During dental implant surgery, a surgeon opens up tissue in your mouth and drills one or more titanium rods into the bone underneath your gums. This provides a permanent root for a replacement false tooth.

You’ll be under local anesthesia and shouldn’t feel pain during dental implant surgery.

Recovery may include pain that lasts a few days, but it can be managed with medication. Pain that lasts longer than a few days or gets worse may require medical care.

Getting dental implants is often the middle of a three-step process. The entire process can involve tooth removal, implant rod or screw insertion, and replacement tooth insertion. These procedures may be spaced far apart.

It can take months for the rods to fuse to your bone. Your oral surgeon will wait to place a replacement crown until your bone firmly sets the titanium rods.

You shouldn’t feel pain during dental implant surgery, because the procedure involves anesthesia. This will include local anesthesia, and may include additional sedation or general anesthesia. Your oral surgeon will explain anesthesia options prior to surgery.

Your unique needs may require a certain type of anesthesia to avoid feeling pain during the procedure.

You’ll probably feel some pain or discomfort after dental implant surgery, but it shouldn’t last more than a few days.

The pain may feel more acute when the local anesthesia from the procedure wears off. It’s likely that the pain will be near the site of the dental implant.

Other symptoms you may experience after dental implant surgery include:

  • bleeding at the surgery site
  • swelling around the gums and the face
  • minor bruising
  • jaw pain

To manage and reduce pain, your oral surgeon will provide instructions for proper care after surgery. Post-procedure care may include:

  • prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pain
  • avoidance of certain foods, such as hard and hot foods
  • ice packs to reduce swelling
  • rest on the day of the procedure and possibly in subsequent days, depending on how you feel
  • instructions on how to care for the surgical site

Pain following a successful dental implant procedure should be temporary if everything heals as it should. Your pain may last 3 to 5 days after the procedure. You may only need to take pain medications for 1 or 2 days.

It’s possible that you can resume daily activities the day after the procedure if you feel up to it.

You may have swelling, bruising, and jaw stiffness for a bit longer. These symptoms should fade in 7 to 10 days following the surgery.

It’s uncommon to experience throbbing pain for an extended period of time after a dental implant procedure. You may feel sharper pain a few hours after the procedure as the anesthesia wears off, but it should diminish with pain medications and time.

You may develop a complication after the procedure that causes additional pain. These instances need to be reviewed immediately by your oral surgeon or dentist.

Incision line opening

This is one of the most common complications following an implant procedure. It occurs when the tissue surrounding the rod reopens after surgery.

You may feel pain or irritation if the incision opens. Your oral surgeon may instruct you to rinse your mouth a few times per day with a chlorhexidine rinse or to take an antibiotic to avoid infection.

If the pain doesn’t lessen, you may need additional medical care.

Improperly fitted implant

Discomfort or pain may be a sign that the implant isn’t fusing to the bone correctly. The implant may need to be removed and possibly reattached at a later time.


An infection occurs when bacteria enters the surgically impacted tissue and prevents it from healing. The wound site may reopen or fail to heal.

Other signs of dental implant complications

If you experience other symptoms (in addition to pain), it may be a sign of post-procedure complications. Call your oral surgeon or dentist immediately if you experience:

  • fever
  • throwing up or nausea
  • worsening swelling
  • continued, excessive bleeding a few hours after the procedure

Pain that lingers after 2 weeks or that gets worse should be reviewed by your oral surgeon or dentist. It isn’t typical to experience pain this long after the procedure.

You could experience pain near your implants months or years after surgery because of implant failure or peri-implant diseases.

Most of the time, implants are a highly successful dental procedure. But there’s still a chance they could develop complications.

If you feel pain when you press or tap on your implant site, it may be the sign of implant failure. Other symptoms for implant failure may include:

  • horizontal movement of the implant
  • bone loss
  • inflammation
  • inability for the oral surgeon or dentist to attach a crown to the rod

You may be more at risk for implant failure if:

  • bacteria develops in your mouth
  • you have a history of gum disease or periodontitis
  • you smoke
  • you have untreated diabetes

You may also develop pain near your dental implant if you don’t care for the replacement teeth. Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require proper hygienic care. This includes brushing and flossing daily and visiting your dentist for regular cleanings every 6 months.

Neglected oral care may lead to peri-implant disease. This occurs when bacteria build up in the tissue surrounding your implants. It can lead to inflammation, tissue damage, and bone loss.

You may be able to treat these conditions when they affect just the soft tissue in your mouth. But you may need reconstructive surgery if the condition breaks down the bone underneath the implant.

You should expect temporary pain if you get dental implants. This pain is treatable with medication and will lessen over time.

Lingering or worsening pain may be a sign of a complication. Call your doctor if you’re still experiencing pain more than 5 days, or discomfort more than 10 days, after your procedure.