What Do Dental Implants Feel Like?

Our Clapham implant team looks at what patients can expect from this procedure.

Showing a dental implant and crownAlthough many people do still use dentures to replace lost teeth, an increasing number are opting instead to have dental implants placed.

There are many good reasons for this, including their strength and longevity.

The procedure itself is one of the longer ones due to its complexity. That, and the fact that it involves minor surgery means that we are often asked a lot of questions about implants before a patient is prepared to commit to having them.

This is perfectly understandable and the team here at Confidental Clinic is always happy to answer any questions about implants or any other dental treatment. Some questions are asked quite regularly though and we thought that we would take a look at one of those today.

What do dental implants feel like?

Everybody has heard tales of loose dentures, including some embarrassing moments when they move around at an inappropriate time. Stories about dental implants are far fewer, partly because they are a newer product but also, quite frankly, there are fewer stories to tell. Indeed any stories you do hear are likely to be good ones!

For the vast majority of people, a dental implant placement is a great success and where this isn’t the case it is usually because they have opted to cut corners and perhaps travelled abroad for treatment or have failed to look after them as they were instructed to.

Dental implants may feel slightly different, especially in the period soon after they were placed, but you will very soon become used to your new replacement tooth and be able to use it just like your natural teeth.

Directly after treatment

Dental implants are a strong tooth replacement, but for a few months, care needs to be taken of them whilst the bone and implant fuse together in a process known as osseointegration.

Initially after the treatment and once the anaesthetic wears off, you are likely to experience some residual soreness in the area where the implant has been placed. This is entirely natural and the use of your usual painkiller will help to ease this until it has worn off. For most patients this is a very short period but if you feel the soreness has lasted longer than expected or have any other concerns, you should contact our Clapham dental clinic for further advice.

Once the soreness has abated, it may still feel strange, especially if you had lost the tooth some time earlier and had a gap for some time. However tempting it may be though, it is advisable not to ‘prod’ or ‘poke’ at the implant with your finger or any implement, especially during the earlier stages of osseointegration. You will also need to take care when cleaning it. It is very important that you do so and we will provide full information during your time with us.

Following osseointegration

Once your dental implant has fully fused with the bone, it is ready to have a crown attached and will then look like a natural tooth, but does it feel like one?

Although, in theory, your new implant tooth is ready to be used to eat anything that you wish, we generally recommend that patients are a little cautious at first. The reason for this is that although the tooth looks natural it doesn’t have any nerves like a natural tooth does, and so eating with it can feel a little strange at first and you will need a little time to adjust to how much pressure you should apply with it for comfort. This doesn’t usually take long and our brains are capable of adapting quite quickly. In no time at all, you should be eating normally without giving your dental implant a second thought.

Long term

After a short time of using your new implant, you will gradually forget that you have one and treat it exactly as you would a natural tooth. This is good, both from the point of view of eating, but also of how you look after your new implant. Although tooth decay won’t be a problem, it is still important to keep the surrounding tissues healthy. Gum disease, and especially periodontitis and peri-implantitis are real threats to a dental implant and you should make sure to clean well around it.

Maintenance of dental implants is relatively straightforward and damage to the crown rare. If the crown does become damaged, it can usually be replaced quite straightforwardly. Your dentist will need to examine the implant in rare cases like this, especially if the damage was caused by an impact and in case there is a problem with the underlying structure.

Although the initial procedure and aftercare may seem a little concerning for some patients, it is worth asking anyone who has had a dental implant for some length of time. In most cases they will tell you that they soon forgot about the procedure and now have a great replacement tooth that allows them to eat as they want without having to even think about it.

If you would like to find out more about having a dental implant placed at the Confidental Clinic, we recommend booking an initial consultation with one of our implant team so that you can discuss this in detail and ask any questions that you might have.

To book your appointment, please call our Clapham dental clinic on 020 7801 9060.