What is dental implant and how it is similar and different from natural teeth

Getting a dental implant sounds scary at the outset. The stigma around implant surgeries and their prices does not help either. However, buying into these false stereotypes can make you neglect your dental health. 

So, instead of shying away from the procedure, learn everything about it. 

Once you are familiar with the ins and outs of dental implants, you will be able to appreciate how painless and effective the treatment is. To help with this, let’s dive into what dental implants are and how they compare to your natural teeth.

 

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a replacement for your tooth roots. They are embedded in your jawbone and form a strong foundation for your artificial tooth. 

These replacement teeth are custom made to fit your mouth and match your other teeth. Once anchored to the implant, you will not be able to tell your artificial and natural teeth apart. 

Major Components

Any dental implant is composed of three components:

  1. Titanium Screw

This is the primary component of the implant. Made out of high-grade titanium, this screw post is inserted into your jawbone where the tooth is missing. 

Once in place, this screw lies entirely hidden inside your jawbone and is only visible on an x-ray. It will also fuse with your bone to provide natural support to your tooth and jaw. This allows you to chew and speak naturally without a hassle. 

  1. Abutment

The abutment is a metal connector. It will be screwed onto your implant after you have healed from your implant surgery. It is crucial to hold your replacement tooth in place.

  1. Dental Prosthetics

This is the visible part of your dental implant. Your artificial tooth can be a bridge, a crown, or a denture. Getting only dentures or crowns makes your teeth look natural but does not mimic the functioning of real teeth. 

 

Are they Painful?

It is easy to see why getting implants screwed into your jawbone might not seem appealing. But in reality, you have nothing to worry about.

During the procedure, local anesthesia will be administered. This way, you will not feel any pain from any of the instruments used. 

But you might feel the following post-surgery symptoms:

  • Slight pain and inflammation when the anesthesia wears off
  • Discomfort and mild pain for 3-5 days post treatment

But usually, most patients report feeling lesser pain than from a tooth extraction. Moreover, your dentist will prescribe over-the-counter pain medicine to ensure your comfort.

 

Implants v/s Natural Teeth

 

When you think about getting implants, the first question usually always is, ‘how good of a replacement are they?’. 

So, here is a comparison.

Similarities

Here is how dental implants look and function exactly like your natural teeth:

Strength

Dental implants are considered as strong as your natural teeth. They are way better than any other teeth replacement alternative in that they fuse with the bone and form a tough root. Additionally, unlike dentures and crowns, they cannot slip from their position, nor do they impact your ability to speak or chew naturally. 

Long-Lasting

Much like your natural teeth, implants are built to be long-lasting. In fact, if you maintain proper oral hygiene, they should last for more than 20 years. 

Visual Impact

The prosthetic part of the dental implant is custom-made. It is built to fit your mouth perfectly and look like your natural teeth. 

Additionally, the porcelain used to make the crown accurately matches the size, shape, color, texture, and translucency of your existing teeth. But, if you want your tooth to stand out, you can also opt for a metal crown. 

Dental Care

You do not have to adopt a separate dental care routine for your implants. Your regular brushing and flossing routine is sufficient to take care of your implants. 

Note: If you suffer from Bruxism, you might need to wear a nightguard to protect your replacement tooth. 

 

Implants v/s Natural Teeth: Differences

Listed below is how your implants differ from your existing teeth:

Bone Attachment

The fundamental difference between the two is how they attach to the bone. The properties of titanium enable it to fuse directly to the bone.

On the other hand, your natural teeth never fuse with the bone. They are connected via the periodontal ligament. The fibers of this ligament go into your tooth on one end and into the bone on the other. 

Decay

While your natural teeth might decay, your replacement teeth will not. However, there is still the risk of bacteria build-up and premature implant wear. So, do not slack on your oral hygiene. 

Bacterial Infections

The fibers connected to your natural teeth protect them against bacterial invasion. This way, they stop the progression of gum disease. However, this protection is absent in your dental implant.

So, your implants are more susceptible to bacterial infection and inflammation than your regular teeth without proper dental care.

Tooth Movement

The periodontal ligament acts as a suspension system. It absorbs and dissipates the chewing forces to the jawbone, enabling micromovements. 

This adjustment is not possible with your dental implant. 

 

To Sum Up

 

Advancement in dental technology has enabled the creation of innovative solutions like dental implants. The advantages and high success rate of the procedure speak for themselves. So, if you think implants are a suitable option for you, do not hesitate to book your appointment today!

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