Are Dental Implants Painful?

Dental implants are a popular choice to replace missing teeth caused by tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other issues. They provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

Missing teeth restored with dental implants look, feel and function just like natural teeth. They have a very high success rate and with proper care can last a lifetime.

Because dental implants require surgery and placement of a post into the jawbone, it’s natural to wonder if dental implants are painful and uncomfortable.

Fortunately, from a pain perspective, the jawbone has few nerve endings. You should not feel any pain during the implant surgery, especially if it is done with healthy tissue. Local anesthesia can be used during the procedure. The placement of dental implants should only cause minor surgical discomfort. If you are nervous about the surgery, we have sedative options to ensure your comfort.

Right after you dental implant surgery and in the first few days after, some discomfort is likely. This is no different than any other major dental procedure. You may feel some aching in your chin area, cheeks, or underneath your eyes. Some patients experience bruising of the skin and gums or minor bleeding.

Immediately after dental implant surgery, you can use an icepack to help ease any swelling. The pain should be manageable and will likely only require Advil, Tylenol or Ibuprofen for relief. Rinsing gently with warm salt water throughout the days following the implant surgery will help soothe the tissues and will offer you additional relief.

Though some patients will report some discomfort following surgery, many will report that it is not as bad as they thought for a dental surgery. Most find that over the counter medications provide all the relief they need to proceed normally right after the procedure.

Dental implant Tooth

During the healing process, your implant will fuse with your natural jawbone ( the medical term is “osseointegrate”). The implant and jawbone will grow together to form a strong and long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. This healing process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple months depending on your situation. You will be able to maintain your normal everyday life in between appointments.

Once the new implant has bonded with the jawbone, a small connector called an abutment is placed on top of the dental implant. This will connect the implant to the new replacement tooth.

When having dental implant surgery, you will benefit from a surgeon with experience. Their technique, skill, and experience will help minimize pain during surgery and afterward.

Ready to learn more about dental implants?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up a free dental implant consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can answer all your questions and has the ability to minimize any pain. He will be able to determine if this is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.

Creative Commons Image credits: Aspirin image - Implant image


TMJ Headache Treatment Plano

TMJ Headache Treatment PlanoTMJ is a very broad term with multiple causes and multiple symptoms or presentations.

The patient can have pain in the joint itself, migraine headaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), stuffiness of the ears, sore chewing muscles and/or limited mouth opening, and vertigo.

Related: Tinnitus and TMJ

TMJ symptoms can be caused by a bad bite, chronic clenching, a constricted airway, stress or arthritis.

If you have headaches, migraines, cracked teeth, sensitive teeth, chronic sinus problems, multiple root canals, loose teeth, worn teeth, or chipped teeth, then you may have TMJ.

There have been instances when a patient had been suffering from chronic or recurring sinus infections that went away once the patient received treatment for their TMJ problem.

The management of the pain involves treating the underlying cause or causes of the problem, rather than just treating the symptoms with medication alone. Full night guards or the NTI device can be used depending on which is appropriate for you. Clenching helps some people to open a constricted airway. If you do clench and grind due to sleep apnea, then an oral appliance may be considered. These are also beneficial for those who snore.

Related: What can be done about my headaches and TMJ problems?

For those who cannot control their daytime clenching, Botox often produces good results by reducing the intensity of muscle contractions.

For some people, a possible treatment is equilibration or adjusting the bite. Some patients will find that their symptoms improve or subside after equilibration. Clenching and grinding on a bad bite will cause a lot more damage to the teeth than clenching on a good bite. So, for those whose symptoms are not completely relieved by the bite adjustment, the incidence of wear and cracked teeth will be greatly reduced.

Tooth ExtractionThe patient is encouraged to participate in the treatment by:

    • Going on a soft diet for a limited time
    • Avoid chewing gum
    • Using heat or ice packs
    • Seeking stress reduction therapy if necessary

Most treatment begins with the most conservative, least invasive procedures.

One very successful treatment for migraines is the administering of Botox. Injected in specific areas a patient will find that the injections are not uncomfortable and the result is the pain relief they have been seeking. Botox is an ongoing treatment. It is not a one-time application.

In my office, I have been providing this treatment for well over 10 years with excellent success.

Seeking TMJ headache treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your free TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder. He will be able to discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


Different Types of Broken Teeth

Types of broken teeth

OUCH! Are you suffering from a broken tooth? There are several types of tooth fractures and breaks that require different treatments:

Minor Cracks – Also called “craze lines,” these are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks rarely need treatment. However, your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.

Cracked Tooth – This type of fracture involves the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The pieces remain in place, but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material. The tooth often will need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is damaged, you may need a root canal as well.

Chips – Minor chips don’t always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very small, the dentist may polish and smooth out the chipped area.

Broken Cusp – These breaks affect the pointed chewing surfaces (the cusps) of the teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. Your dentist may repair the damage to restore the tooth’s shape. Frequently, however, an onlay or crown will be required.

Related: Six Issues Porcelain Veneers Can Fix

Serious Breaks – These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly.

TMJ Pain ReliefSplit Tooth – This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need root canal treatment. Second, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. In some cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.

Relate: Worst foods for your teeth

Vertical Breaks or Split Root – These cracks start in the root of the tooth and extend upward toward the chewing surface. These breaks are often painful because the area around the root may be inflamed or infected. In most cases, the tooth will have to be removed.

Decay-Induced Break – In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity weakened it from the inside out. Your dentist will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone, the tooth may have to be removed.

We hope that this article helps you if you are dealing with a broken or cracked tooth. We recommend you visit a dentist as soon as possible so they can help you and work to prevent further issues in the future.

Related: Broken Tooth – What do I do?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774


Tinnitus and TMJ

Tinnitus and TMJ

Tinnitus is a physical condition, that causes people to feel a constant ringing in the ears, sometimes accompanied by pain, even when there is no external physical noise causing it. Tinnitus is usually caused by a fault in the hearing system; it is a symptom, not a disease in itself.

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that almost 15% of Americans suffer from some form of tinnitus.

Can Tinnitus Cause TMJ Symptoms?

If you are one of the many people suffering from tinnitus then it’s likely you’ve wondered what the root cause of this condition is.

Tinnitus can be caused by just about anything that can go wrong with your ears, from wax buildup against the eardrum to head injuries and exposure to excessive noise.

Tinnitus is known to be a common side-effect from those who suffer from TMJ Disorder (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction).

TMJ Disorder Symptoms

Relationship Between TMJ and Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often one of the common symptoms of TMJ. These two symptoms are commonly experienced by the same patients. The eardrum is located very close to the temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint at issue in cases of TMD. When the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed, it can also affect the eardrum. The inflammation of the joint can affect the stabilization can cause the pain and noise associated with Tinnitus.

Very often by treating the physical ailment that is causing TMJ, the tinnitus will subside.

If a TMJ disorder is suspected, an appointment with a dentist or TMJ specialist is recommended.

Dental Anxiety

Tinnitus and TMJ Treatment

A variety of TMJ treatment options are available to treat TMJ disorder. If your tinnitus is related to your TMJ problem, the tinnitus may improve as the TMJ problems get resolved. Most treatments for TMJ are non-surgical.hea

Some options include medications, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy and mouth guards. Another effective option is therapeutic Botox injections. Some people have success with alternative medicine treatments. The best way to find out what options may work for you is to schedule an appointment with a dentist who specializes in TMJ treatments.

Seeking TMJ treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up your free TMJ consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience and can test and diagnose your TMJ Disorder. He will be able to discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Texas Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.


Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Is Gum Disease Reversible

A common question that every person with gum disease wants to know:

Is my gum disease treatable? Can it be reversed?

It depends on the type of gum disease you have.

Gum disease can definitely be treated and stopped from worsening before it causes serious damage to your mouth, jaw and overall health. Depending on what type of gum disease you have, it may even be reversible.

If you understand the different types of gum disease and can diagnose which one you have, then you will be able to determine if it is reversible or not.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Related post: What are the types of gum disease?


Gingivitis IS reversible. Severe periodontal gum disease is not reversible. It is treatable, however, and can still be stopped from creating severe issues with your teeth.

It is highly recommended that you visit your dentist, who can identify the type and severity of your gum disease and offer you treatment options.

TMJ Pain ReliefIs gingivitis reversible?

Good news! Gingivitis is both treatable and reversible.

Of the different types of gum disease, gingivitis the only gum disease that is reversible. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue around the teeth caused by plaque built up on your teeth.  Over time it becomes harder and turns into tartar, which also irritates gums. Sometimes the effects are mild enough that people are unaware that they even have it. Pregnant women can be more susceptible to gingivitis.

Because it is usually caused by poor dental habits, gingivitis is preventable. If treated in a timely manner, it is also reversible.

How do you treat gingivitis?

Gingivitis can be reversed by removing the tartar that is built up on your gums. Schedule a trip to your dentist for a professional tartar cleaning of your teeth. Your dentist can remove tartar that is irritating your gums by cleaning and scaling your teeth.

After your dentist has given you a thorough cleaning, you will need to follow up with the proper brushing of the teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You should also make sure that you are getting an annual checkup to make sure they remain clean.

With a professional cleaning by your dentist, everyday brushing, and flossing, you can reverse gingivitis and have regular, healthy gums again.

Related post: What are the gum disease treatment options?

Tooth ExtractionIs periodontal gum disease reversible?

Periodontitis, or periodontal gum disease is, unfortunately, NOT reversible.

Just because it is not reversible though, does not mean that it cannot be treated.

Periodontal gum disease can be halted with treatment. This is critical because, with successful treatment, you may be able to save teeth that are on their way to being lost. You definitely want to save your teeth if possible. Cosmetic dentistry may be able to correct some of the issues caused by gum disease, such as elongated teeth, but not in all cases.

Related post: Nine facts about gum disease you should know

How do you treat periodontal gum disease?

If your gum disease has advanced from gingivitis to periodontitis, then you will need to see your dentist for advanced treatment. The toxins from the buildup of bacterial plaque on your teeth will affect not just your gums but will spread to the bone and ligaments of your teeth. This will damage the bone and support tissues and your teeth will be in jeopardy and may need to be removed. Even as your teeth begin to near this advanced stage, there still may be treatment options to save them.

Possible periodontal gum disease treatments:

  • Scaling and root planing
  • Pocket reduction procedure
  • Gum grafts
  • Bone grafting and regeneration
  • Brushing, flossing, and maintenance
  • Antimicrobial mouthwash
  • Quitting smoking
  • Ongoing dental checkups and care

We ask that if you believe that you have gum disease, to please make an appointment with an experienced dental professional. There is still hope for your teeth.

Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in gum disease treatment with over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with everything from a consultation, to a check-up, to cleaning, whitening, and full mouth restoration.

Together we will transform your smile!

Contact us online or call us today at (972) 964-3774