cold packs to the sides of your face in 15- to 20-minute intervals will minimize swelling and associated discomfort.
Before a dentist or surgeon places implants, you must have good oral health and enough jawbone volume to support dental implants. Depending on those factors, you may need additional procedures to prepare your mouth for implants. A doctor may combine techniques to shorten your treatment and recovery periods whenever possible. A treatment plan may include:
Look for a dentist with advanced implant training and schedule a consultation to discuss your options for implant overdentures. You can also ask the dentist what they or their oral surgeon does to ensure you are comfortable throughout surgery and recovery.
Dr. Steve Sirin, an Elgin, Illinois dentist, sponsors this post.