Sensitivity After a Dental Implant? You'll Want to Know About These Oral Hygiene Tips

12 February 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


A certain amount of sensitivity is to be expected immediately after receiving dental implants. This is hardly surprising once you understand what the treatment entails. A metallic bolt is implanted into your jaw, and then a process known as osseointegration occurs. This is when the tissues in your jaw essentially fuse to the implant to secure it into place. Once the site around the implant has healed, a metal abutment is adhered to its tip, before a specially fabricated prosthetic tooth is permanently attached to the implant. The results can be remarkable, but having an entire false tooth secured to your jaw can rather logically result in some sensitivity once the process has been completed. While this sensitivity should disappear of its own accord, there are a few things you can do to minimise its effects. 

A Decay-Proof Tooth (That Still Needs to Be Cleaned)

The prosthetic tooth is made of porcelain-based ceramic, a metal alloy, or even zirconia (or a combination of different materials). Whatever it's made of, it will not be subject to decay like a natural tooth can be. And yet you still need to keep it clean. An accumulation of oral bacteria has the potential to be harmful to your remaining natural teeth. But cleaning a dental implant (and the immediate surrounding teeth) can be problematic in the period directly following the procedure. There are ways to avoid discomfort.

Brushing Your Teeth

Consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush after the implant has been fitted and brush the new tooth and its immediate neighbours with extra delicacy. You can return to your normal toothbrush once the sensitivity has faded.

Using Mouthwash

Even alcohol free mouthwash has a certain level of astringency and this can be uncomfortable to use. Consider using a salt water rinse instead of mouthwash. Again, you can return to your normal mouthwash once the sensitivity has faded.

Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing can be difficult, particularly if the new implant is replacing a tooth that has been absent for quite some time. It's simply a matter of practice to get used to flossing around the new prosthetic tooth. If a considerable amount of time has elapsed between the loss of the tooth and the fitting of the implant, it might be that the neighbouring teeth have shifted. However miniscule this might be, they could have shifted position inwards around the empty tooth socket. If the size of the gap now makes flossing problematic, consider investing in a water flosser. This directs a concentrated jet of water between the gaps in your teeth and can be more comfortable than attempting to floss manually.

Over the counter pain relief can be beneficial, particularly the anti-inflammatory properties of ibuprofen. Of course if your sensitivity doesn't fade or becomes worse, please see your dentist immediately.