Recent studies discovered patients with dentures did not meet the same nutritional markers as those without. A decline in nutritional intake can increase one's risk for chronic illnesses and oral health.
Many times, dentures are uncomfortable or painful. This can make chewing and intaking enough calories challenging. Full-mouth implants or implant-supported dentures are two alternatives that can be more comfortable and durable.
Before scheduling a consultation, you may be curious about various dental implants' side effects and how you can best prepare for your new implant. Most implant side effects are mild and disappear on their own.
The more severe side effects are usually from inexperienced dentists or lack of proper oral hygiene. Luckily, we have a must-read guide you don't want to miss out on. We will review common dental implant side effects and what you can expect, so keep reading on for more information!
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an invasive dental procedure. It can help restore broken, injured, infected, or missing teeth. In return, patients can experience a brand new smile, improved chewing, and better oral health.
Since it improves one's smile, it does span into cosmetic dentistry. Unlike cosmetic dentistry, dental implants are also often medically necessary and have more insurance coverage.
At its core, dental implants are artificial teeth. There are three primary components:
The implant is secured directly into your jawbone and anchors the abutment and crown. Compared to dentures, these dental services are often superior in terms of longevity, durability, and comfort. Dental implants also have higher success rates and better maintenance.
Types of Dental Implant Procedures
There are several types of dental implants that impact different side effects you may experience afterward. A newer and increasingly popular technique is an All-On-4 dental care procedure.
The All-On-4 procedure can replace your upper or lower set of teeth with four implants. This procedure is often ideal for patients missing multiple teeth. It is more cost-friendly and has an easier recovery than traditional full-mouth implants.
Compared to full-mouth implants, it also reduces the amount of bone grafting and is more comfortable than denture sets. However, another popular implant procedure is a denture implant.
Implant-supported dentures are an excellent alternative to traditional dentures. You can opt for snap-in or permanent dentures that adhere to screws or a few implants. The materials often used for implant surgeries are titanium and zirconia.
Do Dental Implants Affect Bone Loss?
Dental implants should not affect jawbone loss unless there are infections or other complications. Typically, you must pass adequate bone density tests to qualify for a dental implant. You should carefully review your medical history with your implant dentist before starting.
Common medical conditions that could affect bone loss or infections are:
- Autoimmune disease
In rare cases, osseointegration may occur. Osseointegration is when the bone does not heal around the implant, requiring a replacement or alternative dental solution.
In fact, the benefits of dental implants can far outweigh the risks of bone loss. In many instances, implants prevent oral health issues. It can preserve gum and bone health while improving facial structures.
Dental Implants' Side Effects
Dental implants are a surgery that comes with several risks, including reactions to anesthetics. Most risks are mitigated by using a well-qualified dentist and reputable clinic. They should have experience working with several types of implant procedures.
There are two categories of side effects. The first are ones you can expect after nearly every implant and are not cause for concern. These minor side effects include:
- Minor bleeding and/or drainage
Bleeding and drainage should start dissipating after 24 hours. For the next one to two weeks, you could still experience pain, swelling, or discomfort. More serious side effects and risks are:
- Damaged teeth
- Nerve damage
- Sinus issues
- Implant fracture
- Loose implant
One of the signs of a failed dental implant is looseness. You may also experience difficulties chewing or sudden increases in pain, although this usually occurs in later stages. Luckily, there are several ways you can work toward preventing failed dental implants (more on that later), including closely reviewing your medical history with your dentist.
How To Manage Minor Side Effects
After you arrive home from your dental implant surgery, you will still feel a bit groggy from the anesthesia. Your dentist should give you a complete rundown on:
- Pain medication or over-the-counter medication
- What to eat or drink
- What to not eat or drink
- Follow-up appointments
Your dentist could send you home with gauze and other supplies to manage any bleeding. It is never a bad idea to purchase a small ice pack to reduce swelling.
The best way you can take care of your implant immediately after surgery is by following aftercare instructions. This can include:
- Only eating soft foods
- Avoid strenuous exercise
- Avoid hot foods
- Avoid vigorous brushing
You can slowly ease back into a normal diet and activity after the initial side effects have subsided. Other changes include avoiding smoking and following good oral hygiene. Smoking before the implant site has completely healed can cause damage, infection, and implant failure.
Proper oral care is extremely important during this period. Continue brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinse regularly. Your dentist will likely advise you to avoid vigorous mouth rinses.
Mouth rinses can disturb the blood clot and impact healing. You should also inquire about flossing techniques or special dental care products to use while your implant is healing.
Implementing Healthy Oral Care Habits
The dental implant procedure can take several months before the crown is fitted. The first stage includes implant placement. After a few months, or once the bone has healed, you will receive the abutment.
Afterward, your dentist will take a tooth impression and start the process of creating a custom tooth and crown. Throughout all three stages, keeping your implant site and new artificial tooth clean is critical. Here are a few steps you should take to clean your implants:
- Brush twice daily
- Use oral irrigation or flossing
- Carefully use mouth rinse
- Use a night guard
Teeth grinding can affect the implant's stability and lead to failure. If you have a history of grinding teeth, ask about a custom night guard to prevent future problems.
Water flossing or irrigation is a safer method for flossing. Flossing can push into your gums and cause damage.
Instead, water flossing helps remove particles and bacteria in hard-to-reach spaces without affecting surrounding tissues and is ideal once you have your artificial tooth.
Another helpful tool is interdental brushes. They can be used to clean tight spaces between your implant and other teeth and work as effectively as floss in some instances.
When Should You Start Worrying About Your Dental Implant?
During the first two weeks, you will have some soreness or discomfort. Antibiotics are typically administered during this period, and it can take up to six weeks before you resume a normal diet. The healing process is different for everyone and dependent on:
- Number of implants
- Bone and gum health
Bone healing can take several months. After two weeks, you should start recovering from your implant. If you notice minor fluctuations in soreness, it is likely not any cause for concern.
However, you should watch for signs of infection during this time. Common signs of localized infection are:
Without treatment, an infection can spread to surrounding tissues and cause systemic issues. Fever, nasal congestion, chills, and sweats are all signs of infection, and you should contact your medical provider immediately.
It is very unlikely you will run into sinus issues following implant surgery. This rare side effect occurs with upper dental implants that push into your sinus cavity.
This can cause irritation and swelling, including several sinus side effects such as:
- Tenderness around your eyes or cheeks
- Increase in nasal mucus
- Sinus headaches
- Bad breath
Typically, sinus issues are from improper implant placement. They may require adjustments or removal and antibiotics if you have a sinus infection.
Nerve and tissue damage is still rare but a more common occurrence than sinus issues. Implants placed too close to a nerve can cause severe discomfort, ranging from numbness and tingling to shooting pain.
Potential nerve damage or injury requires immediate dental care. Without proper dental care, you could risk permanent nerve damage that results in lasting pain or numbness.
Sometimes gum recession occurs because there was not enough tissue present, to begin with. If someone had healthy gum tissue before an implant, most causes of receding gum lines are infection or poor oral care.
Periodontal disease, tobacco use, and teeth grinding can affect gum recession and lead to implant failure. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease.
It is important you watch for gum inflammation, bleeding, or discomfort. Most early cases of gingivitis or periodontal disease are reversed by proper oral care and regular dental appointments.
Long-Term Dental Implant Risks
Implant failure and broken or chipped implants are two long-term complications. Peri-implantitis is another long-term risk that comes with several side effects. It is a bacteria that infects your dental implant's surrounding gum and tissue.
In many cases, it follows similar side effects as periodontal disease. You may have localized swelling, tenderness, or discomfort. Other side effects include:
- Loosened implant
- Gum recession
- Jaw pain
- Tender lymph nodes
It can cause bone deterioration if left untreated. Two primary contributors to peri-implantitis are a poor immune system and oral care. Poor immune health can make it challenging for your body to fight off bacteria and infections, leading to greater risks of oral diseases if you have any type of surgery.
Scheduling Regular Dental Appointments
You have read about the importance of proper oral care and healthy lifestyle habits. The second component to improving dental implant outcomes and reducing side effects is scheduling regular dental appointments.
During your implant procedure, it is likely you will visit your dentist multiple times during the year. Afterward, you should aim for regular dental cleanings. During a dental cleaning, your hygienist and dentist can assess your implant and catch any problems early on.
Medical experts, such as the CDC and ADA, recommend visiting your dentist once or twice yearly. Here are a few routine checks you can expect during a dental cleaning:
- Plaque removal
- Tooth polish
- Fluoride treatment
Most professional cleanings are in-depth and more than you would be able to perform at home. Plus, you have professionals who can assess and examine any problematic areas and implant concerns.
How To Find a Dental Implant Clinic
Dental implants can prevent gum and bone deterioration and protect surrounding teeth. It can also help with chewing and adequate nutritional intake. Despite the side effects and complications that can occur, the implant survival rate is nearly 96% in some studies.
Another key benefit is dental implants can last the rest of your life. Compared to veneers and other cosmetic dentistry procedures, implants have a much better lifespan. When looking for a dental clinic, ensure you ask about their experience and qualifications with dental implants.
If you have multiple teeth missing, inquire about All-On-4 or All-On-6 implant procedures. These can be more affordable and reduce the number of dental procedures needed.
Finally, don't forget to follow up with online reviews and insurance coverage. If your insurance doesn't cover implants, some clinics might offer payment plans or financing options.
Do You Need a Dental Implant?
If you have missing teeth or improperly fitted dentures, you might need a dental implant. It is important to be aware of dental implants' side effects.
Luckily, most of these minor side effects disappear within a few days to a couple of weeks. On rare occasions, long-term complications can occur. Choosing Montclair Dental Spa helps give you peace of mind when it comes to your dental implant procedure.
We have vast experience and qualified dentists to ensure your implant procedure goes smoothly. Check out our dental implant cost to get started and schedule a consultation!