Do Dental Implants Look Like Real Teeth?

Written by Virginia Surgical Arts on .
Do Dental Implants Look Like Real Teeth?

Do you avoid smiling because you feel self-conscious about one or more missing teeth? Maybe you’ve noticed that chewing is more difficult, your other teeth are shifting, or your self-esteem has been impacted by gaps in your smile. Dental implants are a long-lasting solution to replace missing teeth, and the doctors at Virginia Surgical Arts are ready to restore your smile and confidence today.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Implants?

There are four different kinds of dental implants: single implants, full arch, mini, and full mouth implants.

Single implants replace a single tooth, including both the tooth root and the crown, or the visible part of the tooth. One titanium implant will be surgically placed into your jaw bone and given ample time to heal. Several weeks or months later, you will come back to the dentist to ensure the implant has healed and have your abutment and crown placed.

Mini dental implants are single implants that are smaller and require shorter and less invasive appointments. Your new tooth will look the same as it would with a traditional single dental implant, but the procedure is more affordable and can be a little easier for patients who have limitations preventing them from taking the traditional route. Traditional single dental implants are the preferred route due to better outcomes with longer-term success, but mini implants can be a great alternative for many patients looking for replacement teeth.

When you choose full arch dental implants (sometimes called all-on-4 implants), four to six implants are placed during your dental implant procedure, and then a full arch (either all top teeth or all bottom teeth) denture is created that attaches to the permanent implants. The implants are permanent, but the full arch denture that attaches can either be removable or permanent depending on the treatment plan and solution you and your surgeon decide to pursue. Full arch implants replace all teeth on a single arch – either the upper or lower jaw.

Full mouth dental implants replace all teeth on both arches – top and bottom. Typically four to six implants are required, and then a prosthetic denture is created for each arch. Patients who seek full mouth dental implants have often been living with dentures and experiencing soreness, movement, gagging, or difficulty eating or talking and choose full mouth implants as a better solution. Some patients seeking full mouth dental implants still have natural teeth but are dealing with severe periodontal disease, decay, or trauma, requiring extraction of the remaining existing teeth.

Do Dental Implants Look Real?

Dental implants do look real once the restoring dentist completes placement of the teeth to the implants. The team at Virginia Surgical Arts will work closely with the patient’s dentist to ensure the best cosmetic result can be achieved. The dentist will  match the artificial tooth to adjacent teeth in shape and color, creating a natural look and giving you a new smile.

Unlike dentures and partials, all of the components of a dental implant are hidden with only the dental crown exposed above the gum line. The components of your single implant include:

  • The implant itself, which is typically made from a metal like titanium and implanted directly into the jaw bone, beneath the gum line
  • The abutment, or the connector that extends above the gum line and connects the top of the implant with the artificial tooth or dental crown
  • The crown, or the artificial tooth, designed to match the rest of your teeth in size, color, and shape, and look and function just like a natural tooth

Because dental implants are customized to match your teeth, they are often used to replace even front teeth without problems.

What Do Dental Implants Feel Like?

Your dental implant will feel just like a real tooth in almost every way. The only noticeable difference between implants and real teeth is that implants lack nerves, so you will not feel temperature, pain, or pressure on that tooth. The gum tissue around that tooth will still have all the sensation it had before the procedure.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

While every patient is unique and should visit with a doctor to explore their options, dental implants are considered the premium option for most patients in most circumstances. They offer a number of benefits that other options simply cannot offer.

Improved Chewing and Nutrition

Your new tooth or teeth will function just like natural teeth, which means you can eat whatever on the menu. After you are fully healed, you can eat fruits, vegetables, and more – which means you can enjoy a nutrient-rich and flavorful diet without difficulty biting or chewing.

A New Smile

If you are considering dental implants because you feel self-conscious about your smile (not everybody does), you can rest assured you will feel confident smiling again after your dental implant surgery. The gap will be gone and the new tooth will look natural to the untrained eye.

No Risk of Cavities

No part of a dental implant is natural, so there is no risk of decay getting under the implant and reaching the root of the tooth. You will never get a cavity in or under your implant.

Reduced Risk of Tooth and Bone Loss

The absence of a tooth leads to receding bone and tissue over time, which can eventually impact surrounding teeth. Having a root in its place – even an artificial one – stimulates the bone and tissue and prevents loss.

Matches Natural Tooth Color and Shape

Your new tooth will be completely customized for you, which means the color, size, and shape will be designed to look natural in your mouth.

Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

You may be a good candidate for dental implants if:

  • You have missing, loose, or damaged teeth.
  • You have good oral hygiene habits and are able to care for your implants according to your doctor’s instructions.
  • You have sufficient bone to support dental implants or are a candidate for bone grafting (a bone graft procedure takes bone from elsewhere and implants it in the jaw; it is commonly required prior to dental implant surgery).
  • You have no active, untreated infection in the jaw bone or tissue near the treatment site.

The only way to know for sure if you are a good candidate for dental implant surgery, including the sedation administered during the procedure, is to schedule a consultation appointment with an expert in implant dentistry. During that appointment, the surgeon can determine whether you have enough bone, look for gum disease or active infection, measure the space available, and evaluate the need for a tooth extraction and other steps before surgery.  Read more here about whether or not dental implants are painful.  

Are You Ready for a Bright Smile that Looks and Feels Natural?

Cosmetic dentistry can improve your physical, emotional, social, and oral health. To speak with the staff at Virginia Surgical Arts, call (757) 430-7690 or complete the online contact form.

Written By Virginia Surgical Arts

Our oral and cosmetic surgery facility in Virginia Beach serves all of Hampton Roads and offers oral/facial reconstruction, bone grafting, and facial and body rejuvenation. We are fully licensed and accredited. When you are ready to begin truly appreciating and evoking the real you, Virginia Surgical Arts is here–ready to work with you.