Dental Implants – Unusual Questions Answered

Apr 06, 2023
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While most patients are concerned with the length of the implant procedure and how long it may take them to recover, other patients have more unusual questions, and the answers to some of them may surprise you. Carry on reading to learn more.

Are you considering dental implants to replace a tooth or several missing teeth? You probably already know dental implants are the gold standard for missing tooth replacement. Because the implants are fused with the jaw bone, they enable you to speak, eat and smile just as you do with your natural teeth. Moreover, they're easy to care for and prevent your remaining teeth from shifting into misalignment.

While most patients are concerned with the length of the implant procedure and recovery period, others have more unusual questions about the treatment.

Here are some questions and answers that might surprise you.

Do dental implants change your sense of smell and taste?

Implants themselves can't change your sense of smell and taste. However, a patient's mouth must be healthy and free from periodontal disease or infection to receive dental implants. Some of our patients have remarked that they can smell and taste their food better once their mouth is disease-free.

Will I feel zygomatic implants in my cheekbones?

Zygomatic implants are a solution for those patients who have suffered severe bone loss in the upper jaw. They differ from traditional dental implants because they're much longer and tilted. While conventional implants are placed into the jawbone, dentists utilize the extra length to place zygomatic implants into the cheekbone (zygoma). The zygoma is a very dense bone that provides outstanding support for a patient's lifetime, and because there are no nerves in that area, patients will not feel their presence.

What do implants taste like?

Implants feel practically the same as your natural teeth and are entirely taste-free.

Can I partake in sporting activities if I have dental implants?

Patients should refrain from sporting activities for several days after getting dental implants, as the activity can prolong the bleeding. Even when bleeding has stopped, it's best to take things easy for a week or two, as the body needs time and energy to keep the implants in place. Once you return to playing sports, it's best to wear a custom mouthguard obtained from most dentists to protect your implants. A mouthguard should always be worn for contact sports.

Is it necessary to floss with implants?

Yes, absolutely, but flossing around dental implants must be done carefully because there is only a thin barrier between the implants and the underlying bone. There is also a chance of string floss shredding around the implant's base and getting stuck. We recommend switching to a Waterpik, which is easy to use and gives a deeper clean.

Can implants change the shape of my face?

Dental implants can significantly restore their face shape for some patients, but it depends on whether they've suffered bone loss and how many natural teeth are replaced.

When natural teeth are lost, bone loss occurs over time because the tooth roots that initially stimulated that area of bone to keep it healthy are no longer there. As a result, the jaw starts to change shape, and facial structures begin to sag. Because dental implants fuse with the jawbone like natural teeth, so they support the face, giving a rounder, fuller look and preventing further bone loss. Ultimately implants improve oral health and face shape to some degree.

Can dental implants get cavities?

While dental implants are just like natural teeth in how they look, feel, and act, unlike natural teeth, it's impossible for them to get cavities. While this is undoubtedly good news, it doesn't mean you can forget about brushing them. One of the main reasons implants fail is peri-implantitis – inflammation of soft and hard tissues surrounding an implant – which ultimately leads to bone loss and may cause the implant to fall out.

Are dental implants sensitive to hot and cold drinks and food?

Because implants are either titanium or zirconia-based and do not contain nerves, they shouldn't be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. If a patient does experience cold sensitivity following their implant placement, it could be a warning sign of peri-implantitis, or the implants have not been placed correctly. If sensitivity occurs, it's vital to contact your dentist as soon as you can. If the implant is failing, it will need careful removal so your dentist can prepare the site for implant placement at a future date.   

Do you have any dental implant questions?

Whatever your implant questions, Dr Akinwande will be happy to answer them. When you schedule a consultation, she will examine your mouth and explain your suitability for the implant procedure. Call Chesterfield Dentistry at 314-936-3621 today.


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