Dental implants are a treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Upon successful completion of the procedure, most patients find dental implants act and feel much like their natural teeth. Today, our Ottawa dentists explain.
Will my dental implant look like my natural teeth?
Patients who require dental implants often ask whether their tooth replacement will look and act like a natural tooth.
At Hog's Back Dental Centre, we understand you may have concerns or be nervous about getting a dental implant, but we want to help set your mind at ease – dental implants are designed to look and feel very similar to your natural teeth.
Particularly for patients who require implants for their front teeth, the aesthetic aspects of replacement teeth might be one of their foremost concerns. After all, this oral surgery typically needs months to heal between stages and you want to know that the end result will look and feel natural.
Whenever we can, we like to help answer questions, address concerns and help our patients set expectations about what life with implants will be like and how they will look and feel.
How can you make my dental implant look as natural as possible?
Some patients will require a bone graft to ensure their jawbone is strong enough to support the dental implant permanently. The transplanted bone will add volume and density to your jaw in the area where bone loss has happened. After your bone graft procedure has healed, your dentist will surgically place the implant to ensure proper placement.
Next, the dentist will take dental impressions of your teeth so a custom-fit tooth replacement can be made. The tooth replacement that's attached to the implant will be a bridge, crown or denture. Since each person's teeth are a slightly different shade, your dentist will take care to match the color, size, and shape of your existing natural teeth.
When cared for properly, dental implants can last for 25 years or more. Keep in mind that you'll need to practice excellent oral hygiene and care for your implant just as you would your natural teeth, brushing twice a day and flossing once each day.
By the time your dental implant has been placed and the tissue has healed, a casual observer will be hard-pressed to tell the difference between your dental implant and your natural teeth.
In addition, replacing missing teeth will also protect your oral and overall health by preventing surrounding natural teeth from shifting to fill the gap left by a missing tooth. Dental implants can also help preserve your facial structure, preventing the 'sunken' look that can result from missing teeth.