Dental implants are an exceptional permanent solution to replacing teeth that have too much decay or simply as an alternative to crowns and bridges. And while most of the time they even bring about less worries than these other remedies do, it is important to recognize the signs of trouble with your implants. Proper care and maintenance steps should still be taken when you get dental implants; things like flossing, mouthwash and thorough and consistent teeth brushing are a must in your daily hygiene routine as even implants can accumulate food particles and build plaque and cause disease in the gum line. Even with all the precautions though, there is still a small chance that the implant may develop problems, to know what to look for here are four warning signs that should aid in the decision of whether to get your dental implants checked or not.
Implant is loose: if your dental implant seems to have some rocking it is a sure sign to call your dentist and schedule an appointment. Loose implants can mean that there is bone decay or that the bone did not grow around the titanium screw correctly. Either way this is the most telling sign that you are experiencing a problem with your dental implant and it should be addressed immediately. The longer you wait, the bigger the possibility that food can enter into the gum line and give bacteria a chance to grow and possibly develop an infection.
Swelling: if you have unexpected swelling around your implant after the recovery period, which can take up to six months, it can be a sign that the dental implant is being rejected by your gums. Swelling, however, is not as certain of a dental implant issue as the implant being loose itself; it can also mean you are brushing too hard or that there might be food particles irritating your gum line. Try flossing, mouthwash and a gentler brushing routine for a few days to see if this relieves the stress on your gums. If after you try these things you still experience swelling it is a good idea to consult your dentist for more customized direction for you.
Pain surrounding the implant: The dental implant process itself can be a bit uncomfortable and the healing time varies depending on each individual’s circumstances; so a bit of pain is to be expected during the healing process. If you have multiple implants, or there is bone decay it is more likely that there will be more soreness and that the recovery period might be longer. Having said that, should you experience pain after the recommended healing period or the pain increasing rather than going away, it is a clear sign that the dental implant should be looked at again. Dental implants are made of titanium, and as any metal it bends and can break as well.
Smell: foul odor coming from the implant can only mean a few things, and it is most likely an infection. If you experience an unusual smell and taste after receiving your implant, whether it has healed all the way or not you should contact your dentist at once.