Can Dental Implants Cause Headaches? | Smile Stories

Can Dental Implants Cause Headaches?

can dental implants cause headaches

If you’re missing one or several teeth, you’re probably considering dental implants. After all, they are widely regarded as the best long term solution. They restore your dazzling smile and correct the way you speak and eat. 

A big consideration for those thinking about having a surgical procedure is the risks and side effects of dental implants. One question that’s frequently asked, is, can dental implants cause headaches?

The simple answer is no, dental implants don’t cause headaches.

But, like any surgical procedure, the actual process of having dental implants fitted does carry some extremely minor risks. In a very small number of cases, this could lead to headaches. 

The dental implants here at Smile Stories are some of the very best in the industry. They have placed hundreds of implants successfully and are here to answer your questions and concerns about dental implants and headaches. 

Can Dental Implants Cause Headaches?

As we said above dental implants themselves don’t cause headaches. 

But in a small number of people the surgical procedure, pain relief, allergies, nerve damage or badly placed implants could result in headaches.

Below we look at each of these causes. 

But before we do, we’d like to point out that the chances of either happening are extremely rare. Especially if you use a trained, expert implantologist that uses good quality implant products.

Pain Relief

In rare cases, pain relief given during the dental implant procedure can cause temporary adverse effects like headaches.

It is important to stay hydrated after dental anaesthetic and sedation. If the symptoms persist for over 24 hours, contact your implantologist.


Dentists use topical and local anaesthetics, usually given by injection ahead of surgically placing the implants to prevent you from feeling any pain. It works by blocking the nerves that sense or transmit pain, numbing the mouth tissue. 

Local anaesthetics are generally very safe and serious problems are rare. But some people do report having temporary side effects such as a headache. 


Sometimes the local anaesthetic is used in combination with sedation for those that are very nervous about the procedure. Sedation helps those who are very anxious to relax and calm down before surgery. 

Dental sedation can have some side effects which can include headache, nausea, and drowsiness. Whilst these side effects don’t usually last for very long, some people do have a headache for a few days after the procedure.

Surgical Procedure


It can take a while for dental implants to be fitted so you might have to have your mouth open for longer than you are used to. Having your jaw open for the procedure may cause muscular and joint pains. These can sometimes lead to mild headaches which last for a short period.

Discomfort on Screw Placement

According to the NICE, discomfort can occur when the screws are placed. If you experience discomfort, it could cause you to tense the muscles in your jaw and neck, which could result in a temporary headache. 

Nerve Damage

Although it’s extremely rare, damage to the surrounding nerves or sinus cavity can be caused by a surgical complication. This can result in facial or head pain.

This is another reason why you need to use an implantologists who is trained in the latest procedures and uses the latest 3D cameras so they can prepare properly ahead of the procedure.

Proper preparation is one of the things that has been shown to minimise the risks of errors occurring during implant surgery. 

Incorrectly Placed Implants

Poorly fitted implants can cause you to have an uneven bite. This is because the implant(s) can induce a problem in the way your top and bottom teeth come together – the occlusion between your teeth is wrong. 

This can lead to disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). 

The TMJ connects the jawbone to your skull, it acts like a sliding hinge. It helps your jaw to move when you eat and talk. 

TMJ disorders (TMD) can cause headaches around the temples. 

A further reason why it’s important to get your implants fitted by a fully trained and skilled implant dentist who will ensure your bite is correct, eliminating the chances of you being plagued by TMD induced headaches. 


Any surgical procedure, including having dental implants fitted, carries the mild risk of a complication from infection. 

Any competent implant dentist will take precautionary measures and use sterilised equipment during the procedure, and give you the best aftercare instructions to minimise any risks. 

Implanted Material

Dental implants are made of three parts.

The implant is a metal post that is inserted under the gum into the jawbone. A false tooth or teeth are placed over the top. The metal used is usually Titanium. But a new material called Zirconia is beginning to be used more frequently.

Titanium is highly biocompatible and is frequently used in prosthetic implants such as hip and knee replacements.  It’s thought to be non–toxic and isn’t rejected by the body so can stay in place for at least 20 years. 

It’s extremely rare but a very small proportion of people may experience a Titanium allergy. 

When you have an allergy to something, the body produces histamine. Histamine decreases blood pressure. This can be the cause of headaches. 

In Summary

Dental implants are very safe. They don’t cause headaches, and are a popular choice for those looking to replace a missing tooth or teeth. 

However, whilst the implants themselves do not cause headaches, the surgical procedure and pain relief can cause temporary headaches in rare cases. Complications associated with dental implants and titanium allergy can cause headaches.

If you find that you are experiencing headaches following a dental implant, you should contact your dentist immediately.

It is known that the complications associated with dental implants can be vastly reduced when a skilled trained dental implantologist prepares properly using advanced 3D technology. 

The competent implant specialists here at Smile Stories know the importance of precise planning.

Your first steps include meticulous planning, including a series of 3D scans and x-rays to assess your bone quality and quantity. This helps ensure that damage to the nerves and sinus cavity doesn’t occur. 

We carefully plan how your implants and any natural teeth bite together, eliminating the chances of TMD headaches. 

If you’re looking for dental implants in Bournemouth, contact us. We’d love to help.

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