Patients Can Help Spot Issues with Dental Implants
There are a number of things that can go wrong with dental implants, some issues stemming from the patient’s body’s rejection of the implant and others stemming from issues with the placement of the implant or other complications. Research has shown that patients expect dentists or oral surgeons that place the implants to spot issues, but getting the patients on board with helping to spot issues can be extremely helpful and can help to avoid serious complications. Patients should be told what to look for so that they can warn treating doctors about any suspected complications.
Understanding Normal Reactions
Since having dental implants placed is still a major dental surgery, patients should expect to feel some discomfort following the surgery. Localized pain, swelling, and redness of the facial area where the implant was placed are all common and shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Some implant procedures may even cause mild bruising and bleeding for a short time following the surgery. If patients have concerns about these symptoms lasting too long, the doctor or dentist that performed the procedure should be contacted.
Avoiding and Spotting Signs of Infection
Infection is highly possible following dental implants, as the implants require dentists or surgeons to drill through the gums and into the bone in order to place the implants. If the area of the face and gums become infected after the surgery, patients may experience excessive bleeding and pus from the vicinity where the implant was placed. Although swelling in the area is common immediately following surgery, patients should watch for more serious signs of irritation.
Looseness and Rejection of Implants
If the bone or tissue in the patient’s mouth is inadequate to sustain the implant, the body may reject the implant. The implant may begin to feel loose or to wiggle when the patient eats. These are signs that the implant hasn’t sufficiently fused to the bone, so a dentist or oral surgeon should be contacted to check the implant and possibly remove the implant or make adjustments. Failing to act may result in the implant falling out or breaking, which may injure the patient or cause the patient to swallow all or a portion of the implant.
Nerve, Tissue, or Sinus Damage
If implants are improperly placed or rejected, it can cause nerve, tissue, or sinus damage. Patients should note any changes in the facial nerves or sinuses and report these changes during check-ups. If changes are severe, patients should contact the surgeon or dentist immediately for advice about what to do to repair or mitigate damage. Since patients are actually the ones experiencing pain and other issues, advising patients about common signs of dental implant issues may help dentists and oral surgeons to detect these issues early and get patients the help that they need.