I recently started having a jaw ache that I was pretty sure was related to the implant I’ve had for about a year. Because I knew it didn’t feel right, I immediately went back to my implant doctor so he could evaluate it. Needless to say, he said he didn’t see anything wrong and that I had nothing to worry about. Since he is an implant specialist, I assumed I could trust his judgement. This weekend I woke up and fixed some breakfast. When I started to eat, it was quickly apparent something was very wrong because there was a bad taste in my mouth that I have never experienced before. I felt the tooth and it seems a little loose, so I looked at it in the mirror and there is pus oozing out all around the implant. I am absolutely freaked out! Of course it’s the weekend… should I call an emergency dentist or should I wait for my implant doctor to get back in the office on Monday? — Mary Ellen
Oh my… this does sound like a serious situation. Even though you think your implant dentist doesn’t work on the weekends, you should try calling because he may be “on-call” for things like this or his voice mail might at least give an emergency number to call. Hopefully he will get back to you in a short amount of time, but if not, you should absolutely see an emergency dentist. From what you describe, it sounds like you have an infection – and it’s probably been getting worse all along. You need treatment immediately, not only to ensure the implant doesn’t completely fail, but also to make sure your overall health isn’t compromised. Depending on exactly what the emergency dentist determines in the examination, he will likely at the very least prescribe an antibiotic for the infection. If it’s loose, he could also splint it to hold it in place. He may not be able to offer a long-term solution, but at least he can help you keep the infection from spreading until you can get in to see your implant dentist.