Getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth can change your life for the better, but you’ll have to adjust to them first. You might experience some mild pain or discomfort in the days following the procedure, as you would while recovering from any surgery; this is, of course, normal, but how will you know if it’s a sign of something more serious? Here’s what you need to know about monitoring and controlling your dental implant pain.
When Is the Pain Normal?
During the surgery, any damaged teeth are extracted, and the implant posts are placed into the jawbone. It will take several months for the gums and bone around the implant to fully heal (at which point your dentist will attach an abutment meant to connect to an artificial tooth). In the week after the surgery, it’s normal to experience some pain along with swelling of the face and gums, bruising, and minor bleeding. You might receive some medication to control the discomfort. Under normal circumstances, the pain should start to improve after 5 to 7 days; if your symptoms get worse, you should call your dentist right away.
When Do You Need to Be Concerned?
If you feel pain whenever you touch the area around your dental implants or are experiencing an unpleasant feeling in your lips, it could mean that there’s a nerve injury. This can be the result of the implant being placed so that it touches the nerve under your teeth. Such complications tend to be more common among women, younger patients, and those suffering from anxiety or depression.
You also need to be wary of the area around your dental implants becoming infected. This condition is called peri-implantitis, and it can cause your new teeth to fail altogether if it’s not treated. Patients who smoke or have diabetes are at a higher risk for infection. Schedule an appointment with your implant dentist if you notice painful, red or tender gums; you should also act quickly if you notice any bleeding while brushing or flossing.
In general, if you experience severe pain immediately after the surgery, you should receive treatment from a dental professional right away, ideally within the next 36 hours. That will give you the best chance of success.
How are Dental Implant Complications Treated?
If your nerve has been damaged, your implant might be removed, and oral steroids will be prescribed to reduce any inflammation. Peri-implantitis can sometimes be reversed by a thorough cleaning and good oral hygiene, although surgery and implant removal might be necessary in some cases. After your mouth has healed, your dentist might be able to try and place the implant again.
Don’t be afraid to call for an appointment if you think there’s something wrong with your restoration. After all, dental implants don’t just complete your smile; they’re also supposed to help keep it healthy!
About the Practice
At Pearl Dental Associates in Scituate, our team of highly skilled expert dentists will always have what you and your family need to keep all of your pearly whites healthy and bright. They can place dental implants in-house without needing to refer you to a specialist; to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (781) 545-9244.