Are Dental Implants Painful?

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a screw that acts as an artificial tooth root, which is surgically implanted into the jaw. Their primary purpose is to create a foundation for artificial teeth, to replace missing teeth and create a long-lasting, natural looking smile.

What does the procedure involve?

The process of getting dental implants fitted should always include an initial consultation with a fully qualified dental professional to discuss your options and suitability for dental implants. At this stage, with some dental clinics such as The Abbey by Duthie Dental, you will also be talked through any financing options you may wish to take, in order to spread the cost of your treatment and make it more affordable.

The procedure itself is perfectly safe and involves removing any damaged natural teeth where necessary, fitting the implants by drilling into the bone, and then attaching the replacement tooth to the implant. This whole process will generally be done over several appointments, in addition to check-ups after the surgical procedure to see how healing is going.

For  significant tooth loss, many people now opt for All-on-4 dental implants, which can be completed in just one day. This option does still require a consultation and post-surgery check-up.

How painful is the dental implant procedure?

How painful patients find the actual dental implant surgery of course depends on pain threshold, but also on how the procedure is carried out, whether local anaesthesia or sedation is used, and any complications.

Are traditional dental implants painful?

With local anaesthesia, the procedure for the large majority of patients is be comfortable throughout, patients may experience sensations such as push or pull pressure

How painful are All-on-4 Dental Implants?

There shouldn’t be a noticeable difference in pain levels between traditional implants and All-on-4 dental implants, as local anaesthesia will still be used. The difference between the two procedures is that the All-on-4 implants will be fitted all in one appointment.

Post-operative pain & discomfort

Pain can be experienced after the procedure, during the healing process. It is common to experience mild pain and discomfort, particularly for the first few days after the treatment, however your dentist should provide guidance on how to manage this. In the vast majority of cases over the counter pain relief is all that’s needed.

Other symptoms you may experience after dental implant surgery include:

  • bleeding where the implant was fitted
  • swelling around the gums
  • minor bruising
  • aching jaw

How long will pain and discomfort last?

Pain following a successful dental implant procedure should only be a temporary thing to deal with while your mouth heals. Your pain could last 3 to 5 days after your surgery. If you find your pain easing, you may be able to stop taking pain medicine after a couple of days. 

You can return to your normal daily activities if you feel well enough the day after your implants have been fitted.

Swelling, bruising, and jaw stiffness may last slightly longer but should ease in 7 to 10 days after your surgery.

Tips for managing pain post-procedure

It is important to note that every case is different, and your dentist should provide aftercare advice as well as at least one check-up appointment to check on healing and discuss any discomfort you are experiencing.

Generally, aftercare advice will include:

  • prescription and over-the-counter pain medication
  • avoiding hard and spicy food
  • using ice packs to reduce swelling
  • getting plenty of rest following your surgery
  • instructions on how to clean and care for the area around the implant 

What to do if you have dental implant pain 2 weeks after surgery?

If you still have noticeable pain 2 weeks after your implants have been fitted or you feel your pain is worsening, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon who may suggest you go in for a check-up. It’s rare to experience pain after this period so it should be looked into. 

Dental Implant Pain vs Benefit

The number of benefits that come from having dental implants fitted, including increased confidence in your smile, more than outweigh the small amount of discomfort during and after the surgical procedure.

Not only do tooth implants enhance the appearance of your smile, they also benefit those who struggle to chew or speak effectively (often as a result of tooth loss), and improve overall oral health by stimulating bone growth. 

Given that the implants can last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance, the procedure is definitely worth the minimal discomfort for most people. If you are worried about any part of the treatment process and would like to discuss it further with a dental expert, reach out to Duthie Dental today!


One of the most common questions we get asked by those looking for a tooth loss solution is ‘do dental implants hurt?’. With the use of local anaesthesia, patients will only experience mild pressure and little to no pain during dental implant surgery. During recovery, over the counter painkillers are typically enough to manage pain effectively, and complications after the procedure are very rare, particularly if you keep up with check-up appointments with your dental professional. 

Ready to get in touch?

If you would like to book a consultation with our team, or simply have a question about dental implants and whether they are a suitable option for you, get in contact with our friendly and knowledgeable team today. Give us a call or use the contact form below, and we will be in touch.

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