Dental implants have a natural-looking appearance and feel very similar to natural teeth. In this blog, our West Kelowna dentists share the differences and similarities between dental implants and natural teeth.
If you have been contemplating getting dental implants, you are most likely curious about what it would be like to have them.
This is a very normal question to have. Actually, one of the first things we get asked during consultation sessions is “will my implants feel like my natural teeth?”
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 the root and the crown (the visible part above the gum line).
The implant itself is a small titanium screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw to act as the root of the tooth. 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.
How Do Dental Implants Feel?
Because dental implants are made from artificial materials, you won't have any feelings from the actual implant. All of the sensations you will experience related to your implant will be from the tissues that surround it.
Meaning, your dental implant won't precisely feel like your natural teeth because your real teeth contain nerves that feel sensations such as pressure and temperature.
Despite this one difference, after your dental implant has finished healing, it will function and look very similar to your natural teeth, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.
Caring for your implant is very similar to caring for your natural teeth, this includes brushing, flossing, and regularly visiting your dentist for checkups and routine cleanings.
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 it can take some time for your implants to fully heal, after the metal post has fused to the jaw bone and soft tissues have recuperated (typically after a few months), you should be able to chew with your implants just like you'd chew with your natural teeth.
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.