After the initial healing period, your dental implant should be comfortable. In fact, you should pretty much forget it’s there most of the time (except, hopefully, when it comes time to clean it). If you develop dental implant pain years later, it’s not a good sign and it demands attention.
Gum Disease and Dental Implant Pain
Dental implants aren’t like normal teeth because they don’t have nerves inside the tooth. The implant itself is completely incapable of experiencing pain. Pain associated with a dental implant must be coming from somewhere else.
Most often, the dental implant pain is coming from the gums and bone around the dental implant. A dental implant infection, peri-implantitis, is the most common cause of pain around a dental implant. This is when bacteria have begun to invade the bone around the dental implant. It is similar to gum disease. Sometimes this is related to problems with the dental implant procedure, such as excess cement from the abutment. This might be more common if you get dental implants in Mexico or other foreign destination. Other times it is related to poor oral hygiene. But many times there’s no traceable cause this type of infection.
This can be treated with antibiotics as well as removal of any contaminated material.
If the dental implant doesn’t fit in properly with your bite, it can also cause pain in the bone around your dental implant. When you bite down, excess force on your dental implant causes it to push down into the bone, which causes discomfort. This discomfort occurs during or after chewing.
If this is what’s making your dental implant hurt, can be treated by changing the dental crown atop the implant. Replacing it with one that fits better into your bite will resolve your discomfort.
Other times, a dental implant can be uncomfortable because it hasn’t been placed properly, and it’s interfering with neighboring teeth. When properly placed, dental implants help your other teeth, but in this situation, it may have damaged its neighbor. This may mean that tooth has to be removed. Experienced implant dentists know how to avoid this type of problem, so it’s rare.
Will My Tooth Implant Need to Be Replaced?
Not necessarily. When teeth implants hurt, it’s related to a potentially serious cause that could lead to implant failure. However, with proper treatment, many causes of pain can be relieved without removing the implant. Dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Pain doesn’t necessarily change that. The quicker you act on implant pain, the more likely we can save the implant and preserve it.
If your tooth implant does need to be removed, we will talk to you about options to replace it. Sometimes, you can get a new implant placed right away. Other times, we might need to treat the site and prepare it for a future implant.
Dental implant pain is rare, especially if you choose your implant dentist with care. To learn what sets our Orange County implant dentists apart, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.