Implant Function Complications

Bite problems:

If you are experiencing bite problems following restoration of your dental implants, see your dentist and let them know. Here are the common bite problems:

  • The crown feels too high
  • My teeth slide
  • Tooth feels sore and painful
  • The crown keeps getting loose

Solution:Your restorative dentist should perform a thorough occlusal (bite) analysis. This involves evaluation of how the teeth relate together and move during function. Minor adjustments can often resolve the problem. If the crown or the components are not fitting well, then they should be remade. The size and form of the teeth should also be checked to make sure they are in harmony with the other teeth.

Jaw pain:

Occasionally, patients complain of jaw or muscle pain following restoration of their implants. This often due to bite problems or a crown that is not fitting aligned with other teeth. When patient bites down, interferences happen which can lead to trauma and hence painful tooth, muscles, or jaws.

Solution: Have your dentist evaluate the bite and the relationship of the implant restorations. Minor adjustments can resolve the symptoms in a few days.

Cheek biting:

Cheek following restoration of dental implants can be caused by either inappropriate crown / prosthesis form and contour or by bite discrepancies.

Solution: Have your dentist evaluate the bite and the shape of the crowns. Minor adjustments may alleviate the problem.

Painful gums:

Painful or bleeding gums are often caused by plaque retention. This can lead to gum disease and loss of bone and tissue, therefore it should be treated immediately. Plaque retention may be caused by:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor contour and form of the abutment
  • Poor contour and form of the crown
  • Poorly fitting crown on the abutment with a gap

Solution: Make sure you are practicing effective oral hygiene by flossing and brushing as instructed. If the problem is poorly contoured abutment or crown, then it should be replaced with a new customized abutment and crown. All components should be precisely fitting each other with no gaps or spaces.

Numbness after Dental Implants:

Numbness after an implant procedure is the result of nerve disturbance / irritation during the placement procedure. It can also be caused during administration of local anesthesia if the needle touches the main nerve branch (this type is temporary and usually resolves in 6-8 weeks). The degree of nerve disturbance from implant placement and how long the numbness will last depends on the type of nerve injury. If mild and very superficial, it usually resolves in 6-8 weeks. If moderate, then partial or almost complete return of sensation may happen up to 9 months. If severe injury, then it may be long term or permanent numbness.

Solution: You should ask the surgeon who performed the procedure about any unusual findings during surgery, the length of the implant used, and their opinion. If there is concern of implant impingement on the nerve, a cone beam CT can be done to assess the position of the implant and either remove it or back it out to eliminate pressure on nerve. Otherwise the only option is to allow time for healing and possible improvements. The sensory function should be tested periodically to assess its progress.

Implant complication CTA