Dental implants have played a vital role in improving the oral health of many patients around the world. Their ability to fuse with the supporting bone has made them a wonderful option to restore the tooth. They boast of a number of other benefits. But are they as good as natural teeth? How different are they from natural teeth roots? What are the few things patients have to know before undergoing dental implant surgery? This write-up tries to compare implanted tooth with natural teeth.
The way dental implants are connected to the jawbone is a lot different from that of a natural tooth root. Osseointegration is a process where the bone tissues grow around the implant to fuse with it. This bonds the implant strongly with the supporting bone. The natural tooth root is attached to the periodontal ligament. This is the ligament, which gives the natural tooth the sensation of bite. An implanted tooth, no doubt has high chewing efficiency. But without a periodontal ligament, it cannot sense when and where exactly to stop the bite. As a result, there may be more wear of the tooth on the opposing dental arch, which comes in contact with implanted tooth.
Implants are made of titanium or zirconium and crowns are normally made of porcelain. An implanted tooth can get damaged but not decayed. The natural teeth are made of living cells, nerves and minerals. These minerals can and living cells can get affected with invasion from bacteria leading to decay.
Maintaining oral hygiene with implanted tooth is slightly different. The crown is fixed over an abutment of the dental implant. There are chances of food debris getting collected under the dental crown, around the implant. If this is not removed from time to time, there can be peri-implantitis or gum infection around the implanted tooth. Patients should be careful to floss properly to clear food debris from under the crown and around the implant.
There is an increased need for a thorough oral check up and risk-benefit analysis before extracting a damaged/decayed tooth. A natural tooth/tooth root is always worth preserving. This is why dentists put maximum effort to safeguard as much of natural teeth as possible even if it is a bad shape. Dental implants will always remain a good replacement for a tooth that is lost.