Sick woman having a toothache

Why is Your Dental Implant Sensitive?

How can a dental implant be sensitive if it isn’t an actual tooth?

If you’ve had an implant, you know that it doesn’t have nerves or ligaments that attach it to bone. It can’t sense hot or cold temperatures, and when done properly, you can’t feel any pain when you bite down.

So why is yours doing the opposite?

What causes an implant to be sensitive?

If you feel pain or sensitivity in your implant, it’s not a good sign. This is usually caused by the implant failing – meaning the bone around the implant is breaking down – or that you have a gum infection caused by the extra cement from the crown.

In either scenario, the bone around the implant is “dissolving.” If your dentist reveals that your implant is failing, the best course of action is usually to have your implant removed as carefully as possible so that the site can be prepared for future implant replacement.

Signs that your implant is failing include:

  • Looseness in the implant restored tooth
  • Swollen and red gums
  • Receding gums near the implant
  • Difficulty chewing and biting
  • Discomfort or pain around the implant

In the event of gum infection from cement around an implant crown (cement pericementitis), your dentist may recommend surgery to remove the extra cement. If caught in time, the implant may not have to be removed since once the source of inflammation is dealt with, the situation may improve.

While those two situations are the most common causes of sensitivity, there may be other factors at play. A local gum infection around an implant crown is another common occurrence. It can be addressed by deeply cleaning around the implant crown and taking an appropriate antibiotic for a week. If the infection is not responding to the antibiotics, you may have a failing implant or cement pericementitis.

What should I do if my dental implant is sensitive?

As with any oral health problems, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. The faster you get it under control, the sooner you can get back to feeling your best. If you’re looking for a dentist in the Ottawa or Kanata area who has experience with implants, reach out to Dr. Andrea Stevens.

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