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Oral Surgery/Implant complications


I had a bone graft and 2 implants 3 weeks ago.  One week ago, I went in to have my stitches removed and I told my oral surgeon that I wasn't expecting my entire jaw to hurt, and for it to still be painful two weeks later.  It still hurt to chew even soft foods (on the other side of my mouth), yawn, and sometimes even talk.  I was still taking 600 mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours.  He said that didn't seem normal but that he did a lot of bone grafting so that might be why I was so sore.  He said that it's really rare, but my symptoms sounded like maybe I had a fracture.  He said to stay on a liquid diet for 2 weeks until I saw him again, and he'd take another x-ray to see if a jaw fracture was seen.

Well, yesterday was Thanksgiving and I stuck with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce like he suggested… But an hour or so later, I noticed that the implant site started to swell.  It's like there's a bump between my gum and my cheek.  The pain almost feels better than it did before, but now it just feels weird over there.  Maybe even slightly numb and… itchy?  It's hard to describe.  I tried to call my oral surgeon today but he isn't in.  They said they'll get back to me by tomorrow but I just want some answers right now.  Is it fractured?  Did the implant come loose?  Or is this just normal healing process?  Thanks.

Kim -  I, of course, cannot be sure without examining you, but the swelling is usually indicative of an infection.  If the implant is loose, an infection or a bone fracture.  

I really don't understand why the surgeon said that your symptoms sounded like you had a fracture and he did not want to immediately examine you.  That is completely wrong. If the area is fractured, the mobility of the implant and possibly the bone can produce a significant infection that could affect the bone in the area.  

So it does not sound normal.  After three weeks, there can be a slight gum soreness, but definitely not pain.  So something is going on and make sure to see the doctor tomorrow and do not let him send you home without coming with an answer.  I really hope that whatever is occurring, it can be reversed and allowed to properly heal.

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Joel S. Teig, DMD, Diplomate ABOMS, retired


I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon available to answer questions related to tooth extractions, implant insertion, facial recontruction, facial and oral tumor removal, TMJ dysfunction and various successful treatments, including surgery if all else fails, and occlusal discrepancy requiring orthognathic or jaw surgery.


Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon practicing for over 20 years. Assistant Clincal Professor at State University School of Dentistry.

American Dental Association, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

BA- University of Connecticut DMD-University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgical Residency - Roosevelt Hospital, NYC

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