Dental Implant Complications

Maria, a patient, asks us:

I had dental implant surgery on Wednesday of this week. Teeth 9/10, 9 was missing and 10 was removed. I got very swollen on Wednesday night and Thursday.

Now, I have discomfort right under my front tooth. I wore a dental flipper the first night as told. My
lip still feels stiff in this area. Number 9 had a bone graft.

Is this normal? My periodontist who did the work only works at my dental office on Wednesday’s. This Wednesday I get the stitches out. I also feel the discomfort whenever I eat and I’ve been eating soft foods that don’t require much chewing. Is this discomfort normal? I can’t raise the lip much in this area yet. Wondering if all this is part of the pain and discomfort with grafting and implants at the same time. If anyone can share their thoughts with dental implants and the pain and stiffness that
goes with it, I’d appreciate it alot. Thank you for any help you can provide.

18 thoughts on “Dental Implant Complications

  1. This can be normal. You don’t make any mention of how difficult #10 was to remove. The front lip is a very sensitive area. Patients can get swelling and bruising associated with treatment in this area, especially if your tooth was difficult to remove.

    It does sound like you have had a more complicated case than normal, with grafting added into the mix.

    Usually this discomfort subsides in about 7 to 10 days. I would suggest applying a warm face washer onto your external upper lip, to help ease brusing and swelling. Keep wearing the flipper denture if you can. This can not only provide a little protection to the area, but also help keep the shape of the gum intact.

    I would assume that your periodontist provided you with a script for antibiotics. Keep taking these. I normally supply my patients with my contact numbers to help ease your anxiety. Perhaps if you ring their office, they will be able to put you in touch.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Dr. G. D.

    From Maria,

    Thank you for your help. # 10 wasn’t too hard to extract from what my Perio said. I’m stil having some pain and discomfort, not a constant one. I had my dentist check it out on Tuesday, he said that the gums looked good. Then on Wednesday of this week my periodontist removed the stitches, said it looked good and continue with advil or motrin for pain and that he’ll see me in 4 months. How could they tell just by looking at the gums that everything looks good with some pain yet? I inquired about a film, but didn’t get one. Yikes, I hope they don’t fail or anything on me because I’ve been toothless since last June when someone messed up on replacing a front bridge. Enough about that, that’s why I chose to get implants, something all new to me. I pray they will work.

  3. Hi! Dentist is encouraging implants since it prevents bone loss and prevents upper teeth from coming loose. No bone loss to date (teeth missing 20 years).Upper teeth not coming loose. Missing teeth do not show and happy to leave well enough alone. What are your thoughts? Thank you! Carol G

  4. Hi Maria, Wow, Do I have a story for you. After working in a dental office for 8 years, and working closely with the famous Dr. Gorden G. Christensen, I felt I had a strong knowlegde of dentistry. I found myself in a fractured tooth #11 situtation and needed an extraction, and implant placed. I went to a periodontist that I had known for 8 years. Being a patient was very different. I thought the implant process was a little easier. After the 1 day from in placement in implant, I developed a infection, so bad, I was hemmoraging out my nose. My friend/periodontist hardly blinked and asked if I had been following protocol with the surgery. Of course I had been. The pain and pressure was and still is so powerful, I made an appt. with an ENT in another town. A CAT scan was done, and I filled with pus from my eye socket to my chin. The ENT said it could take up to 6 weeks to get cleared up, and sinus surgery is quite possible. Has my periodontist called me back,? NO, did he come up the the front desk when I dropped off a copy of my CAT scan?,No. I am seriously begining to wonder that once he has his 3,000, in his hot little hand, if the patient on their own. Apparently so. It has been a nightmare, and a lawyer will be brought in. Keep an eye on your infection, they can be so serious in the face and head/neck. If you feel unconfortable with something, act upon it,and don’t worry about sounding like a complainer. Its your body,and your teeth. You have a right to quaility dental care. Good Luck,
    Kathy

  5. Kathy, your treatment recovery is not normal in any way. Infection can occur with any surgical procedure, but we make every attempt to prevent this beginning with our presurgical assesment, case planning, surgical tecnnique, pre and post surgical antibiotic coverage, and post-op care. Fortunately infections are the exception rather than the norm. When infection does occur it is usually only a nuisance and is easily controlled and resolved with a normal and successful treatment result. I agree your surgeon needs to be attentive to you personally in these situations not only to ensure the problem is under control, but also to reassure you and show care and compassion during a difficult time. It is important for any patient with post op concerns to make certain the dental staff and the dentist fully appreciate what is happening and how they feel. For the vast majority of implant patients, the treatment is well tolerated, perhaps two or three days of mild to moderate discomfort easily controlled using tylenol or ibuprophen analgesics. This is especially true of a single implant including those in the uppur front. I wish you and Maria both a good recovery and excellent outcome!

  6. hello all,

    I am in the process of deciding to have implants put in to replace a partial plate i have been dealing with for 20 yrs. although the concept of implants make for a major improvement, I was worned that if the sinus has to be moved I may want to avoid the procedure all together. this information came from my regular dentist. Is this information accurate? Are there major complications to look for when the sinus is moved?? Is it a high risk?

    thanks!

    John

  7. Sunday 2 am.
    I woke up with real throbbing pain this am 1:30 am. I had my dental implant on #9 front tooth on Wed. (4 days ago.) Could I have an infection? I had to take 2 darvocet tabs. I will call my oral surgeon this am when he is awake. Anyone have this experience. Thanks

  8. For any patient who has an infection after dental implant or bone graft surgery, I suggest that an oral surgeon be consulted. This is especially important if a non-oral surgeon placed your implant. An ENT doctor may provided the appropriate advice, but oral surgeons who usually manage major oral/facial infections and who have knowledge bridging medicine and dentistry are the most qualified experts.

  9. In April I had a dental implant placed in tooth #3. The original tooth cracked during a root canal. This tooth in general had given me alot of pain through the years. After the tooth was extracted all the pain was gone. My dentist and oral surgeon assurred me that an implant was the way to go with this tooth. The sinus had to be lifted to place this implant, the whole procedure took about 15 minutes. Since the procedure I am having terrible sinus pain, just like the old days when the original tooth was in place. The oral surgeon keeps telling me that the implant healed perfectly and is ready to crown it. I am ready to have it removed because of all the reverting pain down my neck and sinus pressure. My question is what complications are there in removing the implant and replacing it with a bridge? My surgeon is against it but I am not willing to live with the sinus/neck pain/headaches for the the rest of my life! Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

  10. Janet, You need to find a new oral surgeon immediately who will help you with your concerns. The worst thing that could probably happen is bone loss, which could be built back up with a bone graft if needed.

  11. I’ve received 2 dental implants at the same time. The one on the right side of my jaw’s fine and I’ve got the tooth on the implant already. The problem’s the left side… although there’s no pain and x-rays showed no sign of anything wrong, it’s loose. When the surgeon placed the little screw into the implant, I heard a cracking of bone. Do you think I must just let it be and maybe it will heal on its own because there’s no pain?

  12. I had an implant placed nearly a month ago in lower R molar area. I had some pain and bruising and some numbness of lip. THis is seemingly improving, but all of a sudden I have discomfort around the implant. could it be the nerves are just starting to reactivte. I have no swelling.

  13. I have 2 natural, root canaled and crowned teeth on the lower jaw. They will both be extracted soon. It has been recommended, by my dentist, that i get implants for the soon-to-be-removed teeth. After many hours of research i have decided to go with a full lower plate. I realize it will have to be re-adhesived after each meal but it seems a lot less trouble, not to mention the pain, infection, etc. that could occur with implants. Sometimes the old ways are not so bad.

  14. I have receive a dental implant in tooth #30 about 7 years ago. Before the tooth was crown the implant was secure in the bone but there was still some bone sensitivity which extented to the gums when the crown was installed. Now the bone sensitivity has extented two teeth beyond the implant. I have started pencilillen knowing that there is an infection. Question: Is removal of a implant a major problem after 7 years? If so what kind of complications or problems may occur.

  15. I had full implants a year ago unsuccesfully as I am in constant pain and have tmj The only help I have gotten is pain medication. What should I do?

  16. I hope someone can shed some light – I am a 46yo female I had teeth in a day done on the top and teeth in an hour done on the bottom on Sept 28 with immediate dentures. Today is Oct 23 nearly a month later. All is well considering all the work I had done. The problem is on my right top I have been in constant pain since the surgery -like an open nerve pain constant throbbing – I am taking 800mg ibuprofen at a time and darvocet but pain is still there. My Oral surgeon did a CAT scan this week after finding nothing relevant that would be causing the pain on an xray. The CTscan showed that the next to last implant shows not much integration to the bone of that implant between the implants next to this one but the integration is good on the outside and inside of this implant. The doc does not think this is causing pain and suggest living with pain until 3months up to remove denture as not to disturb other implants that are integrating. He said he would remove it but I needed to understand the consequences – Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks… HELP!!!

  17. I just had an implant placed on tooth #14 (upper left 1st molar) I had no pain after the surgery, was not given anything but a local anesthetic for the procedure and never filled my pain meds since I had not experienced any pain. I am currently taking Amoxicillin and rinsing with a Chlorohexadine rinse. My question: I was eating almonds and chewing on the right side when I accidently chewed an almond on the implant itself. It throbbed for a minute or so and the tissue had minor bleeding which had stopped after I cleaned the area with a wet q-tip. Do you think this is something to be concerned about for integration into the bone? It is Thanksgiving weekend and I do not have a personal number for the surgeon who did the procedure. Or should I just call my general dentist to get my question answered?
    thanks!

    Oh..and for anonymous I would keep the implant in for the whole healing time just to see it may still integrate before you take it out and lose the time and money already put into it. They do recommend a long healing period so it has the whole time to integrate into the bone. Then worst case you could take it out then. But if you do it too early it might mess up the whole process.

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Dental Implant Complications

Asher, a dental implant patient, comments:
Hi…all Doc’s … I am a recipient of at least 12 more like 15 but who is counting dental implants. I do not know which type. I will find out as I go back again to  my dentist to find out what the heck is causing my swollen throat, nasal problem, ears burning…

(more…)

16 thoughts on “Dental Implant Complications

  1. $120,000 of treatment should come with a warranty. Sound like you need to speak with another doctor or get a straight answer from your existing one. Being able to see your bone may indicate other inflammatory processes that are lending to your other symptoms. Get a second, third, or more opinions before travelling down this road again.

  2. I would agree with the previous comment. I would definitely speak with your current dentist/surgeon. If you are not happy with the answer, demand to see a specialist oral and maxillofacial surgeon. In my experience, it sounds like you have some inflammation or infection around. You should try and resolve this sooner rather than later.

  3. Although there are many fine implant surgeons, one who literally “wrote the book” is Carl Misch. It might be worth a consultation visit with him. Try googling the Misch Implant Institute in Birmingham, Michigan.

  4. Suppose this guy is just sick. Why does it have to be the implants? When I began practicing in the early 1960’s, anytime a patient became ill the doc would suggest to remove all of the patient’s teeth. How about a medical work-up?

  5. It sounds like the implants may be having a problem, especially if you can see the bone, but it doesn’t sound like they are the cause of the problem. (Can you actually see the bone?) There may be problems with drugs being taken and I would strongly encourage a complete physical exam and blood workup. This does not sound like an implant problem if you had five trouble free years in the beginning. The ENT problems do not sound like they are related to the implants.

  6. My complications began on February 16, 2006 when the oral surgeon grafted bone from my lower left jaw to accomodate two implants on the upper left. I had tremendous swelling on the left side of my face and neck which lasted for appx. 10 days after the surgery. Upon the second post-op visit, which was one month after the bone graft, the oral surgeon became angry because I was still experiencing pain in my left jaw and an extremely sore tongue. He indicated that I had an exposed nerve, that I would have to have another bone graft adjacent to the the current bone grafted area and stormed out of the room. I have followed all post-op instructions. I am very leary about allowing this oral surgeon to complete the implant procedures, but I’m also concerned that another oral surgeon may be hesitant to clean up another’s mess. Any suggestions

  7. I had bone graft surgery to fill a space on my uppper maxilla. I lost 7, 8 and 10 about 20 years ago as a result of trauma (I have been wearing a partial denture since then). During the grafting procedure the surgeon removed #9 to provide a more straightforward grafting site and reduce the risk of infection.

    for the first 5 days post op everything seemed to be going fine, but now as the stitches have disolved parts of the implant are visible on the ridgeline.

    My surgeon is monitoring me every couple of days for any increase in size of the exposed graft.

    My questions are, does the exposed graft mean that the graft is no longer viable? and how long can a graft remain exposed before the graft fails?

    I am on antibiotic treatment to help prevent infection an saline rinses to keep the site clean

  8. There are so many factors involved with healing and complications with healing that this blog will not adequately provide you patients with a satisfactory answer. If something is not working and your surgeon is not being helpful, please do yourself a favor and get a second opinion. How many patients would buy an expensive sports car without shopping around for price, customer service, and reputation, but will go ahead and let some stranger just screw things up in their body? Don’t let a poor surgeon make you worse. Ask other local dentists for a referral to someone with a stellar reputation.

  9. I just had a sinus lift and implants on teeth # 3 and 4 three days ago. Is it normal to see the head of the implants at this time. I have some swelling in the cheek but, minimal pain. I am able to see all of one head of one implant and partial of the other.

    Thank you,

    C. S. Carney

  10. I just had a sinus lift and implants on teeth # 3 and 4 three days ago. Is it normal to see the head of the implants at this time. I have some swelling in the cheek but, minimal pain. I am able to see all of one head of one implant and partial of the other.

    Thank you,

    C. S. Carney

  11. On July 4 2007 I had an abcessed tooth that was treated with Antibiotics and pain meds while I was on Vacation. The tooth was in front on two teeth I planned on getting bone/skin grafts and dental implants. My dentist ended up pulling the tooth and gave me more antibiotics and told me we could start the grafts and implants after that area healed. When it healed I had a CT scan and on Dec 5 2007 the grafting/implants were done. The dentist had to stop on multiple occasions to give me more novacaine as it kept wearing off after the 4 hour surgery. Since Dec 5 2007 he has given me 3 different antibiotics each stronger then the last and pain medication. I have had to go in and see him on 4 occasions. Three for the pain control and one to get the dissolveable stiches removed. He told me he used the stiches they us in cardiac surgeries. My main concern is the pain and numbness. This has not let up since my first visit after the surgery. It sometimes is throbbing pain and other times it feels like an electrical shock. There is also the numbness. I am drueling and cannot feel anything from my lower lip to my cheek bone. I have told him about this and he said after the stiched were removed it would go away. Well last week they were removed but now one in poking up that he missed. Should I be concerned? I have thought about getting the implants removed even though the whole surgery cost me $6000.00. I talk on the phone for a living and this causes alot of pain and I am forced to take narcotic pain meds as I cannot take NSAID do to stomach reactions. Please help me.

  12. TO RS MURPHY,I JUST WENT THROUGH A HORRIBLE ORDEAL WITH IMPLANTS. THE FIRST TIME I HAD THEM DONE IT WAS A DISASTER. MY MOUTH WAS IN CONSTANT PAIN AND I ENDED UP LOSING ALL OF MY 6 IMPLANTS. I LOST MY FIRST ONE A WEEK AFTER SURGERY FROM AN INFECTION , THE SECOND ONE I LOST WAS BECAUSE IT BECAME MOBILE AND THE 3RD AND 4TH IMPLANT WERE PULLED OUT OF MY JAW AFTER BEING IN MY MOUTH FOR 6 MONTHS BY MY COSMETIC DENTIST WHO WAS TRYING AT THE TIME TO REMOVE A BRIDGE WITH FORCEPS THAT HE HAD CEMENTED IN. MY LAST TWO IMPLANTS WERE PULLED OUT BY THE NEW DENTIST BECAUSE HE SAID THEY WERE NO GOOD. ACTUALLY, THE NEW DENTIST HAD TO LEAVE ONE OF THE BAD IMPLANTS IN MY MOUTH AS HE SAID IT WOULD CAUSE ME MORE HARM TO REMOVE THE IMPLANT RATHER THAN TO LEAVE IT IN. THE SECOND TIME I HAD IT DONE I WENT TO A PERIODONIST AND HE PLACED 10 IMPLANTS IN MY UPPER JAW. THE SURGERY TOOK ABOUT 1HOUR AND 15MIN. THIS SURGERY ALSO INCLUDED EXTENSIVE BONE GRAFTING AND A BI-LATERAL SINUS LIFT. I HAD THESE DONE IN JAN. OF 2007 AND I AM ABOUT TO GET MY PERMANENT CROWNS NEXT WEEK. MY NEW DENTIST TOLD ME THAT THE IMPLANTS I HAD THE FIRST TIME AROUND WITH THE OTHER DENTIST WERE SOMETHING YOU WOULD FIND IN A LUMBERJACK AS HE SAID MY MOUTH WAS PETITE. MY NEW DENTIST ALSO SAID THAT HE WASN’T SURE HE COULD EVEN HELP ME WHEN I WENT TO HIM BECAUSE OF ALL THE DAMAGE. I NEVER EXPERIENCED ANY PAIN WITH THIS NEW DENTIST. GOOD LUCK, IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU NEED TO GET THOSE IMPLANTS REMOVED RIGHT AWAY. I AM ONLY TALKING FROM EXPERIENCE. I AM NO DENTIST BUT I WAS THE ONE THAT HAD TO SUFFER BECAUSE A DENTIST MADE A WRONG CHOICE. I CAN NOW SAY I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HAVING A BOTCHED UP IMPLANT JOB AND A DENTIST THAT KNOWS WHAT THE HECK HE IS DOING. GOOD LUCK, YOU POOR THING

  13. RS Murphy

    I need more information to really help out on this one. First, post-operative pain that is constant and severe is not normal after surgery but some amount of discomfort should be expected. If you have numbness than it leads me to believe you had an implant on your lower jaw (mandible) done. You may have impingement of the nerve causing the numbness. If you don’t have any infection, you may have ostitis of some kind. Another CT or physical examination usually reveals this. In my experience, rare is the patient who has pain one week post implant surgery…but it has happened. The mandible is denser bone that may overheat during surgery…which may also cause the pain. Again, without more information it is hard to assess the situation.

    I hope this helps and I wish you the best.

  14. Hi there, just had a dental implant today and 3 out of 4 stitches around the immidiate site have fallen out already, they are dissolvables. How will this effect the ‘look’ of my gums? I have done everything after surgery as suggested, all soft foods, medications and such. I am not in pain or anything. Just wondering if this is super important as my surgeon is 2 hours away. Thank-you

  15. I had implant placed a couple of yrs ago. on central incisor, lost tooth due to trauma. No complications from surgery. Dentist placed Crown that was too wide and moved surrounding teeth out of position which is still causing discomfort as teeth feel out of line. Found out about prosthodontists and had crown re-done. Found out from him and xray that implant was placed very deep by surgeon and have bone loss around tooth. Having a lot of discomfort now with gum tissue around implant. Seems to be pulling and gets very sore if I talk a lot. Can’t get any answers from dentist except to stop talking so much. Concerned about bone loss and discomfort, gum recession that seems to be occurring. Had no bone loss prior to implant placement. Very worried about long term, age 45 roots on adjacent teeth are shortened from trauma too.

  16. I am contemplating going to Mexico for dental implants. After my Atlanta Ga. dentist of 6 years destroyed my teeth with a botched root canal, to which he cemented an ill-fitted bridge and destroyed my 3 opposing teeth trying to remove the bridge. I doubt if I could get much worse in Mexico.
    Anyone considering implants should be very careful especially in states where dental licensing is questionable at best, and dentist are not required to have liability insurance…If you are having problems, get another opinion. Instead of a DDS, see a specialist an oral/maxo-facial surgeon or a prostodontist(sp)?.

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