If you’ve recently received a dental implant, then there are some factors that will determine its success. One of them is that the blood clot that forms after surgery must stay in place for the treatment site to heal effectively. A condition that can be averse to this process is known as dry socket. As you read on, you’ll learn how to recognize it, how your implant dentist can treat it, and what you can do to prevent it from reoccurring.
What is Dry Socket?
An important point to keep in mind about a dental implant is that it isn’t supposed to leave you in excruciating pain after its completion. Generally, with the advancements in modern dentistry and the aid of over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, any post-procedure discomfort should be manageable.
After your implant surgery is completed, your body naturally forms a blood clot to protect the underlying bone so that you can heal at a normal pace. Dry socket is when the blood clot becomes dislodged or doesn’t form correctly.
The Symptoms of Dry Socket
The first step to treating dry socket is to be able to recognize the following symptoms:
- Significant pain
- Persistent bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- A low-grade fever or swollen glands
- A vacated-looking socket or visible bone at the treatment site
- Pain that radiates throughout the face, jaw, ear, eye or temple
If you notice any of these signs, you should reach out to your implant dentist to schedule a visit.
How Your Dentist Can Help
One of the standard ways of treating dry socket is for your dentist to flush the area with a saline solution that removes any debris and bacteria that have accumulated. Next, a special dressing may be applied that protects the treatment area.
Additionally, you may be prescribed pain medications. The typical recovery time is one to two weeks.
How to Prevent Future Problems
After you recover from dry socket, you don’t want to endure it again. Thus, you should keep the following pointers in mind:
- Avoid straws
- Eat soft foods
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco
- Abstain from performing oral hygiene for 24-48 hours
The dental implant process is a great opportunity to regain the life you once had, but dry socket can act as a temporary roadblock to your proper healing. With the help of your specialist and by making the necessary corrections in your daily habits, you can fully recover.
About the Author
For nearly 30 years, Dr. Tim Stirneman has been providing compassionate and comprehensive care. A graduate of Creighton University Dental School, he has remained steadfast in his efforts to expand his knowledge. Thus, Dr. Stirneman has taken over 120 hours of dental implant training. He helps patients enjoy healthier and happier lives by placing dental implants and treating dry socket at Brand New Smile, and he can be reached for more information through his website.