You can easily replace damaged or missing teeth with structures that look and function just like the real thing with dental implants. They are surgically fit into your jawbone to serve as sturdy replacements for plucked tooth roots. While this procedure has good success rates, there are some risks, like neurological damage. Let’s delve into details about how dental implants can potentially cause nerve damage.
What Actually Is Nerve Damage?
Nerve damage from dental implants is basically various degrees of numbness, pain, or tingling sensations in your oral cavity (natural teeth, gums, lips, or chin).
It occurs when dental experts mistakenly drill the implant too deeply into the lower jaw. This results in potential injury to the underlying inferior alveolar nerve. Sadly, such nerve injuries are often very painful, and the damage is permanent.
Symptoms of Nerve Injury Because of Dental Implants
The causes of inferior alveolar nerve injury may be due to the administration of local anesthesia, third molar surgery, insertion of dental implants, and other endodontic treatments.
This injury is more harmful compared to lingual nerve trauma and requires immediate treatment and care, and may involve the need to get a root canal.
Symptoms of nerve damage include the following:
- Burning sensations in the chin, lips, and gums.
- Impaired speech
Alveolar nerve injury causes severe pain and hampered sensations in your face that significantly have an effect on your daily life. Simple activities that include speaking, eating, or even kissing can suffer from this trauma that ultimately diminishes your overall quality of life.
Other than that, research also suggests that inferior alveolar nerve injury may be a contributing factor to mental health issues, such as depression.
When Should You Consider Zirconia Dental Implants Instead of Titanium?
It is necessary to not only decide what the right time is but you must ask for the best options according to your case. The key to success in this surgery is personalization and choices that fit you the best.
The most common material chosen for dental implants is titanium. However, you can go for another alternative like zirconium in the following conditions:
1. Fear of Neurological Issues
If you have reservations regarding potential neurological issues that may arise with the use of dental implants, it is understandable. However, you must note that there is currently no strong evidence against dental implants causing such issues.
2. Serious Metal Sensitivities
In case of known sensitivity to metal, zirconia implants may be the ideal choice for you. Many dentists are comfortable using zirconia, and it can be a suitable alternative.
3. Comfort with Zirconia
If you prefer the idea of zirconia implants over titanium, it’s worth considering. However, bear in mind that titanium implants have more extensive research done regarding their longevity.