Dental implants involve a minor surgical procedure, and your dentist will of course talk you through the process. Your aftercare instructions will involve being aware of the possible signs of a postoperative complication, even though this is rare. You'll want to be on the lookout for pain and swelling that doesn't subside (indicating an infection). There are other possible curious aftereffects of your dental implant surgery. If you find that your nose is runny and irritated in the days after your surgery, this can actually be due to your new implant. But how has the placement of the implant irritated your sinuses?
An Irritation of Your Sinuses
A runny nose after dental implant placement can indicate an irritation of the sinuses. This is because dental implant surgery (particularly in your upper jaw) can in fact irritate the nerves associated with your sinuses. The prominent nasopalatine nerve encompasses your nasal cavity, as well as your nasal septum, branching across your hard palate. The insertion of the implant may have temporarily irritated this nerve, triggering a runny nose. This should only be a temporary reaction.
If your reaction isn't temporary, and the irritation to your sinuses worsens, please contact your dentist. Dental implants require adequate bone mass to hold them, which is why bone grafting can be a prerequisite for some patients. Inadequate bone mass in the upper jaw can result in the base of the implant protruding into the sinus cavity, causing irritation or even an infection. This must be corrected, and some patients may need to have the implant removed so that grafting can be performed. Alternatively, a standard endosteal dental implant may be replaced with a zygomatic implant designed to be inserted into your cheekbone. This avoids the minimum requirements for bone mass, meaning grafting can often be avoided — although zygomatic implants are only suitable for the upper jaw.
Blowing Your Nose
Of course, when your sinuses are irritated and your nose is runny, it's natural to want to blow your nose. Please avoid blowing your nose heavily, as this action can be disruptive to the soft and hard tissues healing around your new implant. You can lightly (and carefully) blow your nose, or simply dab at your nostrils with a tissue. A nasal decongestant can also be beneficial.
A slightly runny, mildly irritated nose after receiving a dental implant isn't a reason to be alarmed. The situation should be monitored, and treatment should be sought if symptoms worsen.