How closely do dental implants mimic a natural tooth?
When patients lose a natural tooth, the ideal scenario for tooth replacement is a prosthetic that comes as close as possible to matching the complete structure of that tooth. The dental implant performs well in this regard.
A dental implant is a unique intervention because it is the sole tooth replacement that fills in for the root structure in addition to the crown. Dentures and bridges simply don’t fulfill that characteristic. Those alternatives merely replace the visible portion of the tooth.
Because dental implants closely replicate a natural tooth’s structure, they offer a number of advantages to patients.
The first benefit associated with dental implants is stability. After an oral surgeon places the dental implant in the jaw, the osseointegration process in which the surrounding bone bonds with the titanium implant’s surface takes place. This process allows the dental implant to function in the same way as the tooth’s root, preserving the integrity of the jawbone and physically connecting the prosthetic crown (or bridge or denture) to the jaw.
When the root structure is not replaced, as is the case with a dental bridge or conventional denture, the shape of the jawbone will change over time, and the appliance will eventually lose its fit and need to be adjusted or even replaced.
Dental implants are also more capable of chewing like a natural tooth. They can tolerate chewing forces approximating those of natural teeth, which means that patients can keep more of their favorite foods in their diets.
The structure of dental implants allows patients to maintain them with the same oral hygiene routine they use for their natural teeth, including normal brushing and flossing. Dental implants stand alone, so there is no appliance that restricts access to the gum line.
Patients who prefer to have a replacement tooth that is a close approximation of a natural tooth should consider dental implants as an option. If you have experienced tooth loss and are exploring interventions to replace your missing teeth, schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon to learn more about this method. Contact our Charlottesville office today to schedule your visit.