Dental implants are titanium screws placed directly into the jawbone to serve as anchor points for replacement teeth. The screws serve as the natural tooth roots would, and stimulate the bone of the jaw to keep it healthy and preserved.
Following dental implant surgery, you will need to be vigilant for warning signs of infection. The risk of any infection is highest in the time period immediately following placement, so it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms.
Common symptoms of infection at the dental implant site include:
- Pain at the implant site or in other areas of the face. Pain following dental implant placement is expected, and you will have painkillers and anti-inflammatory options available to you. If the pain is acute and does not abate with time or medication, call your dentist. Even after long periods of time have gone by (months or years!) this pain can still indicate an infection.
- Redness and swelling around the implant site. Redness can be an important sign of infection. You won’t always feel pain with an infection, especially as dental implant placement can affect the nerves around the tooth. Redness and swelling may be your first clues to an infection.
- Bad taste or smell. Bacteria in your mouth can cause bad breath and a sour taste in the mouth. If your mouth is clean but you’re still experiencing odor or a bad taste, you likely have bacteria somewhere in your mouth that standard oral hygiene can’t reach, possibly deep in the implant site.
- Unstable implant. Is your implant loose? Does it seem unstable? An infection at the implant site can lead to loose teeth, especially if it’s the result of bone loss.
If you live in the Sarasota Florida area, contact implant dentist Dr. Back if you have any of these symptoms. You may need to be seen so any infection present can be eradicated.