Patients with dental implants occasionally develop sensitivity in the replacement tooth, which can be cause for confusion as well as concern.
In most cases, tooth sensitivity develops when tooth enamel wears down to the point that nerve endings are exposed. But a dental implant has no nerves, so how is it possible for an implanted tooth to feel sensitive?
When patients complain of sensitivity in their dental implants, one of two things is usually going on. Either the patient has a problem with one of the adjacent teeth or the implanted tooth is failing. In either case, to avoid potential complications, see your oral surgeon as soon as possible if you develop sensitivity in an implant.
Problems with an Adjacent Tooth
If the implant was recently placed, the sensitive feeling may be due to dentin and nerve ending exposure. Or if an implanted tooth was placed too closely to other teeth, damage or trauma could have occurred during surgery.
On the other hand, if the space between an implant and the adjacent tooth is too wide, food impaction within the gap could be the culprit. An infection in the gums can also cause an implanted tooth to feel sensitive.
Dental Implant Failure
Not every case of dental implant sensitivity can be blamed on problems with the adjacent teeth, however. Sometimes the sensitive feeling is due to failure of the implanted tooth.
A failing implant often causes symptoms other than tooth sensitivity. Common signs of failure include:
- Looseness in the implanted tooth
- Swelling and redness in the surrounding gums
- Gum recession near the implant
- Difficulty chewing and biting
- Discomfort or pain at the implant site
What to Do if You Feel Tooth Sensitivity in a Dental Implant
As with any oral health problem, prompt treatment is critical if you feel tooth sensitivity in a dental implant. The faster you seek professional care, the sooner you’ll regain your comfort.
Contact your oral surgeon immediately if you notice that one of your dental implants feels sensitive. Schedule a consultation as soon as possible and you’ll stand a much better chance of successfully treating the problem before serious complications arise.
If you need immediate treatment from a highly skilled oral surgeon with expertise in dental implants, make an appointment with either Dr. Partridge or Dr. Maxfield at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah.
After helping patients in the greater Salt Lake City area for more than a decade, the professional team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah is known for providing expert care with a compassionate touch. If you feel tooth sensitivity in a dental implant, contact our Cottonwood Heights, South Jordan or Tooele office today.