Dental implants have grown to become one of the most popular dental replacements due to the implant's ability to closely mimic some important aspects of natural teeth. These similarities to natural teeth can make the implants worth the cost and the long treatment time as you wait for your jawbone to heal around the implanted metal root.

While these tooth-like qualities are a valid selling point of dental implants, you also need to keep in mind the one key way that implants differ from natural teeth.

Mimic: Natural Look and Feel

Dental implants have a semi-translucent dental crown that can come tinted to best match your natural teeth. The result is a highly natural-looking artificial tooth that doesn't look artificial even at a closer glance.

The implant supported within the jawbone also helps the implant feel like a natural tooth while you chew or speak. This stability offers a stark contrast to the likes of partial dentures or even some bridges, which can feel as if the artificial tooth is slipping around while you chew.

Mimic: Jawbone-Promoting Friction

The jawbone-supported implant provides another key role in the dental implant. A natural tooth root has a subtle friction with the surrounding jawbone that helps stimulate the blood and tissue cells that keep the jawbone healthy and rejuvenating. The dental implant root can offer a similar friction to keep the jawbone healthy.

Implants alone provide this stimulation since dentures, bridges, and other dental replacements all sit above the surface of the jawbone and don't provide the much-needed friction. The jawbone beneath these other replacements can and will erode over time without this friction. Erosion of the jawbone can start to cause discomfort and can start to threaten the health of neighboring teeth.

Differs: Nerve Stimulation

Natural teeth contain nerves that you are unconsciously aware of even when the tooth is healthy. The nerves let you feel the pressure of your teeth pressing together, for example, and can help you realize how hard you are biting. The artificial tooth and root on a dental implant do not have these nerves.

You might find yourself biting harder than you intended, especially if you have a couple of different dental implants in a row or have opposing implants on the upper and lower jaw. Make sure you bite softer than normal until you get used to having the implant or you could risk causing damage to the implant or an opposing tooth due to the sheer bite force.

If you have a concern about chewing with dental implants, or any other implant related questions, consult a cosmetic dentistry professional at a dental office like Dental Services Of Rochester for more information.