Dental implants in downtown Los Angeles are the best available tooth replacement solution. They mimic the structure of natural teeth, they provide outstanding function, and they look beautiful. However, they are not invulnerable to complications. In rare cases, patients experience dental implant emergencies that can be painful and even lead to dental implant failure. What causes such issues, and what can you do if one of your new teeth is functioning at less than its best? Let’s discuss the answers to these important questions.
What Is a Dental Implant Emergency?
Simply put, a dental implant emergency is any situation that jeopardizes your implant’s function and its long-term viability. Examples of such situations include:
Peri-implantitis. This is a serious infection in the tissue around a dental implant. As the infection progresses, it can destroy the implant’s base of support.
Trauma. A hard impact may break a dental implant restoration or damage the surrounding tissue.
Often, a dental implant emergency is also an oral health emergency. Taking prompt action could be the key to saving your implant and sparing yourself from significant pain.
Handling a Dental Implant Emergency
You should get in touch with your dentist in downtown Los Angeles at the first sign of a dental implant problem. If there is an infection, waiting will only give the infection time to worsen. When you call your dentist’s office, describe your problem in detail. Your dentist will try to see you as soon as possible, perhaps even on the same day you call.
If you have to wait a couple of days or longer before your appointment, there may be a few things you can do in the meantime to ease your problem:
Avoid doing anything to irritate the implant or the surrounding tissue. You should not use the implant to chew crunchy or tough foods. It is also strongly recommended that you avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
Make oral hygiene a priority. Continuing to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth, including your prosthetic ones, is important because it can help to fight harmful bacteria. When you brush, keep in mind the need to be gentle, especially if your gums are sore.
Clean the area around the implant if possible. If your prosthetic teeth are removable, remove them and thoroughly clean around the implant.
Take painkillers if necessary. Over the counter pain medications can make you more comfortable while you wait for your appointment.
When you see your dentist, they will try to save the implant if at all possible. If that is not an option, you may need to have it removed. After your body recovers from the infection or trauma, you might be able to get a new implant.
Dental implant emergencies are rare, but you must be ready to handle one. Use the above guidance to protect your restored smile.
About the Author
Dr. Adam Geach is a dentist and prosthodontic specialist in the Los Angeles area. He is a graduate of Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontists. He offers a number of dental implant services. If you are concerned about the well-being of your dental implants, he would be pleased to help you. Contact our office at 213-810-3368 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.