Updated: Oct 20
Getting a crown placed on a dental implant should not hurt because the most that you'd feel would be mild discomfort. As a matter of fact, this appointment doesn't require any anesthesia at all. It is the least painful part of the entire implant process.
We know it may be a little hard to believe so we'll describe in detail what to expect during this appointment. We'll show you a demonstration as well so you can be certain that getting a dental implant crown is painless.
Is the procedure painful?
The dental implant crown placement appointment is the least painful part of the implant process to finally get a new tooth. Painless may not be the right word but the most you would feel is just mild discomfort.
Having the crown placed on the implant may be slightly uncomfortable but it is no where near what you would consider as painful. The reason why it doesn't hurt is because there is absolutely no drilling into the bone nor cutting into the gums.
The most that you would feel would be slight discomfort when the crown is inserted. Essentially you'll be feeling gum pressure as the new prosthesis is connected to the implant fixture. The insertion may cause gum blanching but it still shouldn't hurt.
No anesthesia required
We are confident when we say the procedure doesn't hurt because we rarely if ever need to administer local anesthesia for it. That is right, we almost never numb our patients during this step of the process.
If you don't need numbing then it probably doesn't hurt right? We haven't had any complaints from our patients so far. The most that they would say is that they feel pressure in the gums but that is about it.
Least painful step
We completely understand why you may be hesitant about the implant crown insertion appointment because all of your other visits were probably not as painless.
All of your prior implant appointments listed in order:
Tooth extraction with bone graft. Your tooth was surgically removed and that was definitely not without pain. You most likely received a boat load of local anesthetics.
Surgical implant placement. Placement of the implant fixture requires you to be numb. The gums had to be opened and the implant had to be drilled into the jaw bone.
Second stage surgery. Once again, you needed anesthesia for this because your dentist had to expose the implant. The gums had to be trimmed away and a healing abutment was placed on top of the implant.
A common theme among all of these three visits was that you needed to be numb. Without any numbing, you would not be a happy camper.
However, for the crown placement visit, that is actually the easiest step and least painful for the entire implant journey.
What to expect for implant crown placement
You're anticipating pain for this procedure because you don't know what to expect. You are most likely extrapolating based on your prior implant visits which were painful and did require local anesthesia.
However, once you understand what goes on during this appointment you will quickly realize why we say it is mild discomfort at best. Finally getting a crown on your implant is actually a two visit appointment but we'll describe both with utmost detail.
Implant crown visits:
Implant crown impression. Take a mold of the implant so the lab can make the crown.
Place crown on implant. Crown gets glued on or screwed onto the implant fixture.
Implant crown impression visit
The appointment to do the implant crown impression will take about 30-45 minutes total and it does not require numbing.
What to expect:
Screw healing abutment and remove it.
Screw in the implant impression coping.
Take an x-ray to verify full seating of coping.
Take an impression of the implant.
Place healing abutment back.
Take an impression of the opposing arch.
Take a bite registration.
Pick a tooth shade for the crown.
All of the impressions get sent to the dental lab in order to have the permanent crown made. This process usually takes about 2-3 weeks.
Crown placement on implant visit
The appointment to place the permanent crown onto the implant will also take 30-45 minutes and no anesthesia is required.
What to expect:
Remove healing abutment by unscrewing it.
Try in implant crown.
Make adjustments to relieve tightness and high bite.
Take an x-ray to verify complete seating of the prosthesis.
Glue it in if it is cement retained or screw it in if it is screw retained.
Polish and you are all done!
Below we have a video on placing the final screw retained implant crown.
Discomfort after placement
We wish to reiterate that it isn't unusual to have some discomfort immediately after you receive your new implant crown. You may feel like the crown is pushing on the adjacent teeth, the bite feels off, and maybe even some mild gum pain.
However, most of these can be fixed fairly easily by your dentist.
Source of Discomfort
Signs & Symptoms
Flossing difficulty; Pressure against adjacent teeth
High bite; Teeth don't touch evenly; Pain when chewing
Gum tightness; Tissue blanching; Gum pain
How long does the discomfort last?
For the tight contact and high occlusion, your dentist should be able to correct it for you at the same appointment. The relief should be instantaneously felt.
For the gum pressure, that will go away on its own without the need for any treatment. Most of our patients get use to it after about 2-3 days.
Overall, getting a new crown placed on an implant shouldn't really hurt because it is the least painful part of the entire implant process. It's such a breeze that you don't even need any anesthesia or any numbing for that matter.
Now hopefully you'll stop worrying so you can march into your appointment brimming with confidence. You're about to get a new tooth.