Dental implants are becoming more and more common as a preferred method to replace a missing tooth. Implants offer a long list of potential benefits over older, more traditional tooth-replacement options.
Dentures or bridges used to be your only options. But today, dental implants offer a more sturdy and realistic-looking end result.
Dental Implant Basics
A dental implant replaces the root of your missing tooth with a titanium screw. This portion of the implant helps to prevent bone loss in the jaw by filling the gap where your missing tooth was and stimulating the jaw bone as a natural tooth would. This screw is capped with a dental crown to replace the part of your tooth that you can see.
Do Dental Implants Look Different Than Real Teeth?
The titanium portion of the implant is not visible, as most of this structure sits below the surface. The visible portion of the implant consists of a porcelain crown, which looks and feels like a natural tooth. As a result, your dental implant will be indistinguishable from your other teeth.
Porcelain is white and translucent, just like natural teeth. In fact, we can match the color of your implant to your other teeth so the implant blends seamlessly into your smile. Even up close, a dental implant looks so similar to a natural tooth that no one will be able to tell you have an implant.
Do Dental Implants Feel Like Natural Teeth?
Not exactly. If you are to touch your implant with your finger or tongue, yes, it will feel similar to a natural tooth. However, your implant will lack the nerves that are a part of a natural tooth’s inner structure. As such, your tooth itself will have no ability to feel pressure or temperature like a natural tooth. However, most people quickly adjust to this lack of sensation, and it does not affect their lives.
Can You Eat the Same Things with A Dental Implant?
Once your implant has healed, you will be able to treat it just like a natural tooth. That means you can eat the same foods you always have. Dentures, in particular, can create challenges with eating that dental implants will not.
While technically speaking, you can eat just about any food with dentures; it takes time to get used to chewing with them. Dental implants, on the other hand, are affixed to the jaw and are very sturdy. It should not take long to eat normally with dental implants.
Will a Dental Implant Affect Your Speech?
A dental implant should not impede your speech. In fact, missing teeth can actually impact our ability to form sounds correctly. So it follows that replacing a missing tooth may restore speech.
Of course, if you lived with a gap in your teeth for a while before getting an implant, there may be an adjustment period to get used to having a tooth again.
What About All-on-4 Implants?
All-on-4 implants are an excellent option for those in need of full-mouth replacement. With this procedure, an entire set of upper or lower teeth are replaced and secured with four implant screws.
This option can look and feel more natural than dentures because they do not move around the way dentures do. As with single implants, this option helps preserve jaw structure. And also, like single implants, the visible portion of the implant teeth mimics the look of natural teeth almost exactly.
Are Dental Implants for Me?
Many patients are good candidates for dental implants, and the success rate is quite high. If you are interested in finding out more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with Elite Dental and Denture today.