As with all sorts of surgery, dental implantation also has some side effects to keep in mind. Some of them are acceptable and sadly as yet a possible side effect that needs to be dealt with. Others are a sign of something gone amiss, or possibly of medical neglect. This article deals with the different side effects that can be expected, and I would just like to give a quick overview of what can be expected after surgery, and what are some signs of complications.
Almost all oral surgery makes the gums swell up. This is a part of the natural defence of the mouth, to swell up it’s soft tissues. Extensive swelling is considered any sort of swelling that does not subside after 2-3 days. So if the swelling has increased, or simply has not decreased within 72 hours, than we are looking at a problem, and is very likely a sign of the soft tissues fighting off a foreign organism or an infection.
A certain amount of pain and/or discomfort will be felt. This is quite natural, as your jaw bone will have screws drilled into it, and this involves pain and damage to the tissues. As all patients have a different threshold for pain, it is hard to determine just on this side effect alone if there is any problem with the dental implant, if it is a normal amount of pain, or if something is wrong. Pain killing medication is always prescribed, just in case. But if the pain does not become gradually less and less, that might be a sign of a problem, for instance, the implant can be close to a nerve, or a sensitive area that was previously infected or is for some reason just a sensitive area of the mouth. This typically may occur with implants on the upper jaw.
It is quite possible that some bruising on the face may occur. This is no reason for alarm, and is quite normal. Some people bruise easier than others, typically those of us with fair skin and hair, and you may experience bruising on your face and around your mouth form the procedure. This bruising should clear up in a few days time.
If any of the above symptoms are accompanied with any sort of discharge, that is a sign of an infection. Despite our best efforts, a patients oral condition may be such that a minor infection occurs, just from the bacteria living within the mouth. If the discharge accumulates and does not subside within 72 hours, a dentist should be seen immediately, and antibiotics will typically be prescribed.
Minor nerves may not show up on an x-ray or a CT scan, and may be affected by the dental implantation process. This can cause numbness. Also, some patients experience a very strong reaction to the anaesthetic used in dental surgery. This may also cause numbness. At any rate, if numbness does not get better or completely subside within 72 hours, a new appointment should be booked to see a dentist immediately. If nerve damage is diagnosed, there are several ways to heal the problem, as long as it is minor. If the nerve has been severed, however, then there is no way to reverse the damage. Aside from this, a tingling sensation in the teeth, gums and lips can also be a sign that nerves are affected, and this is almost always a temporary state which reverses itself once the nerves get used to the dental implant being present.