Patients that inquire about dental implants will have many of the same questions. These can include, is placing the implant painful, and how long is the recovery time. But one of the top issues is, what does it feel like to have a dental implant? The most considerable concern is if after the procedure is completed, will the implant feel like your natural tooth or a foreign invader? Before we can get into what it feels like, it’s good to know what precisely the dental implant is, and how it is placed. A better understanding of the process can provide a window into what it feels like to have them in place.
“With your natural teeth, you have tooth roots that have nerves that feel sensations – heat, cold, pressure, etc. An implant can’t feel these things because there aren’t roots or nerves. You have to rely on the nerves in the surrounding gum tissue to provide the sensation of the missing tooth. Other than that, though, a dental implant looks and functions just like natural teeth. “
Source: Do Dental Implants Feel Natural?
What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are a cosmetic dental procedure that can replace multiple or a single missing tooth. The tooth implant acts as a root, a way to anchor whatever dental fixture will be attached to it. Available in a mixture of sizes and heights, dental implants will be chosen by your oral surgeon that will be appropriate for your mouth. The condition of the jawbone plays a significant role in determining what types of implants can be used.
There are two types of implants a patient can receive including endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the method of choice for many oral surgeons and are the most commonly used. Endosteal implants are deposited directly into the jawbone and look similar to a screw.
Subperiosteal implants are for those with a shallow jawbone mainly. Unlike the endosteal implants, subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum and above the bone.
A patient receiving tooth implants will receive a local anesthetic, to numb the area. An incision is then made allowing the surgeon access to the jaw bone. He will then drill a small hole to place the implant screw and post into. At this time you could receive a healing cap, or it will have to wait till the next procedure can be done, after a healing period. Once everything is healed, the permanent crown can be placed, which is what you will see, and looks like a natural tooth. In some cases, you can use dental bridges or dentures with an implant to make them more secure.
What Does the Implant Feel Like Directly Following Surgery?
After you have the implant placed, the area will be sore and swollen. Aside from the discomfort, however, you won’t feel the implant itself. Healing takes quite a while and depends on the condition of your jawbone. An oral surgeon will evaluate the status of your mouth and can probably provide an estimate as to how long the process will take to complete. Because different techniques are used when placing implants after the surgery will either have just the implant in place, or a healing cap attached to the abutment of the implant. The healing cap might feel a little different, but this is mainly due to the swelling and tenderness after surgery and usually goes away in a couple of weeks.
What Can You Expect After You Have Dental Implants?
Take a second to run your tongue over your natural teeth. That feeling you have as your tongue glides across will be the same when you have a dental implant installed. They will feel exactly like your natural teeth at least according to your tongue. However, when it comes to the implant, you won’t have any feeling in that location. There are very few nerves located in the jaw bone and the surrounding gum tissue. Sensitivity isn’t something you will experience with an implant. Things like heat and cold sensitivity won’t be an issue with a dental implant. Because the implant acts as your tooth root, no nerves are going directly to the implant. If you have had to have a tooth extracted, then you are probably familiar with the pain that is associated with a damaged tooth, or an exposed nerve. Many patients enjoy this feeling in contrast to sensitivity they may have been experiencing before the surgery. After a few weeks following your dental procedure, the dental implants will just blend with your natural teeth creating a fantastic appearance as well as functionally performing like a natural tooth.
For those that are using bridges or dentures with the implant, they will notice improvement with the comfort when wearing them. Implant dentistry offers a more secure way of affixing dental work, which can even help them feel more natural as you wear them. If you have been thinking about dental implants as a solution to a missing tooth, you’ll be glad to know they will feel just as amazing as they look.
Related article: Are Dental Implants Permanent?