Swelling and bruising is a natural side effect of surgery in the mouth. Mast cells around a wound secrete fluids that cause swelling and pain.
Over-the counter medications such as anti-inflammatories and narcotics may prevent discomfort and pain associated with dental surgery; however, there are risks with any medication. Risks with medications may produce health side-effects.
Arnica is a natural alternative to prevent swelling and pain associated with traditional dental implant surgery. Studies show that it significantly helps with swelling and post-operative pain:
Brinkhaus B, Wilkens JM, Ludtke R, et al. Homeopathic arnica therapy in patients receiving knee surgery: results of three randomized double-blind trials. Complement Ther Med 2006;14(4):237-46.
Robertson A, Suryanarayanan R, Banerjee A. Homeopathic Arnica montana for post-tonsillectomy analgesia: a randomized placebo control trial. Homeopathy 2007 96(1):17-21.
Regarding anecdotal reports, over a thousand patients in my dental office have shared that Arnica has helped reduce discomfort after dental implant surgery. It is recommended to always try to perform the least invasive method or oral surgery possible, while trying to reduce the chance of surgical complications. The same goes with medications.
Arnica is harvested from the root of the Montana plant. It contains natural derivatives of thymol, (anti-bruising chemicals), antifungals, and anti-swelling chemicals. These natural chemicals have been shown to reduce pain too. I have tried both the cream form and the tablet form.
I have found that it works fast, within 20 minutes. Bruises go away. Swelling reduces quickly. This reduces pain.
Arnica comes in both a topical cream to be used externally on the face and tablets for taken orally. Topically means just rub some Arnica cream over your face wherever you had dental surgery. Patients have reported that it makes them feel better.
Taking the recommended dose of Arnica can safely reduce swelling, bruising and pain associated with dental surgeries. I would suggest that you discuss using Arnica with your dentist or physician to determine if this natural method of reducing swelling, bruising and pain can help you. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope these findings help you!
All the best,
Dr. Joe Kravitz, DDS, MS