Dental Implant Side Effects By Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S. on June 30, 2020

digital illustration of dental implant, abutment, crown

If you are exploring teeth replacement options, then you have likely heard about dental implants. This restorative option functions just like a natural tooth and boasts an impressive success rate of nearly 98 percent at six months, a statistic which falls only slightly over the decades.

As with any surgical procedure, however, dental implants come with certain risks and possible side effects. In this article, Dr. Thomas G. Zarger explores temporary dental implant side effects, as well as possible complications following the procedure. Our Knoxville, TN, team will also discuss symptoms of implant failure and how to prevent it from occurring.

Typical Dental Implant Side Effects

Some of the most common side effects after an oral surgery like implant placement include:

  • Bleeding: Slight oozing is normal following dental implant placement. This typically lasts 24 to 48 hours, then diminishes. To reduce bleeding, use gauze packs as needed, provided by our Maryville, TN, team. 
  • Swelling: The gum tissue around your new implant will likely be red and puffy after your procedure. Some patients also exhibit external facial swelling. To reduce inflammation, place cold compresses on the outside jaw for 20 minutes, then remove. Repeat this process every 20 minutes, several times a day. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can also reduce swelling.
  • Bruising: Though it does not happen for every patient, bruising is a possible side effect following dental implant placement. Should bruising occur, it is not a cause for concern. In general, discoloration fades after several days.
  • Discomfort: Any tenderness you develop after dental implant surgery can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions provided by Dr. Zarger.

Possible Complications after Dental Implant Surgery

Though rare, there are always risks of serious complications after dental implant placement. These may include:

  • Infection: Redness, tenderness, drainage, or pain around the surgical area for an extended period of time could indicate an infection. Should this occur, inform Dr. Zarger immediately. In most cases, this can be addressed with antibiotics.
  • Soft tissue trauma: In some cases, the surrounding teeth or gum tissue can become damaged during the procedure. 
  • Nerve damage: If the implant is placed too close to a nerve, you may experience tingling or numbness along the jaw.
  • Perforation of the maxillary sinus: When placing implants near the back of the upper jaw, the maxillary sinus could become punctured or perforated.

The best way to avoid these complications is to choose a doctor who is experienced in dental implant placement. Dr. Zarger works with a team of experts so that every patient can receive the utmost care.

Understanding Dental Implant Failure

The worst possible outcome following dental implant placement is total failure. This may occur for two primary reasons:

  • Integration issues: For proper stability to occur, the surrounding bone must fuse to the implant itself during a process called osseointegration. If this process is interrupted or does not complete as expected, the dental implant could fail.
  • Implant fracture: In some instances, an implant can fracture if placed under excessive bite pressure. This may occur shortly after implant surgery or months or years later.

To avoid these issues, Dr. Zarger will allow your implant to fully heal before attaching a restoration. In most cases, the healing process takes about three to six months.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

There are several dental implant side effects to be aware of. However, if you take the proper precautions, you can significantly limit your risk of postoperative complications. To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation at our Oak Ridge, TN, practice. Contact us online anytime or call us at (865) 693-7631.

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