Troubleshooting Pain After Dental Implant Surgery—What Is Normal?
Dental implants are amazing, permanent restorations that can restore your chewing and speaking functions. While these procedures have very high success rates for restorations that can last a lifetime, you'll still need to undergo a recovery period. After surgery, you should expect some a few days of soreness, swelling, and a little bleeding. You may also need to take pain medication and gently clean the site. However, if the pain doesn't subside, that isn't typical or normal for recovery. You'll want to visit your dentist for a follow-up appointment.
Here are some potential issues that could be affecting your healing and how to fix them.
Food Caught Around the Healing Site
You'll want to eat only soft foods during the healing time, as hard, sticky, and crunchy foods can get wedged near the healing site and cause pain. If not adequately cleaned, these food debris can lead to infection. While you want to leave the healing site alone, you still need to gently brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with a prescribed mouthwash or saltwater solution.
Your Healing Cap Is Too Loose
Before the final crown is attached to the implant, your gums need to heal around the implant. To protect the implant, your dentist will screw in a metal healing cap to the implant post. This cap is later removed for a temporary and final crown. If the cap becomes loose, then you may experience some soreness as the cap moves slightly when you eat. This is a quick fix. Your dentist can take out a loose cap, clean the top of the implant post, and then refit the cap so it is snug and not irritating your gums while you heal.
Your Temporary Crown Is Pressing Into Your Gums
After a healing cap is removed, your dentist will place a temporary crown to hold the spot until a dental lab can fabricate the final crown. However, if you develop very swollen gums, then your temporary crown may be impinging that tissue. If that's the case, your dentist can remove the temporary crown and re-cement it so you won't have pain during recovery.
You Have Developed Peri-Implantitis
Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that can cause an implant to become loose or not fuse to the bone correctly. Certain habits like smoking and certain health conditions like gum disease or diabetes can raise your risk of developing this issue; so, it's important to follow your doctor's care instructions to the letter. For instance, your dentist may ask you to abstain from smoking for a few weeks until you are fully healed.
Sometimes, peri-implantitis can be treated and a loose implant can eventually fuse to the jaw bone. However, this condition sometimes causes implant failure, so your dentist may decide to remove the implant and reinsert it at a later date when your oral health has improved.
Ultimately, your dentist will work with you to address any of these problems so that you can recover speedily. Contact an implant dentistry to learn more.