If you have missing or damaged teeth, you know how disruptive that can be. Biting down into your favorite foods can become a source of anxiety. So can how you look when you’re smiling.
Still, getting a complex restorative procedure may be intimidating in its own way. You may be afraid of the pain, the idea of drilling, even just the word “implant.” And as a result, you may not explore your options fully.
If you’re in that category, we want you to know something: dental implants are one of the most effective, durable, and beautiful ways to replace teeth. And getting them is a lot more comfortable than you might think.
How dental implants work
“Implants tend to be much less uncomfortable than the perception,” explains Dr. Schlenoff, Tend’s Head of Clinical Development.
The process involves replacing a tooth’s root with a small piece of metal—the “implant.” After the implant and the underlying jawbone come together, a dentist tops the implant with a gorgeous, long-lasting ceramic crown that looks and performs just like a natural tooth.
Although the process sounds intimidating, dentists have been performing and perfecting the procedure for more than 30 years. And they’ve become really good at making it comfortable.
No nerves = no pain
“In the bone where we’re attaching the implant,” says Dr. Schlenoff, “there really are no nerve endings. So, amazingly, that part of the procedure does not hurt.”
There is some temporary discomfort afterward, he says. But that comes from “the manipulation of the gums” around the implant—not the implant itself.
This means that, overall, “most people are very pleasantly surprised,” he says. “I’ve dealt with hundreds of implant patients, and most people are just fine the day after. Certainly by 48 hours later they’re back to their normal activities.”
A (worthwhile) wait
Dr. Schlenoff does note that, once an implant is in, it can take a few months for it to fully fuse with the bone before the final crown can be placed. (A temporary restoration can be placed in the meantime.)
But the wait is worth it. Once the permanent crown is in, it looks and behaves exactly like a normal tooth—making chewing and smiling anxiety-free. And with proper care, a dental implant can last a lifetime.
Tend’s elite team
If you need an implant, it’s critical to work with a skilled dental team—like the one Dr. Schlenoff leads at Tend. Each of our dentists is trained to make placing an implant as comfortable as possible. And to craft beautiful crowns that will be part of your smile for decades.
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