What are the most common dental implant problem symptoms?
Should I schedule an appointment with my implant dentist if I feel any discomfort from my implant?
We’re ready to answer these questions and more, so you know what to do if there’s something wrong with your implant.
Most Common Dental Implant Problem Symptoms
Deciding to get an implant takes careful consideration. After all, our teeth are very delicate, and they’re visible to the whole world, so we obviously want them to look good. But, is getting dental implants a good idea, and should you be worried about anything?
Ultimately, dental implants have a high success rate. However, that doesn’t mean they’re infallible. Some people can experience dental implant failure shortly after their procedure, while others can have problems months, and even years later.
But, the good news is that if you deal with the problem immediately, you won’t have anything to worry about.
Here are the most common dental implant problem symptoms:
- Severe pain around the area of the implant
- Discomfort while chewing food
- Gum recession around the area of the implant
- Swelling of the gums
- Allergic reactions
Severe Pain Around the Area of the Implant
Keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to feel some discomfort, and even pain right after your procedure. Once the anesthesia wears off, you’re bound to feel sore throughout the healing process. But, there is a difference between that and pain caused by dental implant failure.
Here’s how you can tell the difference.
Namely, the pain you will feel throughout the healing process won’t be intense and should last for only a few days.
In fact, your dentist will most likely prescribe some painkillers to manage the pain.
On the other hand, if you’re dealing with dental implant failure, you’ll feel a throbbing, excruciating pain even weeks after your procedure. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to manage this type of pain with painkillers.
In this case, your best option is to immediately call your dentist and explain what’s going on.
Discomfort While Chewing Food
The main thing you need to remember is that dental implants are designed to look and feel like regular teeth. That means you should be able to chew food normally, without feeling any pain.
Obviously, if you feel some mild discomfort right after your procedure, that’s nothing to be worried about. However, if this discomfort doesn’t go away within a few days, you are most likely experiencing dental implant failure.
For reference, if you feel a sharp, pinching pain while chewing, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Gum Recession Around the Area of the Implant
The first sign of gum recession is inflammation around the area of your implant. The second sign is a prolonged implant crown (we mean abnormally prolonged).
Ultimately, when your implant isn’t positioned properly, there is a good chance you’ll experience this symptom of implant failure. That’s why it’s crucial to have an experienced dentist work on your dental implant.
Swelling of the Gums
If your gums swell up a bit right after your procedure, there’s no need to panic. This is quite normal. But, if the swelling doesn’t subside within a few days, this is cause for concern. Even more so if your gums become inflamed.
Extremely red, swollen gums indicate that you could be dealing with an infection. What’s more, if you leave this infection untreated, it could end up spreading to your entire mouth, and even your bloodstream.
Keep in mind that the more you wait, the harder it will be to treat, so if the swelling and redness persist, call your dentist immediately.
Not many people know this, but dental implants can cause allergic reactions (to some people). When you consider the fact that they’re made from titanium alloy, it’s quite understandable. But, how will you know if you’re experiencing an allergic reaction?
The most common reactions are gum swelling, loss of taste, and a persistent tingling sensation around the area of your implant.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your body is most likely rejecting the dental implant, and it will need to be removed.
Dental Implant Problem Causes
In some cases, you have no power over what happens to your dental implant. For example, if you have an allergic reaction to the titanium alloy, or if your dentist doesn’t put your implant in properly.
However, there are plenty of other reasons why you could be experiencing dental implant failure:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Gum disease
Poor Dental Hygiene
As we mentioned, dental implants look and feel like normal teeth, and they should be treated as such. Unfortunately, some people tend to think that there’s no need to brush their implants since they’re not real teeth.
Once you decide to get dental implants, you should also commit to taking care of them. Regular brushing and flossing are a must if you want your implants to last for as long as possible.
If you’re an active smoker, you need to be aware that your habit is likely to cause dental implant failure. Namely, smoking restricts the blood flow to your gums, which in turn, slows down the healing process.
We know how difficult it is to completely stop smoking, but we recommend doing the following:
- Do not smoke one week before getting a dental implant procedure
- Do not smoke for two months after your procedure
If you’re an avid smoker, you may have difficulty sticking to our recommendation. However, keep in mind that the health of your implant is at stake.
If you have gum disease, you won’t be able to get a dental implant in the first place. However, an inexperienced dentist might decide to take the risk and give you your implant, without considering the consequences.
If you’re dealing with gum disease, the only way to ensure that your implant is successful is to first treat the infection.
Overall, dental implants really do have a high success rate, but of course, there are some instances where something can go wrong. However, identifying dental implant problem symptoms is crucial for solving any tooth-related problem.
Also, make sure to seek treatment for any tooth or gum-related issues prior to getting an implant. Equally important is to select an experienced dental surgeon, and once your implant is in, make sure to keep practicing good oral hygiene.
About The Author:
Maria S. Johnson, DDS, is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. She teaches both in the undergraduate Doctor of Dental Medicine curriculum and the Advanced Education General Dentistry Residency.