5 Ways To Help Alleviate Dental Implant Pain

Many patients planning to get dental implants are understandably concerned about the possibility of pain. While any type of dental surgery does involve some discomfort, patients generally find the results of dental implant surgery to be well worth this recovery process. Still, it is important to have a plan in place before the procedure to handle any post-surgical pain. Gathering pain remedies ahead of time will allow you to focus your energy on healing after the surgery.

Your dentist will likely prescribe prescription-strength painkillers to be used immediately following surgery. Many patients also seek out additional ways to alleviate pain, or wish to avoid taking the maximum dosage of painkillers in favor of non-pharmaceutical options. During the healing phase, there are several methods available to alleviate dental implant pain, including both natural and over-the-counter remedies.

5) Over the Counter Pain Relievers
In addition to any pain relievers prescribed by your surgeon, there are also over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), available to ease your discomfort. This pain medication should be taken as needed once the surgical anesthetic wears off.

Some patients opt to take lower doses of over-the-counter pain relievers instead of prescription-strength medication. If you have also been provided with pain relievers from your dentist, ask about which over-the-counter medications may be taken safely with the medication you have been prescribed, and be sure to take them in the recommended dosage.

Over-the-counter Ibuprofen comes in 200mg tablets; patients are generally advised to take one or two of these every four to six hours as needed. While you are taking such medications, be sure to pay attention to the warning labels; most over-the-counter pain relievers will make you groggy, and you should not drive or drink alcohol while taking them.

4) Benzocaine
Over-the-counter anesthetics containing Benzocaine work by numbing the area. A topical anesthetic, Benzocaine is sold under Orajel and other brand names. These gels or ointments can be applied directly to the implant area. While they are generally an effective means of reducing pain, they can cause allergic reactions or side effects. In addition, Benzocaine alone may not be enough to control pain following dental implant surgery. As a result, many patients end up looking beyond the medicine cabinet to alleviate their dental implant pain.

3) Ice Packs
Some patients find that placing an ice pack on the outside of their cheek alleviates some of the discomfort. This remedy reduces discomfort by alleviating both swelling and pain. Ice packs may be applied several times daily, for no longer than 15 minutes each time. Bags of frozen vegetables or other cold items may be wrapped in a clean towel and used in place of an ice pack. They should be placed on the outside of the face, not inside the mouth, though some dentists do recommend holding an ice cube inside the mouth as a similar method of alleviating dental implant pain.

2) Salt Water Rinses
Gently rinse your mouth with a warm salt water solution to alleviate discomfort. Add one tablespoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Now, gently swirl the water inside your mouth, allowing the solution to reach the implant area, before spitting out the water. Repeat this process 4-5 times per day, especially after meals. This method is particularly effective for soothing gum pain and removing any food particles trapped near the implant site, which can prevent infection. Avoid using water that is too hot, or swishing it too vigorously in your mouth, as this can cause bleeding or dislodge the blood clot that has formed.

1) Clove Oil (recommended*)
Clove oil, an essential oil, is a popular herbal remedy for toothaches such as the pain following dental implant surgery. It contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, and pain killer. There is evidence that clove oil can help relieve pain and fight tooth or gum infections. One study has even found this natural remedy to be as effective as over-the-counter Benzocaine ointment at controlling oral pain. This clear or yellow oily liquid can be diluted in olive oil and then applied directly on the implant site using a cotton swab. The effects usually last about an hour. Because some side effects, such as burning and difficulty breathing, have been reported in people using large quantities of clove oil, discuss this remedy with your doctor before proceeding.

During the recovery process, get plenty of rest and avoid chewing hard foods, which can prolong the healing process. Pay attention to your dentist’s post-surgical instructions, which can dramatically reduce recovery time and alleviate your symptoms. If you have any questions about whether your pain level is normal, ask your dentist. If you still feel pain two weeks after the surgery, contact your dentist, as this could be a sign of an infection or other issues with the implant.

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