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Patients are often surprised to hear that getting dental implants from our offices can be a simple, painless procedure. The key to painless dental implants is IV sedation anesthesia, but not all offices that offer dental implants offer IV sedation. Below, we’ll describe what dental implants are, why anesthesia is important, and why not all offices offer anesthesia for dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing and severely damaged teeth. While a single tooth or a few teeth can be replaced by dental implants, the most efficient procedure is all-on-4 dental implants, where an entire row of teeth are replaced by four implants and prosthetic teeth.

The procedure to get dental implants involves two primary stages. The first is the dental implant surgery, where titanium screws are placed into your jawbones (and extractions are performed if necessary). If you’re getting an extensive procedure like all-on-4 dental implants, you’ll have temporary teeth placed immediately following the surgery. 

After the dental implant surgery, and after your mouth has healed, the second stage occurs, where the custom-fitted permanent teeth are placed. If you had temporary teeth, those will be removed, and your oral surgeon will ensure your permanent teeth have a comfortable, tight fit.

Is It Painless to Get Dental Implants?

Whether there is pain when you get dental implants depends on the specifics of the procedure. The surgery to receive dental implants is often intimidating to patients, but the procedure can be done without any pain to patients at all. After the surgery, while your mouth heals, it’s common to experience mild discomfort, but getting a painless placement of dental implants is easy for oral surgeons to accomplish.

How can dental implants be painless?

The key to getting painless dental implants is to receive IV sedation anesthesia during the surgery. When patients are put under using IV sedation anesthesia, they are asleep during the entire procedure and won’t feel any pain at all. This also allows the oral surgeon to complete the surgery more efficiently, which will reduce swelling and general pain after the surgery and healing time.

General dentists are almost never trained or certified to use IV sedation anesthesia on their patients, which means they will have to continually apply Novocain during your dental implant surgery. While this will reduce pain, it will not make the surgery painless, and there are several complications that can arise when IV sedation anesthesia is not used.

Can you do dental implants without anesthesia?

While it is possible to place dental implants without IV sedation anesthesia, we advise against it. First, and most obviously, getting dental implant surgery without IV sedation anesthesia is going to hurt and be uncomfortable. During the surgery, any remaining teeth have to be pulled, the gums have to be cut open, and titanium screws are drilled into your jawbone. If you aren’t administered IV sedation anesthesia for this, it’s unavoidable that it will be a painful, uncomfortable, and stressful experience

Secondly, since you’ll be awake without anesthesia, you’ll be moving. This can make it more difficult to extract remaining teeth and accurately place the dental implant screws into your jawbone. Complications can arise from improper placement, including nerve damage and implant rejection, and anesthesia helps to mitigate those risks.

Best Options to Minimize Pain During Dental Implant Surgery

There are two primary options to help reduce or eliminate pain during dental implant surgery.

Repeated Novocain Injections

If you don’t see an oral surgeon for dental implant surgery, you won’t have the option for IV sedation anesthesia. Instead, you’ll have to undergo repeated Novocain injections to control the pain. Novocain will numb a lot of the pain, but you’ll still feel discomfort as it wears off and needs to be reapplied, and it may not fully numb the nerves in your jawbone.

IV Sedation

As mentioned earlier, the best way to make sure that pain is eliminated from your dental implant surgery is to choose a dentist or oral surgeon certified to use IV sedation anesthesia. You will be asleep for the entire surgery, so not only will you avoid the pain of the procedure, but you’ll also avoid the general discomfort you would have otherwise experienced and not experience mental stress or anxiety.

IV sedation anesthesia is the best way to avoid pain during dental implant surgery, and oral surgeons are formally trained in a hospital to perform dental implants surgery with IV sedation anesthesia.

Painless Dental Implant Options

Under IV sedation anesthesia, all of the following forms of dental implants will be painless:

Single Dental Implant

In this surgery, a single implant is used to replace a single tooth. This is a great option for patients who only need a single tooth replaced and otherwise have a healthy set of teeth.

Multiple Dental Implant

In this surgery, two implant screws are used to support up to four dental implants. This is an option for patients who need to replace several teeth, but don’t need an entire row of teeth replaced.

All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 dental implants can be placed through a painless surgery using IV sedation anesthesia. In this procedure, four dental screws are placed to support an entire row of teeth. Using only four screws helps to make the surgery less invasive, which helps to reduce pain during the recovery period and to shorten the healing time following the surgery.

Painless Dental Implant Pricing

All-on-4 dental implant pricing will always be more cost-effective than using individual or multiple implant options. Individual implants have an average cost of $3,000 – $6,000 a piece, while multiple implants will have an average cost of around $8,000 apiece.

All-on-4 implants have a national average cost of $25,000 – $45,000 per arch, but through our office, the cost is $14,950 per arch. This is an all-inclusive cost (which includes IV sedation anesthesia) and comes with our Low Cost Guarantee.

Painless Dental Implants FAQs

1. Why don’t all dentists offer IV sedation?

In order to use IV sedation anesthesia, an extensive amount of experience and expertise is needed. When IV sedation anesthesia is used, the vitals of the patient have to be monitored (like oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate and rhythm). Within dentistry, only oral surgeons are formally trained in a hospital to properly and safely provide IV sedation anesthesia to eliminate pain and anxiety for their patients.
Since oral surgeons undergo a surgery hospital-based residency training program after dental school for 4-6 years, they have experience monitoring those kinds of vital signs, which is why it’s common for oral surgeons to offer IV sedation for extensive procedures like dental implant surgery.

2. Will I be awake or asleep during dental implant surgery?

This depends on where you go for the procedure. In our office, patients will be asleep during the dental implant surgery because IV sedation anesthesia will be provided. This is the only way to make the procedure truly painless (in other offices, you may be awake and have deadening agents, like Novocain, used.) If you are awake during dental implant surgery, you will feel some level of discomfort, not to mention mental stress and anxiety.

3. What can I do to minimize pain during and after dental implant surgery?

There isn’t much you can do to minimize pain during your dental implant surgery aside from choosing an office that uses IV sedation anesthesia. However, there are several steps you can take to help minimize pain during the recovery period after the surgery is complete. Some common ways to reduce pain during the healing process include:

  • Take OTC or prescription pain medication
  • Take anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by your oral surgeon
  • Use a cold compress
  • Maintain high levels of oral hygiene, including brushing and using a mouth rinse
  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol
  • Follow any specific instructions provided to you by your oral surgeon