Dental implants can permanently replace the roots of missing teeth, offering a secure anchor for restorations and improvement to dental function and appearance. Dental implant surgery is a relatively minor procedure, however, it does carry some potential risks and side effects. To discuss your personal risks, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Fort Worth cosmetic dentist Steve Brown, who has placed over 8,000 dental implants. In the meantime, read on to learn more about the potential risks and side effects of dental implants surgeries.
Dental implant surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed on an outpatient basis. Though dental implant surgery is minimally invasive, it is associated with some possible risks and side effects. These include:
- Pain: It is common to experience some pain after dental implant surgery. Pain should reduce as the jaw and gums recover. Pain medications may be prescribed or your oral surgeon may recommend over-the-counter pain relief to reduce discomfort following surgery.
- Bruising: Some bruising may be experienced as a result of dental implant surgery, but this should resolve within a week or so of treatment.
- Swelling: Swelling is another common side effect of dental implant surgeries, and should be expected immediately following treatment. Swelling may occur within the cheeks and gums but should reduce within a few days of surgery.
- Infection: Infection is a possible risk of dental implant surgery. It is important to keep the incision site clean and properly cared for to reduce the risk of infection of the gums and jawbone.
- Implant Failure: Implants may fail due to infection or smoking, or the jawbone may fail to fuse to the implant. Osseointegration, the process through which the bone grows and fuses with the implant, may not occur in some patients, leading to implant failure.
- Sinus Issues: Though rare, dental implants placed in the upper jaw can cause sinus problems in some patients.
- Nerve or Tissue Damage: Another rare risk of dental implant treatment is nerve or tissue damage. This may result if certain blood vessels are damaged. Nerve or tissue damage can cause numbness or a tingling feeling in affected areas.
Reducing Risks and Side Effects
You can take steps to reduce the possibility of risks and side effects after dental implant surgery by practicing the following tips:
- Follow Pre- and Post-Operative Instructions: One of the best ways to ensure the success of your dental implants surgery is to follow all pre- and post-operative instructions. This will help you be prepared for surgery and allow you to properly care for your implant after treatment.
- Don’t Smoke: Smoking greatly inhibits the body’s ability to heal itself by preventing nourishing oxygen from reaching the cells. It is recommended that patients quit smoking at least four weeks prior to surgery to prepare the body for treatment.
- Don’t Drink Alcohol: Alcohol can inhibit the body’s ability to heal and can lead to bleeding issues. Avoid drinking alcohol during the recovery process to improve your chances of a successful treatment.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Practicing proper oral hygiene is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of infection following dental implants surgery. You should not skip brushing and flossing during recovery, just be sure to practice extra care and be gentle around the implant site. You may want to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush to reduce the risk of irritating the incision.
- Rinse with Warm Salt Water: Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water can help the healing process and offer relief.