Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth. They’re durable, long-lasting, and look and feel like natural teeth. However, like any dental treatment, there may be dental implant emergencies that you may encounter. Knowing what to do in these situations is critical.
What Are Dental Implant Emergencies?
Dental implant emergencies are situations that require immediate attention from a dental professional. These emergencies range from minor issues like irritation or soreness to severe complications like infection or implant failure.
Implant pain or discomfort
Implant pain or discomfort is one of the most common dental implant emergencies. The pain may be constant or intermittent and ranges from mild to severe. Pain may occur immediately after implant surgery or several days after the procedure. Various reasons, including infection, implant failure, or nerve damage may cause pain or discomfort.
Swelling or inflammation
Swelling or inflammation around the implant site is another common dental implant emergency. Swelling may indicate an infection or implant failure. If left untreated, it can lead to implant failure or even tooth loss.
Loosening of the implant
An implant that’s loose or moves when touched is a dental implant emergency. This situation may indicate implant failure or improper implant placement. If you experience a loose dental implant, you should seek immediate attention from a dental professional.
Implant fracture or breakage
Implant fracture or breakage is a rare dental implant emergency. It can occur due to implant overload, insufficient bone support, or trauma to the implant site. Implant fracture or breakage requires immediate attention from a dental professional.
What Causes Dental Implant Emergencies?
Various reasons may cause a dental implant emergency, including:
- Infection: The leading cause of dental implant emergencies is infection. Bacteria that enter the implant site during surgery or afterward can cause an infection. If left untreated, it can lead to implant failure.
- Implant failure: This can occur due to various reasons, including implant overload, insufficient bone support, or trauma to the implant site. Implant failure can result in pain, swelling, or implant loosening.
- Improper implant placement: This can lead to implant failure, implant loosening, implant fracture, or breakage.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not maintaining pristine oral hygiene can increase the risk of dental implant emergencies, including infection, implant failure, or implant loosening.
How to Manage Dental Implant Emergencies
If you experience a dental implant emergency, you should seek immediate attention from a dental professional. Delaying treatment can lead to severe complications and even tooth loss.
Depending on the severity of the emergency, the dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Antibiotics: If the emergency is caused by an infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics can help control infection and prevent it from spreading.
- Pain management: If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, the dentist may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Implant removal: In severe cases of implant failure, the dentist may need to remove the implant. This procedure may be necessary to prevent further complications.
- Implant replacement: If the implant is loose or fractured, the dentist may need to replace it. Implant replacement may require additional surgery and recovery time.
Preventing Dental Implant Emergencies
Practice good oral hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is essential in preventing dental implant emergencies. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily to achieve excellent oral hygiene. Use an antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria that cause infections.
Regular dental checkups
Regular dental checkups can help identify and address potential dental implant emergencies early. The dentist can monitor your implant and oral health and recommend treatment if necessary.
Smoking can increase the risk of dental implant complications. Smoking can cause bone loss around the implant and increase the risk of infection. If you smoke, quitting can help reduce the risk of dental implant emergencies.
Avoid chewing hard and sticky foods
Chewing hard foods can damage the implant and increase the risk of implant failure. Avoid hard and sticky foods, and opt for soft foods instead.
Dental Implant Emergencies Are Rare
With a success rate of around 98%, dental implant emergencies are rare. However, patients should always be aware of the risks and what could happen if they don’t care for implants properly.
Our Staten Island dentists are here to meet your needs. Contact our dental office today if you’re experiencing a dental implant emergency so we can get you the care you need.