Do Dental Implants Look and Feel Similar to Real Teeth?

Busting the myths on dental implants

Busting Myths About Dental Implants and How They Feel

Despite dental implants quickly becoming the most in-demand tooth prosthetic option, there are still a fair number of myths floating around out there. The two most common myths we hear are “dental implants look fake” and “they don’t feel natural.”

Let’s take a look at why these two myths might exist in the first place, and what the actual truths are behind dental implants.

Do dental implants really look fake?

The short answer is a clear no!

Modern dental implants are deceptively natural in appearance.

The only way someone would know you have a dental implant is if they have a previous point of reference, meaning the gap in your smile they saw before is now filled. Anyone new to seeing your beautiful smile will be none the wiser that you have had one placed.

So how did the “implants look fake” myth start?

It may be due to dental implant crown design limitations in decades past. The world of cosmetic dentistry is always evolving, with new techniques and technologies making it easier for dentists, prosthodontists, and labs to create exceptionally realistic prosthetic teeth. These same techniques and technologies are much more advanced than what was available years ago.

Today, your dentist is able to have a dental crown for your implant designed and crafted by a team of artistic ceramists at a lab. These ceramists have specialized training and access to materials that allow them to craft a crown to a realistic level that simply wasn’t possible decades ago.

The “implants look fake” myth may have been based on some reality when dental implants first became available to patients, but it certainly no longer applies to our modern approach to implant design today.

From color to shape, dental implants blend seamlessly with your smile.

Remember that dental implants are made of three separate pieces — the implant post, the abutment, and the dental crown. The only visible portion of your dental implant is the dental crown.

We go to great lengths to ensure this dental crown matches your smile down to the very size, shape, and color of your surrounding teeth. The materials used in the creation of the crown mimic characteristics of natural teeth, including the translucency of enamel and color graduation seen in a healthy tooth.

What if you’re getting a full arch replacement with implant-supported dentures? Even if you have no more natural teeth, the expert team behind the design of your denture will still apply all of these same characteristics. You’ll also be involved in the design to ensure your new dentures look exactly how you want them to look.

Do dental implants really feel uncomfortable?

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated as the unique healing period of implants is longer than most dental procedures.

Short-term discomfort during initial healing doesn’t mean long-term discomfort.

Dental implant recovery is a process that takes time, perhaps even six months or more before a patient is fully healed. Additional procedures, such as the need for a bone graft pre-implant surgery, can add more time to the healing process.

Dental implant placement is a form of oral surgery. It’s an invasive process that will leave you feeling more post-procedure discomfort compared to a simple dental crown or root canal. However, it’s important to remember that this initial discomfort isn’t going to last. Your body will recover, osseointegration (fusing of jawbone to implant) will occur, and you’ll be back to feeling and looking like yourself.

How did the “implants feel uncomfortable” myth start?

Similar to how modern dental implants now look exceptionally realistic, the same idea can apply to their comfort or feel.

Modern dental implants use the highest quality surgical titanium available and other advances in dental x-rays and digital imaging allow dentists to place with incredible precision. These factors mean modern implants have a much higher success rate compared to what technology or techniques were known when they first became available. Early-phase implants were somewhat uncomfortable, but advances in modern technology offer a different reality for implant patients today!

Modern dental implants feel just like natural teeth.

After your dental implants have healed, your new prosthetic tooth or teeth will feel exactly like natural teeth. You’ll have a similar level of bite force and all of the stability of natural, healthy teeth. Because dental implants fuse with your actual jawbone, they function exactly like the roots of a natural tooth.

Not only will your dental implants feel natural, but they’ll also support healthy bone and muscle structure in the jaw and face. Bone loss associated with tooth loss or the use of dentures and dental bridges will be eliminated.

If you’re getting implant-supported partial or full dentures, you’ll also experience the feeling of having natural teeth. Compared to traditional dentures, implant-supported options allow you to eat the foods you love, experience stability in your bite, and make issues like slipping or rubbing a thing of the past.

Learn more about dental implants by scheduling a consultation at Staley Dental.

If you still have questions about dental implants or you’re interested in the procedure, scheduling a consultation is the best way of getting one-on-one information with a dentist.

You can book a consultation at our Boise office by calling directly or filling out this online form.