Dental implants resemble natural teeth in appearance and feel in some ways. Our North York dentists explain the similarities and differences here.
If you are considering getting dental implants, you are probably wondering what it would feel like to have them.
This is a common question. One of the first things our patients ask us during dental implant consultations 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 the root and the crown (the visible part above the gum line).
The implant is a small titanium screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw to serve as the tooth's root. Titanium is biocompatible, which means it can fuse with bone tissue and serve as a strong 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?
Because the dental implant is made of synthetic materials, you will not be able to feel it. Any sensations you have about your implant will be caused by the tissues that surround it.
This means that your dental implant will not feel exactly like your natural teeth, because natural teeth contain nerves that detect temperature and pressure.
Despite this difference, once your dental implant has healed, it will look and function similarly to your natural teeth, and you will most likely not notice any difference.
You'll also need to care for your dental implant in the same way you do your natural teeth: brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups.
Dental implants do not typically fall out because they are fused to the bone. However, this may occur if there is a problem with the bond to the bone, such as bone shrinkage or loss, or if an infection occurs, causing the implant to dislodge from the jaw bone (hence the importance of oral hygiene!).
It is also possible for a direct blow to knock a dental implant out of place, so be cautious and take safety precautions when participating in activities or participating in sports.
Some people wonder if they will be able to chew with dental implants the same way they would with natural teeth.
While it may take some time for your implants to fully heal, once the metal post has fused to the jaw bone and soft tissues have recovered (usually after a few months), you should be able to chew with your implants just like you would with 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.