What do Dental Implants Look like?

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Missing teeth can cause many oral health problems, from bad breath to gum disease. Dental implants have revolutionized people’s lives with missing teeth, becoming the standard solution for many. But those who don’t know about this solution may wonder, What do dental implants look like exactly?

If you’re hesitant about getting dental implants because you’re worried about how they will affect your smile, keep reading to understand how dental implants replicate your original teeth’s appearance:

Understanding Dental Implants

A dental implant is an artificial tooth placed in the jawbone to replace a missing one. The three main components of an implant are its fixture, abutment, and crown. The implant fixture is usually made from titanium. This biocompatible material fuses with the jawbone during healing, and a fixture’s screw-like structure anchors it firmly to the jawbone and prevents shifting.

The abutment is a connector component attached to an implant fixture that supports the dental crown. It can be made of titanium or ceramic and sits on the implant fixture. Dental crowns are made from metal or porcelain alloys and sit on the implant. 

They protect implants from damage by biting forces, allow chewing function to continue as expected, and allow dental restorations such as fillings or veneers to be fitted onto them. When trying to understand what dental implants look like, it is essential to note that the crown of a tooth is typically the most visible component.

What Makes Dental Implants Unique

Dental implants resemble natural teeth because they are essentially artificial roots that develop in the jawbone. The implant is placed in the jawbone, which integrates with the underlying bone. The tooth-like structure that results from this process replaces missing teeth.

The abutment connects to the head of an implant and links it with dentures. There are two options for the connecting mechanism of dentures: bar-retained, which uses a thin metal bar with the natural curve of the jaw, and ball-retainment, which has an attachment shaped like a small sphere that fits into another attachment on top.

The dental restoration component is what looks like natural teeth. In this case, a denture. The design of the denture makes it look more realistic than any other type of implant restoration.

Do Dental Implants Look Real?

Many people who have not seen dental implants think they should be able to notice the difference between natural teeth and artificial replacements. Dental implants can be crafted so carefully that they look and feel like natural teeth afterward. It’s often hard to tell which ones are real.

Dental implants look like natural teeth and are healthier than bridges or dentures. Implants do not require replacements, and many can last an entire lifetime if you’re attentive to your oral health. After the healing process, no additional maintenance is required for implants; simply continue practicing regular oral hygiene.

The Different Types of Dental Implants

Although there are many kinds of dental implants, they can be broadly classified into two main categories: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are surgically implanted into your jawbone, where they remain until fully integrated. Then, a restoration is permanently attached to the implant surface once healing occurs. 

The gum tissue anchors subperiosteal implants but does not penetrate the jawbone. A metal frame is attached to the anchor; after healing, artificial teeth are mounted on this frame. Both types of dental implants are successful, but endosteal implants tend to be more long-lasting. Among the two general classifications, there are many different kinds:

All-on-4 Implants

All-on-4 implants replace natural teeth in an upper or lower jaw. This procedure involves placing four dental implants into healthy bone throughout the jaw.

After the implants have healed, a denture is attached to them. All-on-4 dental implants are used for patients who need help replacing their teeth.

Single-Unit Implants

A single-unit implant is the most common dental implant, consisting of a single artificial tooth. A single-unit implant replaces one missing tooth, but in some cases, your dentist may recommend a complete mouth restoration with these implants instead.

This type of implant is placed in the jawbone, which remains for several months before a crown or other restoration is attached. Single-unit implants are an attractive option for people who want to replace just one tooth.

Implant-Supported Bridge 

An implant-supported bridge is a dental device used to replace two or more missing teeth. One or more artificial teeth (pontics) are attached to implants placed in the patient’s jawbones.

Implants are placed in the jawbone, and then attachments, called pontics, are added to complete the bridge. Implant-supported bridges work well for patients who have multiple missing teeth in a row.

Components of a Dental Implant

A tooth implant comprises several parts that work together to provide a natural-looking tooth replacement. Let’s examine each component individually so you know exactly how they go together.

Implant Post

The implant post is inserted into the jawbone and acts as the tooth root. It’s made of titanium, a strong and biocompatible metal that fuses to your bone over time. A dental implant post is placed into the jaw during surgery and allowed to heal for several months before an artificial tooth (called a crown) is attached.

Implant posts come in many sizes and shapes to meet each patient’s needs. Some are tapered, cylindrical, or cone-shaped; others have textured surfaces that promote bone growth right around them as they heal in place.

Abutment

The abutment is a small metal connector piece that attaches to the implant post and rises above the gum line. The purpose of this part is to support an artificial tooth (or teeth) once they’re placed on top. This can be made from any number of materials, including titanium or zirconium ceramic.

Restoration

The restoration is the artificial tooth that attaches to a dental appliance called an abutment. In most cases, a crown replaces one of your natural teeth as its restoration.

An implant-supported bridge or denture may be recommended for someone with more than one missing tooth. These restorations can be made of porcelain, gold, or a combination of materials!

Experienced Natural-Looking Dental Implants At Hacienda Dentistry

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Dental implants are more comfortable, effective, and long-lasting than dentures. They help stabilize the jaw and improve one’s facial appearance and speech. To get all these benefits, choose a dental professional who is well-experienced in implant dentistry.

Visit Hacienda Dentistry if you’re looking for a dental implant dentist. Our experienced Hacienda Heights Dentists, Dr. Jea Jeon Dr. Jonathan Song, and a team provide different dental services. Contact us at (626) 330-4548 today to get a consultation for any procedure, including tooth whitening or dental implants!

FAQ’s

What Are The Negatives of Dental Implants?  

Although the surgery is considered minor, it can cause swelling and discomfort. However, dental implants last for many years with proper care.

How Strong Are Dental Implants Compared to Natural Teeth?

Dental implants can improve the strength of your bite dramatically, to nearly 100%. The strength of a tooth depends on its material: although ceramic is sometimes preferred for its lighter color, porcelain is much more durable and comparable to natural teeth.

Are dental implants noticeable?

Dental implants are designed to blend discreetly with your other teeth. Their natural look and feel make them virtually indistinguishable from your original teeth.

Do dental implants feel different from natural teeth? 

Dental implants feel very similar to natural teeth once they are securely in place. They provide a comfortable and natural sensation while eating, speaking, and performing regular oral activities.

Can dental implants be matched to my existing teeth? 

Yes, dental implants can be customized to match the color and shape of your natural teeth. This ensures a cohesive and harmonious appearance within your smile.