Dental Implants - Pain Symptoms To Look For After The Initial Healing Period

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Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements that are often highly successful when placed by an oral surgeon. After surgery is completed, you will likely feel a moderate amount of pain around the implant site for about seven days. This is normal and your dentist will tell you how to reduce discomfort with pain medication, compresses, and cold foods as well as help you read more. In some cases, pain may continue past the ten day mark. When this happens, you should pay close attention to the type of pain that you experience so you can identify a possible complication. Complications with dental implants are rare, but you will need to see your oral surgeon immediately if you experience one of the following issues.

Discomfort Around Gums

The gums around your dental implant will heal relatively quickly, and you will likely see red and swollen gums turning pink and smooth within a few days of your dental implant operation. This occurs as your body works diligently to form collagen to repair damaged tissues. The gum tissues protect both the teeth and the jaw bone, and this is one reason why new growth occurs at a rapid rate.  

Sometimes, the gums will remain raw, swollen and painful, directly around the implant device though. This often occurs when the dental implant healing cap becomes loose. This device is secured on the end of the implant root to keep gum tissues from growing over the connective device. Once healing occurs fully across the bone, then the cap is removed and the implant tooth is secured in place.  

If the cap loosens before it is removed, then bacteria can move around the open edges of the cap, and the device will also cut and scrape tissues as it moves.

What Will Your Dentist Do?

If you have discomfort around the gums near the healing cap, then your dentist or oral surgeon will wiggle the device to see if it is loose. The cap will then be twisted off the open end of the dental implant root. Both the implant and cap will be cleaned thoroughly. Ultrasonic spraying tools will be used to remove calculus, food, bacteria, and other debris that may have worked itself around the dental implant root. The healing cap will be replaced afterwards.

Your dentist may then instruct you to use a prescription oral rinse that contains chlorhexidine gluconate to reduce infection concerns around the gum tissues.

Deep and Severe Pain

Deep pain around the jaw bone is normal for several days after your oral procedure, but this type of discomfort may indicate a serious problem after the initial healing period is over. In some cases, the pain may be a sign that the bone has been burned around the dental implant root. During the implant surgery, your oral surgeon will use new and sharp drills to reduce stress on the bone tissues. Cold water and saline solutions are also used to minimize heat and general damage.

If you have osteoporosis or another disorder that has weakened the bones, then the careful drilling practices may not be enough to combat damaged or burned bone tissues. When this happens, the damaged area will start to die and you will feel severe pain in the jaw.

What Will Your Dentist Do?

Fortunately, burned or dead bone tissues do not mean that your dental implant will be unsuccessful. This is the case as long as you seek treatment right away. Your dentist will use x-ray images and your symptoms to determine if the bone around the implant site has started to die. If damage is suspected, then the dental implant root will be removed.  

The dead bone tissue will be released from the jaw and the dental professional will secure a bone graft to fill in any openings or holes. Once the graft heals, the dental implant will be replaced. Generally, this requires a minor surgery compared to the first dental implant operation.

If you have a dental implant secured in your mouth, then you need to carefully watch for pain symptoms after the implant starts to heal. Certain types of pain may indicate a serious issue like one of the examples in this article.