Experiencing sensitivity in your natural teeth is a common occurrence, as they are intricately connected to nerves that transmit signals to our brain, often in the form of pain or discomfort.

But what happens when you encounter sensitivity in your dental implant, an artificial tooth that is not directly connected to any nerves? This can understandably lead to confusion and concern, as you may wonder where exactly this sensitivity is originating from.

It is crucial to understand how to address implant sensitivity, as it ensures that your new teeth remain in excellent condition, free from any discomfort or pain. In this article, we’ll talk about implant sensitivity, covering why it happens and how it can be fixed.

Where is the sensitivity coming from?

The actual cause of tooth sensitivity is not always obvious. While your implant may appear to be sensitive, the tissues surrounding it are much more likely to be the source of your discomfort. The issue could, for instance, be caused by your gums, an adjacent natural tooth, or jawbone.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of dental implant sensitivity is essential to determine the most appropriate treatment. Dentists use various methods to diagnose and understand the issue.

Here’s how the diagnosis process typically works:

  • Your dentist will start by examining the implant site.
  • They will carry out X-ray images to assess the condition of the implant and surrounding bone.
  • Your medical history, symptoms, and recent oral care routine will be discussed to further assess the implant sensitivity.

Combining these diagnostic methods lets your dentist pinpoint the cause of your implant sensitivity, enabling them to recommend effective treatment to alleviate discomfort.

What are the causes of implant sensitivity?

Dental implant sensitivity can happen for various reasons, and understanding these causes is the first step toward finding a solution. Here are some common factors that can lead to sensitivity around dental implants:

Surgical trauma and healing process

When you get a dental implant, it involves surgery. Sometimes, the tissues around the implant can become sensitive during the healing process, which is a normal part of the body’s response to surgery.

Infection or inflammation

Infections or inflammation around the implant site can cause sensitivity. This can happen if bacteria enter the area during or after the implant procedure.

Incorrect implant placement

If the implant is not placed in the right position, it can lead to discomfort or sensitivity. Proper placement is essential for the implant’s success.

Poor oral hygiene

Neglecting oral hygiene around the implant can lead to sensitivity. Bacteria buildup and gum problems can contribute to discomfort.

Allergic reactions from the material used

In rare cases, some people may be allergic to materials used in dental implants, leading to sensitivity. Problems with the materials themselves can also cause issues.

What are the symptoms of dental implant sensitivity?

Recognizing the symptoms of dental implant sensitivity is important, as it can help you and your dentist pinpoint the issue and determine the appropriate course of action. Here are some common symptoms to be aware of:

  • Mild or severe pain and discomfort around the implant.
  • Swelling and redness around the implant site.
  • If you notice that the gum tissue around your implant is pulling away or receding, it may be a sign of sensitivity or a related issue.
  • You may feel that the implant is becoming loose or unstable. This sensation could be due to sensitivity-related problems.

sensitive dental implant

How do I fix my dental implant sensitivity?

Addressing dental implant sensitivity involves specific treatments tailored to the underlying cause. Here are some common treatment options your dentist may recommend:

  • Antibiotics for infection
  • Anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended to reduce swelling and pain.
  • If the implant was improperly positioned, your dentist may suggest a minor surgical procedure to adjust its placement for better comfort.
  • If gum recession contributes to sensitivity, soft tissue grafting may be performed to cover the exposed implant and improve comfort.
  • Your dentist will guide you on cleaning around the implant properly and may recommend specialized oral care products.
  • In severe or persistent cases where other treatments are ineffective, the implant may need to be removed and replaced.

The choice of treatment depends on the specific diagnosis and severity of the sensitivity. Your dentist will work with you to determine the best course of action to address your implant sensitivity and provide relief.

Preventive measures to avoid dental sensitivity

Preventing dental implant sensitivity and maintaining the long-term success of your implants involves adopting good oral care practices.

Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly, paying close attention to the area around the implant.
  • Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  • Follow post-surgery instructions meticulously to promote successful healing.

Incorporating these preventive measures into your oral care routine can significantly reduce the risk of dental implant sensitivity and ensure the longevity of your implant-supported restoration.

reasons for sensitive dental implants

Get your dental implant procedure done at Hanna Dental

If you ever experience implant sensitivity or have concerns about your dental implants, it’s essential to consult with your dentist. They can provide personalized guidance and treatment options to ensure your dental implants continue enhancing oral health and quality of life.

When you choose Hanna Dental for your dental implants in Houston, TX, we give you a patient form where you input your medical history. This helps us assess your oral health and provide a tailored and personalized plan for your dental implant procedure.

Our holistic approach to dentistry offers a range of benefits that ensure a positive experience and exceptional results. To avoid the complications of infection after a dental implant procedure, we give our patients specific and personalized instructions on maintaining excellent oral hygiene.

When you choose Hanna Dental, you choose a team dedicated to oral health, comfort, and satisfaction. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards having a confident smile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would an implant be sensitive?

An implant can become sensitive for various reasons, including surgical trauma during placement, infections, inflammation, incorrect implant placement, poor oral hygiene, allergic reactions to materials, or issues with the implant itself. Identifying the specific cause is crucial for determining the appropriate treatment.

How long is a dental implant sensitive?

The duration of sensitivity around a dental implant can vary from person to person and depends on the underlying cause. In many cases, sensitivity is temporary and improves as the healing process progresses, which may take a few weeks to a few months. However, if the sensitivity persists or worsens, it’s essential to consult with your dentist for evaluation.

Why is my dental implant sensitive when I chew?

Sensitivity when chewing could be due to improper implant placement, infection, inflammation, or issues with the implant materials. Chewing puts pressure on the implant, and problems at the implant site can cause discomfort during this activity.

How do I know if my dental implant is infected?

Signs of a potential infection around a dental implant include increased pain, swelling, redness, warmth around the implant site, discharge or pus, a foul taste, or a fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your dentist for evaluation and treatment.