Dental implants resemble natural teeth in appearance and feel to some extent. Our Edmonton dentists explain the similarities and differences in this article.
If you are considering getting dental implants, you are probably wondering what it would actually feel like to have them.
This is a common question. In fact, 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 acts as the tooth's root and is surgically implanted into the jaw. Titanium is biocompatible, meaning it can fuse with bone tissue and provide a strong foundation for the overall restoration.
The artificial crown is attached to an abutment on top of the titanium screw. These three components combine to form your replacement tooth, which is designed to blend in with the natural teeth around it.
So how does it feel?
You will not have any sensation in the dental implant because it is made of artificial materials. Any sensations you have in relation to your implant are caused by the tissues that surround 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 as your natural teeth do, and you probably won’t notice too much of a difference.
You'll also need to care for your dental implant in a similar way to how you care for your natural teeth: by brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups.
Dental implants do not usually fall out because they are fused to the bone. This can happen if there is a problem with the implant's bond to the bone, such as bone shrinkage or loss, or if the implant becomes infected and dislodges from the jaw bone (which 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 may take a few months for your implants to fully heal, once the metal post has fused to the jaw bone and the soft tissues have recovered (usually after a few months), you should be able to chew with them just like you would 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.