Having dental implants put in place is a bit scary, but once the procedure is over, you can relax and recover. As you recover, however, you might have some questions as to whether what you're experiencing is normal. Well, here's a look at some things you may experience post-implant surgery and whether or not you should be concerned about them.
Soreness and Pain: Normal
Obviously pain so serious it makes you want to yell is not normal, but for the most part, mild to moderate discomfort after surgery is quite normal. Some patients have more dull, aching pain, and others have sharper, more piercing pain. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen to keep the pain at bay. Rinsing your mouth with salt water will also help relieve any topical soreness in your gums.
A Foul Odor: Not Normal
If the odor is just that of bad breath because you have not been able to brush your teeth too thoroughly, that's one thing. If the odor is more in line with that of spoiling meat or rotting flesh, that's something to be concerned about. It could be a sign of a rare post-surgical infection, which your dentist may need to treat.
Difficulty Eating: Normal
Your dentist will tell you to stick to soft foods for at least a week after your surgery. If you find it painful to even eat these softer foods, that's pretty normal. Just eat slowly, and think about supplementing your diet with liquid foods like smoothies and pudding until chewing becomes more comfortable.
Fever: Not Normal
If you experience a fever after implant surgery, this could be a sign of infections. Again, infections are rare after surgery, but since they can affect the viability of your implants and even spread beyond your mouth, it's best to be safe and see your dentist. You could also be coming down with an unrelated illness, like the flu.
Stitches Coming Loose: Normal
Your surgeon will have closed your gums with stitches. If you notice these stitches coming loose after a few days or a week, don't get too worried. Dentists usually use self-dissolving stitches, and they start deteriorating pretty quickly. Your gums heal quickly, so they should be fine by the time the stitches come out.
If you are experiencing something else you're unsure about after dental implant surgery, reach out to your dentist. They can tell you whether the experience is normal, or whether it's abnormal and you need treatment.