Implant dentistry is a great option if you are missing one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease, or an injury to the mouth. Recent studies have shown dental implants are successful in an estimated 95 percent of cases, so it is an effective solution or restoring your smile. Unfortunately, certain issues that affect the look and function of these implants may still arise. Treating these issues is possible, but you will need to seek out emergency care from your dentist. Using this guide and the help of your dentist, you will understand what to do when an implant emergency occurs.
During the implantation process, your dentist will secure a titanium rod into the missing tooth's socket. This rod will hold the artificial tooth in place, but these artificial elements must fuse with your bone. Known as osseointegration, this fusion ensures the artificial tooth is implanted in a secure and functional manner.
The osseointegration process can take a few months once the implant is placed. Fortunately, you will still be able to eat and chew normally during this process. However, if the artificial tooth feels loose or has moved, it is most likely a sign of a failed osseointegration, which will require immediate care.
Failed osseointegration can occur due to the following reasons:
- Incorrect Positioning
- Insufficient Bone Mass
- Tissue Damage
- Forceful Injury to Mouth
- Abnormal Reaction to Anesthesia
Your dentist will determine the cause of the failed osseointegration. In many instances, the implant will need to be repositioned. If you have insufficient bone density and volume, a bone grafting procedure will be necessary before replacing the implant.
While shocking for many patients to learn, bacteria may be present during the surgical placement of your dental implant. In addition, improper oral hygiene after receiving your implants can result in the development of infection-causing bacteria.
Patients who develop an infection after implant surgery may have red, swollen gum tissue, fever, and pain. If left untreated, these infections will spread and develop into peri-implantitis, a serious form of periodontal disease. Peri-implantitis is not only painful, but it also causes bone loss and the failure of your dental implants.
Antibiotics are given to treat the infection, but restoring your smile will require bone graft surgeries and new implants.
To reduce your risk of infections and peri-implantitis, continue brushing and flossing your teeth as normal. Reduce your intake of sugary and acidic foods, as well, to protect your tooth enamel and gum tissue.
Light discomfort and numbness is common after the surgical placement of your dental implants. Unfortunately, many patients experience more involved symptoms after their surgery. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may have some post-surgical nerve damage:
- Chronic pain in the mouth, jaw, head, and neck
- Numbness in the mouth, jaw, head, neck, tongue, chin, and cheeks
- Tingling sensation in the mouth, tongue, and jaw
If the dentist places the implant too close to surrounding nerves, permanent or temporary damage may occur to the nerves. Be sure to consult your dentist if you are experiencing any of the above signs. Your dentist will need to remove the implant.
It is important to note that you should wait a period of time before placing a new implant. This will give your mouth, tissue, and nerves time to heal before your next surgical procedure.
Dental implants are effective options for restoring your smile back to a healthy, appealing state. While rare, certain issues that require immediate attention may arise. This guide will help you understand the possible issues your dentist should address when and if your dental implant fails.Talk to an emergency dentist, someone from a place like Family Dental Care, for more information.