If you’re considering getting dental implants to replace missing teeth, you probably have some questions about the tooth implant procedure. It’s normal to wonder what to expect when it comes to the day of the surgery, whether dental implants hurt, as well as what the dental implant recovery process is like.
We’re here to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants, so you can understand the procedure better before you go through with it.
Can I get a dental implant right after an extraction?
This varies on a case-by-case basis and it all depends on the health of your jawbone. If you need to have an unhealthy tooth extracted, but your jawbone is otherwise strong and healthy, then you can often get an implant put in right away. If your jawbone is lacking enough mass to support an implant, you might need a bone graft to create a solid foundation for the new artificial roots. In this case, you will need to wait a few months after the bone graft before you can receive an implant, so the graft has time to heal and strengthen.
What does the tooth implant procedure feel like?
On the day of your surgery, the dentist will either use local anesthesia to numb your mouth completely or put you to sleep using sedatives if you have extreme anxiety about the procedure. Either way, you won’t feel any kind of pain while you receive the tooth implants. If the surgery is performed using local anesthesia, you may feel a tiny prick from the needle used to administer the mouth-numbing agent. After that, all you will notice is some vibrations and perhaps a little pressure in your mouth.
Do dental implants hurt after the surgery?
As the anesthesia or sedative wears off, you will begin to feel a little soreness and discomfort in your mouth, especially during the first 24-48 hours afterward. However, most recipients of dental implants don’t describe any significant pain. The bones to which the implants are attached have very few pain-sensing nerves, so the discomfort mostly occurs in the more sensitive mouth tissue around the areas where the implants were placed.
What can I do to relieve tooth implant pain?
Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions to care for your mouth when you go home. An over-the-counter pain killer is often strong enough to ease discomfort, but your dentist may prescribe a stronger pain killer that you can use to relieve pain for the first 24-48 hours. You can also soothe the mouth tissue by rinsing it with a warm saltwater solution.
If you experience any swelling of the face, you can help it subside by holding an ice pack on it. You should also stick to soft foods for the first week or so.
How long is the dental implant recovery process?
The initial discomfort usually disappears after a week and in no longer than two weeks. If you still experience any pain after two weeks, contact us right away to have the implants checked out. Keep in mind that even after you stop feeling anything, there is still a healing process going on behind the scenes inside your mouth.
It can take months for the implants to fully fuse with your jawbone, with the exact amount of time it takes varying from person to person. During this time, you might be instructed to avoid certain foods that can cause extra stress to the implants while they heal fully.
Some examples of things that can affect recovery time:
How many implants you receive (i.e. one implant or a whole row of teeth)
Your bone mass and bone density
The general speed at which your mouth and body heal
How closely you follow your dentist’s instructions for postoperative care
Allergies to implant materials or medications
Autoimmune diseases or other medical conditions
Do dental implants hurt after they heal?
After the initial period of healing, you shouldn’t feel any dental implant pain. In the case that you do experience any painful symptoms months or even years after you receive your dental implants, it could mean that there are complications and you should see your implant dentist as soon as possible. Symptoms to watch for include swelling of the mouth tissue, recession of the gums, difficulty chewing, extreme pain, or loosening of an implant.
What complications can cause dental implant pain?
In a minority of patients, the mouth can reject the implants because of a lack of bone support, or other complications such as infections. Often, complications occur because of poor dental hygiene, not following the dentist’s care instructions, or, in some cases, a medical condition such as autoimmune disease.
Another risk factor that can lead to dental implant failure is smoking. Keep in mind that these complications occur in a very low percentage of patients, but it’s important to be aware of the possibility.
How can I prevent complications that cause tooth implant pain?
The number one thing to do after you receive new dental implants is to follow your dentist’s instructions for care. This especially means maintaining good oral hygiene, taking any prescribed antibiotics, and avoiding smoking right after your surgery. In the long-term, always brush your teeth twice a day, floss around your implants as you would your normal teeth and visit your dentist for cleanings every six months.
Also, consider quitting smoking if you’re a smoker. The better your overall health is, the less likely your dental implants are to experience complications or failure down the road.
How successful is dental implant surgery?
Dental implant surgery has a success rate of approximately 95% or higher. This means that 5% or less of the patients who receive dental implants experience complications in either the early stages of healing or later in life. This is a very high success rate for a dental surgery procedure.
After dental implants successfully heal, you will have a new permanent smile and be able to use your crowns or bridges supported by the implants just like natural teeth.
When your teeth have been whitened, their sensitivity increases. For some people, sensitivity and pain are quite insurmountable. But there are some steps and tips you can take in how to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening.
You can start prior to getting your teeth whitened through the use of a desensitizing gel or toothpaste. After the procedure, you should take care of your mouth by avoiding certain foods and by gently brushing your teeth.
Tips to Help Before the Procedure
So, you have already made your appointment to get your teeth whitening procedure. If possible, make this appointment with 10-day anticipation.
During this time, brush your teeth with a desensitizing toothpaste. These types of toothpaste help to block the pain signals from the surface of your tooth to the inner nerve. Here in Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS, we have some recommendations for you.
Brush your teeth with desensitizing toothpaste for at least three minutes, going in a circular motion against the surface.
Try not to rinse your mouth right away after applying the toothpaste. Let it work for at least three minutes.
Apply a desensitizing gel or paste. Dry your teeth before applying it and use a cotton swab. Apply a dot to the swab and rub it on your teeth’s surface. Let it rest for three minutes before rinsing your mouth with water.
You can take pain medication an hour before the treatment. Take the suggested dosage of anti-inflammatory medication such as Aleve or Advil. Ibuprofen usually acts well. Ask your dentist if you are not sure what to take.
Tips to Getting Rid of Sensitive Teeth After Whitening
Right after the procedure, you want to show off those pearly whites, not wince, right? To ensure this, let us tell you how to get rid of sensitive teeth after whitening. You will experience sensitivity within 24-48 hours after the treatment.
The discomfort you might feel is normal, given that this procedure involves chemicals that irritate tooth nerves. If you followed the steps explained above, you should better cope with all this. Now, check these tips to help with teeth sensitivity after your teeth-whitening procedure.
The first thing to avoid is any hot or cold beverage. The best thing is to drink room-temperature beverages only.
Also, try to avoid acidic foods and drinks. Soft drinks and citrus juices irritate a healing mouth, so steer clear from those.
Use a straw to drink. This is an easy way to make liquids bypass your teeth and help have a bit more comfort as you enjoy your favorite drinks.
Your enable is going to be very vulnerable for the first 48 hours. Avoid smoking or drinking beverages with colorant or that may stain your teeth, such as coffee and tea.
Use the same sensitivity toothpaste you used at the beginning. Since we know that this type of toothpaste might be unpleasant, you do not need to worry. You can go back to your regular brand after 48 hours.
Be gentle when you are brushing your teeth. Use lukewarm water instead of cold water and a soft bristle toothbrush. This will help keep the sensitivity at bay.
Just like you did prior to the treatment, leave the toothpaste on your teeth for a while in order for it to work.
Applying fluoride gel on your teeth will help stimulate salivation which will help speed up the mineralization process. Apply it for five minutes without swallowing and rinse your mouth.
There are some mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Ask your dentist which one might work best for you.
Some doctors might recommend chewing a pack of sugar-free gum. Start with a small piece, chew it for 10 minutes, and proceed with a fresh one, until you have finished the pack. This is thought to help with teeth sensitivity. Do not do this step on an empty stomach as you do not want the chewing to stimulate gastric juice release.
To help cope with the pain, take pain killers with anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen. Just please make sure you talk to your doctor before taking any pain medication.
Give yourself a break between whitening procedures. Come and talk to us here at Duke N. Bui, DDS, PS and let’s talk about how often you should whiten your teeth. Too often might have the countereffect of actually increasing sensitivity over time.
If your teeth sensitivity is not getting any better after a couple of days or is getting worse, you need to pay us a visit. We are more than happy to help you get through.
At-Home Whitening Procedure
If you have decided to purchase an at-home whitening treatment kits, there are some important pointers you should know. Most of these kits use carbamide peroxide, which can irritate your teeth nerve endings. Choose one that has no more than 5-6% peroxide level. Higher than this can cause a great deal of pain and might not even be as effective.
You will find that there are variations on the type of whitening kits. There are mouth trays with gel, strips, paint-on, whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. If you are concerned about the safety of any of these methods, consult with your dentist.
Choosing a mouth tray can be tricky as you will need one that fits well in your mouth. Failing to do so can cause the gel to leak out, causing gum irritation and increased sensitivity.
Given that you have a large amount of whitening substance in your hands, you might feel tempted to use more than recommended, just be sure. Only apply the recommended amount. Using more than that can cause gum irritation and even vomiting if you happen to accidentally swallow it.
You should also avoid using the gel for more than the recommended time. Never go to sleep with a mouth tray on. More time does not mean whiter and shinier teeth. This can actually erode your teeth, increasing sensitivity and causing fractures from decay.
If you have questions, we are happy to answer them. Contact us or visit us and be welcome to a warm family environment with professionals at your service.
Dental sealants are small patches of plastic material painted and cured onto the tops of molars. Sealants usually come in a shade of white that closely matches natural tooth color. But what do dental sealants actually do? Are they a dental treatment that you need?
Dental Sealants Prevent Decay
Your back chewing teeth have deep ridges that can trap sugars, acids, bacteria, and other debris that lead to the start of cavities. Toothbrush bristles can’t always access those deep grooves on your molars to clean out all that harmful material.
A sealant is a protective guard that goes right on top of the chewing surface of a molar. It fills in the grooves and valleys that can get packed with food debris. By filling in those deep crevices, sealants prevent cavity-causing bacteria from settling in and triggering tooth decay.
How Dental Sealants Are Placed
Getting a dental sealant is fast and painless. You won’t feel a single thing! Sealants sit right on top of teeth unlike regular fillings which actually replace missing tooth structure. This means that there is no drilling involved and no need for numbing shots when you get sealants.
The dental staff starts by putting a little bit of a sour acid jelly on the.tooth. This gel only mildly roughens up the surface of the enamel to help the sealant get a better grip. After rinsing and drying the molar, the liquid sealant material is painted into the grooves of the tooth. The dental staff quickly spreads and smooths out the material and then cures it with a bright light.
Lastly, the dental staff will check your bite to make sure the sealant isn’t too high. From start to finish, placing one sealant takes less than two minutes.
Who Should Get Dental Sealants?
Sealants can do the most good when they’re put on adult teeth that have never had a cavity. This makes children prime candidates for dental sealants. If you have kids, you should seriously consider having their adult molars sealed as soon as they come in.
Teens and adults of any age can have sealants, as well, of course. There is no age limit. The only requirement is that a tooth can’t have any decay. Sealants are a great choice for preventing cavities in the teeth of people of all ages, but they can’t treat existing cavities. Sealing over tooth decay will only allow the infection to continue spreading through the tooth.
Getting a sealant can’t hurt anything. Sealing one or more teeth will only help you in your fight against tooth decay. So if you have at least one molar that qualifies, go ahead and seal it!
How Long Will Your Dental Sealants Last?
Dental sealants can last for up to ten years or even longer if you take good care of them. Being made of plastic, they do erode away with time as they suffer the wear-and-tear of biting against other teeth.
The good news is that sealants aren’t like fillings in that they don’t need to be replaced if they wear away or fall out. But to ensure your teeth stay protected against cavities, you can always opt to have your sealants touched up or replaced when they do wear out.
Dental Sealants and Preventive Dentistry in Tacoma
Are you curious about the benefits sealants can have for you and your family? Find out more by planning a visit with a dentist in Tacoma who provides dental sealant service.
Dr. Duke Bui is a family dentist with a special focus on preventing dental problems before they can cause trouble. Sealants are one of the many ways Dr. Bui promotes healthy smiles for families through Tacoma and the surrounding area.
Are your teeth feeling a bit sensitive these days? Having sore teeth in the winter is an extremely common complaint this time of year. Even if you’re only outside for brief periods of time your teeth may still be uncomfortable.
You may even notice that your teeth are more sensitive in the winter season when you enjoy things like hot coffee or ice cream.
Why do your teeth hurt so much this time of year? As it turns out, there are several factors that affect tooth sensitivity.
Why Teeth Hurt in the Winter
Your teeth might look like pieces of solid bone but they’re actually far more complex than that. Teeth are made up of two layers: the outer clear or white layer of insulating enamel and the inner dark yellow layer of sensitive dentin. There’s a hollow space within the dentin that houses nerves and blood vessels that nurture your teeth.
That nerve inside each tooth is very sensitive to temperature changes. Your tooth dentin layer has pores, or channels inside it, that constrict in cold temperatures and expand in hot ones.
When the weather turns cool, your teeth contact cold air more and more often. Cold exposure in itself can make your tooth nerves zing with discomfort. But your teeth may also ache from the frequent pore constriction in your tooth tissue. This constricting action can even create microscopic fractures in your enamel which allows more cold temperatures to reach the sensitive tooth nerves.
The cold weather itself may not be the only reason for your aching teeth, however. You may have other conditions with symptoms that get worse in cold temperatures this time of year.
Tooth Sensitivity Caused By Gum Recession
One major cause of tooth sensitivity is gum recession. Often occurring as a result of aging or gum disease, receding gums expose tooth roots which don’t have an insulating layer of enamel to protect them. Your tooth roots depend on your gums for protection and warmth, so without them, your teeth will be stingingly sensitive in cold weather.
Enamel Loss Makes Teeth More Sensitive to Cold Weather
Tooth enamel covers over those sensitive pores in the dentin layer. Enamel insulates the rest of the tooth this way and regulates the temperature severity the tooth nerve experiences.
So if you lose some of your enamel, you will definitely know it as your teeth become much more sensitive.
Fluoride products can help you get some relief. Fluoride is a mineral that reinforces the existing enamel layer and patches up weak spots. It also prevents enamel from being weakened by cavity-causing bacteria.
Sensitivity toothpaste can also help. It adds another layer of protection to areas that have already lost a lot of enamel.
Finally, you need to consider the possibility that you need dental treatment. Your sensitivity could be due to serious dental problems like decay, exposed roots, or fracture. Getting those issues treated can resolve your tooth sensitivity.
Seeing a dentist in Tacoma is a good way to start your search for sensitive teeth relief. Dr. Duke Bui has helped countless patients get relief from this “biting” cold weather! Schedule a smile consultation with Dr. Bui and learn more about how you can prevent sensitive teeth this winter.
My staff and I would like to express our sincerest appreciation for the trust you have placed in us…from all of us…thank you and best wishes…for the holiday season…may your holiday and new year be filled with peace, love and joy. – Dr. Duke Bui & Staff