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Dental Implant for a New Molar—nearly painless, get it done if you need it

For anyone out there with a bad tooth— dental implants can go pretty seamlessly and painlessly. At least for molars.

I just had an implant for a new tooth, to replace a molar that had cracked and was infected and had to be pulled-out 6 months ago.

It’s hardware store stuff in concept—essentially a screw to go into the jawbone and a screw-on cap that will later be used to bolt down an artificial tooth, once things grow in. Go with only the very best tightest-tolerances for such implants. You don't want the mechanism to have more than a few microns of “slop”, which cheaper ones do.

It was with some trepidation that I went in yesterday for the implant, I guess because pulling a tooth seemed less bad than inserting a titanium screw.

I opted for full anesthesia. It took 30-45 minutes (so I’m told), and I ended up at home somehow (my wife drove), with no memory of the procedure or immediate aftermath. Maybe local anesthesia would have been fine, but I really don’t like cutting and screwing sounds.

That day, I had a slight jaw ache and no pain, not enough to warrant any treatment, or even to really notice. The implant is covered over with tissue and stitched closed. The body now has to grow bone around the screw for 3 months or so. As I understand it, the tissue is cut open to allow access to the hardware when it comes time to bolt in the new tooth, and a similar process occurs in healing that new tooth into the gum tissue.

I’m looking forward to having two molars for chewing again. It’s striking how one can take front teeth and molars for granted until they are lost!

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