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How Does An Implant Compare to a Real Tooth?

Dental Implant and Real tooth side by side in a diagram at Westlake Oral and Plastic SurgeryYour teeth perform several essential tasks every day. When you lose teeth, whether, through decay, infection, trauma, or extraction, all of their functions are affected. There are several options for replacing missing teeth. At Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery, we offer dental implants, the latest treatment available. Implants are the most popular option, providing numerous benefits over traditional bridges and dentures. It is often said that dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth. However, how do they compare to a real tooth?

The Importance of Teeth

Teeth perform a variety of essential functions. They enable you to bite and chew your food. Chewing is the crucial first stage of digestion, breaking down the foods you eat so that the nutrients are easily absorbed by the body. Teeth control air flow, which allows you to form specific words and sounds. They are an integral component of a beautiful, confident smile. The teeth, more specifically the roots, are also important for the health of your jawbone. When you chew, the roots stimulate the jawbone. This sends a message to your body, which sends nutrients essential for the health of your bone and surrounding structures. Tooth loss affects all of these functions, making eating and speaking difficult, deteriorating your smile, and resulting in the weakening of your jawbone. Dental implants are the only replacement option available that can restore all of these functions.

Components of Dental Implants

Dental implants consist of three components. The implant itself is a small titanium post. This post is implanted into the jawbone and becomes the root that provides support to your new teeth. When fully integrated into the bone, it mimics the function of your natural tooth roots and stimulates the jawbone. Because of this, the implant helps to stop the bone loss occurring in the jaw. It then works to maintain the health of your jaw, protecting its integrity.

On top of the implant, an abutment is placed. This piece is a connector, which provides support and stability for your replacement crown. The crown, made from ceramic, replaces the visible portion of a missing tooth. It restores your ability to eat your favorite foods and your ability to speak properly. It also restores the appearance of your smile, as ceramic crowns can perfectly mimic the color of your natural teeth, and reflects light just like enamel.

Effects of Oral Health Issues

Real teeth are susceptible to decay. The plaque and bacteria that collect on the surface produce acids that erode your enamel, which then leads to cavities. When cavities are left untreated, they continue to grow, destroying the structure of the affected tooth. This can lead to infections and tooth loss. The ceramic crowns of your implants, however, are not susceptible to decay. Acids cannot erode ceramic, nor can they erode the titanium posts. In this respect, implants are more durable than natural teeth.

Just because ceramic cannot decay, though, this does not mean that oral hygiene can be ignored. Ceramic can still collect plaque and bacteria, which can contribute to decay in surrounding natural teeth. It can also lead to gum disease, which can then lead to implant failure. Even if all of your teeth have been replaced by implants, it is still important to take proper care of your mouth.

Comparing Strength

Teeth, while the strongest substance in the human body, can be damaged. This damage can result from decay, facial trauma, and other issues. The crown and the root are both susceptible.

On the other hand, the titanium posts for dental implants are designed to be fracture resistant. It is very rare that the post or abutment breaks. The crowns, however, while strong, is no different from the natural teeth. The same issues, except for decay, can damage your ceramic crowns. Crowns that are damaged need to be replaced. Taking action to prevent damage, including avoiding biting on hard foods and objects or using your teeth as tools, will help to ensure the longevity of your crowns.

Dental implants mimic the functions of your natural teeth, restoring their functions and the aesthetics of your smile. Once fully integrated into the jawbone, implants usually last a lifetime. If teeth are lost, or cannot be saved, implants provide the next best thing. For more information on dental implants, and if they are the right option for you, call Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery to schedule your consultation today at (805) 267-9766.
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Dental implants and All-on-4® Treatment Concept has literally transformed millions of lives. Why not see what they can do for you or someone you love? Want to know more?

Call us at (805) 267-9766 to schedule a consultation, to see if dental implants are right for you.

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Westlake Oral and Plastic Surgery
911 Hampshire Road Suite 4
Westlake Village, CA 91361

(805) 495-7416