Dental Implants Can Transform Your Smile, But Are They Painful?

Dental implants are the ultimate achievement of modern dentistry, yet many people are unjustifiably deterred by fears that the surgery might be too painful. However, if one examines the procedure in sufficient detail, it is perhaps not too surprising that some people may have doubts despite the wealth of contradictory evidence in the glowing testimonials from delighted patients who love their brand-new smiles.

In fact, rather than deterring people, this recent leap forward in cosmetic dentistry has sparked a wave of dental tourism. Many of those in search of the perfect smile but living in countries where private healthcare is overly expensive are now travelling to destinations where high-quality dental services are more affordable, including South Africa.

That said, your outlay should never be given precedence over quality of care, so prospective patients should always be especially cautious when searching for a cosmetic dentistry specialist and not be too influenced by a price tag.


Dental Implants – The Procedure

A dental implant is essentially a titanium screw which is inserted into the jawbone to form a strong and stable root. Its purpose is to anchor an attached prosthetic crown. However, stability is only one advantage of dental implants over bridges and dentures. The latter leaves parts of the jaw without roots, which begin to erode due to bone resorption.

The procedure is carried out in three stages:

  • Implant placement: Following a detailed consultation, the titanium implant is inserted into your jawbone and remains covered for 3-6 months to ensure stable integration with the bone. A temporary denture may be supplied.
  • Abutment placement: Also known as a healing cap, this forms a junction between your implant and the crown. Any necessary adjustments will be made to permit the continued use of your temporary denture.
  • Crown placement: During this stage, your crowns are created, tested for fit and colour match, and adjusted until they are perfect.


Scientific Research on Implants and Associated Pain Levels

Pain is a subjective sensation and, therefore, difficult to measure objectively. Doctors often ask their patients to describe the intensity of their pain on a scale of one to ten. However, pain tolerance varies between individuals, and some are even reluctant to admit they are in pain because they perceive this as a weakness.

Many people fear the dentist as they anticipate a painful experience, especially when facing a treatment they have not previously experienced. Hence, the dentist’s role is as much to allay their fears as to provide treatment. However, studies have shown that patients undergoing a procedure for the second time found it less painful, demonstrating a correlation between previous experience and lowered tension, resulting in reduced pain perception.

In another study, a group of patients underwent extractions and received dental implants two months later. All the volunteers claimed they experienced significantly less pain during and after implantation than with their extractions.


World-class Dental Implants In Gauteng

Dr Ivan Marx heads a team of skilled and experienced cosmetic dentists with more than 60 000 restorations to their credit and a unique talent for creating the perfect smile. Why not book an appointment today to learn how implantation surgery could transform your smile and your life?