How do dental implants feel?

Have you been looking into dental implants but feel worried about how they will feel in your mouth? Don´t worry, we have the answers covered!

These effects are temporary and are far outweighed by the benefits of implant surgery. The procedure is ideal for people who have lost or damaged multiple teeth.

A surgeon will plant a titanium screw into the tooth root below the gumline. After a while, this screw will begin to fuse with the bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration.

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Man with dental implants checking how dental implants feel

Benefits of dental implants

Done right, implants can support dental crowns and last for 20 to 30 years. They require less maintenance than dentures and allow you to address multiple issues at once. They can also:

  • Help to preserve jawbone tissue.
  • Merge with your tissue to mimic natural and/or surrounding teeth.
  • Maintain a natural-looking smile.

There’s no need to grind down your neighbouring teeth and the healing process starts straight away. Of course, like any surgery, dental implants are hard to adjust to at first. So what does a dental implant feel like?

Do dental implants feel natural?

In the initial weeks after your surgery, the implants may feel a little strange. Your new teeth will not contain any nerve endings, which means they cannot feel pressure or temperature. You may also notice:

  • An odd feeling where there are no more gaps in your smile (flossing is still possible).
  • Tender gums for a few weeks.
  • The need to adjust to speech.

There may also be some soreness and swelling, but this is completely normal. Most often, your gums are closed over the implants, so you won’t be able to feel them. In terms of bite, they will feel like natural teeth after you’ve recovered.

How the healing process works after cosmetic dentistry

Implants affect the full mouth and can take up to eight months to heal fully. This depends on the severity of the surgery. For example, if it’s an implant for individual tooth loss, your discomfort should not last beyond a few weeks.

If the procedure is more complex and needs things like bone grafting, it will take several months. There are generally four stages to the dental implant recovery process:

Stage 1: Surgery

This stage involves implanting titanium fixtures into the root to replace damaged or missing teeth. Anaesthetic is used and there is no pain, though you may feel some heat depending on the methods used.

Stage 2: Osseointegration

After around four weeks, the implant will begin to fuse with the jawbone. There may be some discomfort here but it’s also a sign that it’s working and will be stable for years.

Stage 3: Further healing

Between eight and 12 weeks, the implant interface is completely replaced. This helps to promote gum health and will make the teeth look more natural.

Stage 4: Dental restoration

At this point, your implant specialist can apply a crown or bridge onto the fully healed implant. This will achieve a better aesthetic and your new teeth should feel normal.

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How long before dental implants feel normal?

It’s natural to worry about what dental implants feel like, particularly if your surgery is more complex, such as an All-on-4. The initial two stages should take up to 10 days, but the restoration phase can be up to eight months later.

You can aid your recovery with painkillers and a healthy diet rich in soft foods such as bananas, avocados and plenty of fluids.

When should I speak to my implant dentist?

Swelling and discomfort are normal in the first few weeks. If you notice any of these symptoms though, it’s worth arranging a check-up.

If your dental implant feels like it’s moving

If your new dental implant feels loose, it could be a sign that there is a structural defect or problem with your bone tissue. Real teeth are able to move as they’re attached to the periodontal ligament. Dental implants have been fused to the jawbone, so they should remain still.

Speak to your doctor and look for bleeding in the surrounding gum tissue, bone loss or general discomfort.

If your dental implant feels tight

You may feel some tightness at first as your implants begin to fuse with the surrounding tissues. This usually happens for a few days. If your symptoms persist for longer than a week, arrange a follow-up with your doctor.

In rare cases, this may be a case of teeth shifting, which could be the result of an infection called peri-implantitis. You may also have an undiagnosed titanium allergy. Our helpful teams can answer any questions you may have about this during your initial consultation.

If your dental implants feel uncomfortable

While you might notice pain and swelling initially, this should not last longer than two weeks. Discomfort may be the result of poorly fitted dental crowns or a peri-implantitis infection. In other cases, your body may be rejecting the implant – particularly if you have unknown allergies.

Ask to speak to your doctor if you notice inflammation. They may be able to save the implant if it’s detected early.

a woman making a healthy smoothie after getting dental implants

Top tips to recover after a dental implant procedure

As with any surgery, you should take care not to overdo it after dental implants. You may feel drowsy afterwards due to anaesthetic, so make sure you don’t drive or do any strenuous activities.

Tip 1: Change your diet

Choose softer foods for a week after your surgery. If yours is more complex, you may wish to follow this for up to six weeks. Some good examples include beans and pulses, fish, soups and healthy juices. Avoid alcohol and overly chewy or spicy foods.

Tip 2: Cut down on smoking

Smoking has significant impacts on osseointegration – the bonding of the implants with your teeth. As smoking dries out the mouth, it can also damage the gum and bones, meaning your implants are less likely to stick.

It’s always best to give up for good, but try alternatives such as patches while you’re healing.

Tip 3: Continue to practise good oral hygiene

As ever, good oral hygiene is an absolute must, both before and after surgery. Take extra care when flossing in the initial days, but continue to brush twice a day, use antibacterial mouthwash and floss at least once daily.

This will help to prevent gum disease long term and will lower your risk of infections. In turn, it will increase the chances of the bones fusing properly, perfect for a healthy, long-lasting smile.

Have an implant that does not feel normal? 

If you’ve got questions about how dental implants feel, we’re here to help. Schedule a free callback today to get started.

Book a FREE consultation

Experience a seamless journey to your restored smile with our concierge service. Book a free consultation today and get started on your journey!

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