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Is Discomfort After Crown Placed On Dental Implant Normal?

Updated: Nov 17

Some discomfort can be expected after a crown is placed on a dental implant because you're not used to it. Try to recall the condition of your mouth without the crown and just the implant healing abutment. Now compare it to what is in your mouth with the crown on top of the implant.


front tooth implant crown
front tooth implant crown

Potential sources of discomfort:

  • Tight interproximal contact where you floss through.

  • High bite when you're chewing or eating.

  • Gum pressure such as the crown squeezing into the gums.

However the discomfort should be fairly mild and will go away after a few days on its own.


Although if the discomfort lasts more than a week, you may have an implant crown complication. Nonetheless, the culprit is usually from one of these two factors since the third one tends to go away on its own.


Do you want to know why there is momentary discomfort and what you should do if its a complication? Well, keep on reading.


Momentary discomfort is to be expected

The first thing that you need to understand that a lot of the perceived discomfort is because you're not used to the implant crown. It makes sense if you compare the before and after to having the crown placed on top of the implant.


Overall, the whole process should not hurt because you don't need anesthesia for it.


Before crown placement

Prior to getting the crown, the implant was completely submerged below the gums. You're not able to see it nor feel it. Basically what you're used to having is a wide open space where the implant is and where the tooth use to be.


Implant healing abutment
Implant healing abutment

The image above shows a small healing abutment that doesn't take up much space.


Essentially you're used to having nothing in that space at all. To make it worse, you've gone about your life with the implant in this state for the past 6 months or so. That is what you are now used to.


After crown placement

After you get the crown on the implant, it becomes a completely different story. Now you have this prosthetic object that fills in that missing gap. You've been used to having a gap for the past few months but now it is no longer there.


full sized implant crown
full sized implant crown

As you can imagine, the difference in size is going to take some getting used to. The actual crown is much bigger than the healing abutment.


How long does it take for the implant crown to feel normal?

It can take a few days or up to a week for the implant crown to finally feel normal. You can think of that time as an adjustment period that you have to go through. It is really no different than say adjusting to a new pair of shoes. It takes some time to break in and get used to.


Although you're probably curious as to what exactly is it that you need to adjust to. We will explain the sources of the discomfort in the next section.


Sources of implant crown discomfort

On the day you receive your implant crown, you can expect mild discomfort with the contact, occlusion, and gums.


Discomfort Cause

Signs & Symptoms

Tight contact

Difficulty flossing; pressure against adjacent teeth

High occlusion

High bite; bite isn't even; pain when chewing

Gum pressure

Gum tightness; tissue blanching; gum pain

Tight contact

The first source of discomfort can be due to tight interproximal contacts. This is essentially the space where you floss through. Your mouth could be used to not having a tooth there so all of a sudden you're feeling pressure between your teeth.


X-ray showing implant tight contact pressure
X-ray showing implant tight contact pressure

The x-ray above is marked to demonstrate to you where we're talking about when we say floss through. Either in front of the implant or behind it could feel tight. The pressure can come from the crown pushing on the adjacent teeth when it was inserted.


High occlusion

The second source of discomfort can be due to a high occlusion or a high bite. You will feel this when you bite your teeth together or when you're chewing food. If the crown is overbuilt and it is too big, it will generate a lot of pressure when you chew with it.


This problem stems from the dental lab which probably made the tooth cap too big. Although it isn't their fault because they only have stone models to work with. Your real mouth is different from a stone model so there was only so much they could do.


Gingival pressure

The third and last source for implant crown discomfort is from gingival pressure. Prior to having the crown put in, there was nothing on top of the gums. After it was put in, you now have this big prosthetic structure sticking out of the gums.


Credit: Glidewell
Credit: Glidewell

The image above shows how the crown has to squeeze into the gums, thus causing gum pain. Your mouth isn't used to having this brand new object inside of it.


The good news is that this source of discomfort usually goes away on its own within a week. Your body will naturally adjust to it. We've never had to make any adjustments for this condition on any of our patients.


How to treat complications

The gum pressure does not require any adjustments because it always goes away on its own. However the tight contact and high occlusion will need to be treated if it persists for a week. By that time your body has had enough time to adjust so it is now considered a complication.


What to do with implant crown discomfort after a week - decision tree
What to do with implant crown discomfort after a week - decision tree

Treatment for both of these two conditions will require a visit to the dentist.


Loosen up the contact

If the contacts feel tight, your dentist can relieve the tension by loosening it up. They just have to take the crown back off and adjust the sides of the crown.


Signs of tight contact:

  • Difficulty flossing through the teeth.

  • Feel pressure on the tooth in front or behind the implant crown.


Adjust the bite

For a high bite, your dentist can adjust the occlusion by polishing down the crown. First they will use articulating paper and have you bite down on it. It will leave blue marks on the crown for where the spots are "high".


All your dentist needs to do is to polish down these high spots. This adjustment is easier and faster than adjusting the contacts.


Signs of high bite:

  • Pressure when you close your teeth together.

  • Pain when you're chewing food.


Takeaway



Mild discomfort is to be expected after getting a new crown on your implant. Most of it has to do with the fact that it is new and you're not use to it. However if the discomfort persists after a week, you may have a complication such as tight contacts or high bite. Both of which will require a follow up visit with your dentist.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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