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The American Dental Association has called dental implants “one of the biggest advancements in dentistry in the past 40 years,” and it’s no wonder: Dental implants can significantly improve a person’s appearance, speech, comfort, ability to eat, self-esteem and overall oral health. What is a dental implant? A dental implant is a cylindrical or tapered screw-like post that’s surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw bone to permanently substitute as the tooth root. A connector piece called an abutment is built into — or placed on top of — the dental implant, connecting it to the replacement tooth. A crown is custom-made for the replacement tooth, and it matches the appearance of the rest of your natural teeth. Dental implants serve as sturdy anchors for replacement teeth, fusing to the sturdiness of your natural bone, which actually grows around the post, permanently holding it in place. Without a doubt, a dental implant is the treatment that comes closest to imitating the function and stability of your natural teeth. But does it hurt to get dental implants? Most patients say there is very little discomfort involved with a dental implant procedure. In fact, many patients have happily reported that implants are less painful than getting a tooth extracted! To be perfectly candid, any dental surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort, but dental implant surgery is performed with anesthesia, so the actual procedure itself isn’t painful. After your dental implant surgery, Dr. Linkous or Dr. Tran may prescribe a pain reliever to help with any discomfort during your recovery process. A little soreness can be expected in the area where the implant is placed. Otherwise, we believe you will be very pleased by the minimal discomfort that’s associated with implant surgery. In most instances, anyone who’s healthy enough to undergo oral surgery or get a tooth extracted can be a candidate for dental implants. For more information about dental implants, contact Riverstone Dental Care at (770) 479-3846. We’ll be happy to talk with you and answer all your questions.