Turn the Screw on Dental Implant Fear: 3 Reasons Not to Fear Dental Implant Surgery

Posted on: 20 November 2017

For some dental patients, the thought of having one or more dental implants inserted into their jawbone fills them with abject fear. This fear can then put them off getting implants altogether. To do so, however, would be a mistake. Dental implants promote jawbone growth while anything else has little to no effect on bone growth.

While it is easy to understand why you might feel apprehensive about dental implant surgery, the operation itself is really not as bad as you might imagine. If you are thinking of getting dental implants, here are three reasons to put aside any fear you might have of the pain involved with the procedure.

A Local Anaesthesia Guarantees a Painless Surgery

Before the prosthodontist begins the procedure to insert the titanium post into your jawbone, they will first numb the area with a local anaesthetic. This means you feel little to no pain during the operation. Within 1-2 hours, you should be free to go on your way, and some patients even go straight back to work afterwards.

Believe it or not, but extractions, especially those of wisdom teeth, are more painful than dental implant placement. Extracted teeth need to be levered, pulled; and sometimes broken, but dental implants need only be inserted into the jawbone.

IV Sedation is Available to You

If you have an intense fear of needles or are afraid that you might be overcome with anxiety whilst in the dentist's chair, you can opt to be sedated so that you sleep through the entire process. There will then be no chance that you might have a panic attack whilst the dental implant is being inserted.

When you awaken, there may be some slight discomfort, along with a little swelling and bruising, but you should be able to function as normal once the anaesthesia wears off.

Anxiety Increases Pain

When you feel anxious about something, what often happens is that you begin to expect the worst. This expectation actually increases the pain or discomfort you feel during the activity that is causing you anxiety. In fact, a study in Brazil confirmed that dental patients who are anxious before a dental treatment report more pain than those who are not anxious.

If you feel anxious before your dental implant surgery then, you should take steps to reduce that anxiety before going to the dentist. Here are some things you can do to decrease any anxiety you might have before dental implant surgery.

  • Call your dentist and discuss the operation.
  • Visit your dentist and get used to the environment where the operation will be carried out. Sit in the chair, talk to your dentist or go over the steps with them.
  • Listen to some relaxing music before and during surgery.
  • Ask your dentist for some medication to relieve your anxiety before the operation.

Again, you also have the option of what is called "sleep dentistry" if you have trouble overcoming pre-surgery anxiety. But just talking to your dentist and going over the procedure may be enough for some patients.

Most Discomfort Occurs Afterwards

Most of the pain or discomfort you will feel comes after the surgery, not during it. Even then, your dentist will ensure that you have enough pain medication to cover the first week or two. Tylenol or Ibuprofen are more than strong to help you deal with the pain should you run out of the prescribed painkillers.

Any discomfort should subside within a couple of weeks provided you don't disturb the implant sites. Stick to soft foods for a few days and avoid chewing on the implant sites and you'll find that the pain in your imagination was much worse than the real thing.