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Is It Possible To Taste Your New Dental Implant?

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Dental implants require something inorganic to be permanently placed inside your mouth. The actual implant (a small titanium alloy screw) is inserted into your jaw, and the bone heals around it. The implant is now strong enough to act as an artificial tooth root, so an artificial tooth (typically porcelain) is attached. Although it's going to feel (and look) just like a natural tooth, your implant and its prosthetic tooth are synthetic. So is it possible to taste your new dental implant?

Lingering Taste

A dental implant (or any dental prosthesis) that leaves a lingering taste in the mouth, would be of little use. One of the key reasons for replacing missing permanent teeth is the restoration of mastication, which is a formal way of saying that you'll be able to chew your food properly again. This is why a dental implant will be tasteless. That being said, there are a few taste-related factors to look out for. 

Taste Buds

The metallic portion of the implant is fully embedded in your jaws. None of the taste buds on your tongue or palate will be able to make contact with the implant, so there will be no taste associated with the implant's screw (metallic or otherwise). It's non-corrosive, and cannot rust. The porcelain tooth attached to the implant is also flavorless. It's simply not possible to register a distinctive taste from any part of the implant. So what are those taste-related factors that were mentioned earlier?

Metallic or Salty

Some patients may receive an implant and its prosthetic tooth in the same session (known as a same-day implant). This immediate loading is only possible when the jawbone and other oral tissues are in excellent health. Other patients will require a small additional procedure to attach the prosthetic tooth, once their jawbone has healed around their implant. Residual bleeding may continue after implantation, but this will only be temporary, comparable to other forms of minor oral surgery. A light taste of blood (which may be metallic and/or salty) is quite standard, and will promptly subside. Contact your dentist if it worsens.

Unpleasant Taste

A foul, highly unpleasant taste emanating from the tissues around the implant requires immediate attention. Your gums may be discharging pus and other fluids in response to a bacterial infection around the implant. This infection can be avoided if you follow your dentist's aftercare instructions for implant hygiene (which aren't all that complicated). Any suspected infections must be treated without delay. If the infection worsens, it may loosen the implant's connection with your bone. 

Even though the implant itself won't taste like anything, there are a few implant-adjacent tastes that may need your prompt attention.