Dental implants look quite similar to a natural tooth and also feel like them to some extent. Here, our Toronto dentists describe the similarities and differences.
If you are considering getting dental implants, you are probably wondering what it would actually feel like to have them.
This is quite a common question. In fact, one of the first things that patients may ask while preparing for a dental implant procedure is "will my implants feel like my natural teeth?"
What are dental implants?
To understand what having a dental implant will feel like, it can help to understand exactly what it is.
A dental implant is an artificial replacement for a missing tooth, including both the root and crown (the part of the implant that will be visible above your gum line).
The implant itself is a small, titanium screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw in order to act as the root of a natural tooth does, anchoring the restoration to your jaw. Titanium is biocompatible, which means that it can fuse with bone tissue, making it a solid foundation for the overall restoration.
The titanium screw is topped with an abutment, to which the artificial crown is attached. Together, these three parts make up your replacement tooth and are designed to blend in with the surrounding natural teeth.
So how does it feel?
Since dental implants are made from artificial materials, you won't have any feeling in the implant itself (as you do from the nerves that run through the interior of a natural tooth. Any sensations you experience in relation to your implant will come from the tissues surrounding it.
This means that your dental implant will not feel exactly like your natural teeth, since natural teeth have nerves within them that feel sensations like temperature and pressure.
In spite of this difference, once your dental implant has healed, it will look and function much like your natural teeth do, and you probably won’t notice too much of a difference.
Your will also need to take care of your dental implant similarly to how you care for your natural tooth: by brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups.
Since dental implants are fused to the bone, they do not typically fall out. However, this may occur if there is an issue with the bond to the bone, such as bone shrinkage or loss, or if an infection occurs to cause the implant to dislodge from the jaw bone (this is why oral hygiene is still important!).
It may also be possible for a direct blow to knock a dental implant out of place, so you'll also want to be careful and take safety precautions when engaging in activities or playing sports.
Some people wonder if they'll be able to chew with their dental implants as they would with their natural teeth.
While ti may take some time for your dental implants to completely heal, after the metal post has fused to your jaw bone and soft tissues have recuperated from the treatment, you should be able to chew with your implant and attached restoration just like you would chew with your natural tooth.
In some cases, patients may be advised to stick to a soft diet for up to 6 weeks following the procedure. While the area is healing, just be careful about what and how you chew.