Dental implants are the closest we can come to actually replacing your teeth with new teeth. But although they’re close, dental implants are not teeth. And some of the differences can be quite important, especially when it comes to ensuring the long-term health and functionality of your implants.
One key difference is that dental implants don’t respond to a bad bite the way natural teeth will, and that can contribute to dental implant failure. That’s why working with a neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Kevin Winters in Tulsa can be especially beneficial. Dr. Winters will make sure your bite is balanced to preserve the health and function of your dental implants for a lifetime of wear.
Your Implant Won’t Move Like a Tooth
We know that a “loose” tooth is not good, but any natural tooth will actually have some degree of movement. It’s not very much, but it’s just enough to cushion the tooth from excessive bite force. The movement comes from the periodontal ligament, a tough but flexible membrane that attaches the tooth to the bone.
Your dental implant, however, is attached directly to the bone. It shouldn’t move very much at all. And that means that there’s no cushion between your bite and your bone. If a dental implant is being put under too much bite force, it can potentially damage the bone, leading to loosening and, ultimately, failure of the implant.
How much is the difference in movement between a natural tooth and a dental implant? A healthy tooth can have twice the range of movement side to side, but more than twenty times the vertical movement in the direction of bite force. That’s a lot of give, compared to dental implants.
Your Implant Won’t Warn You
Another benefit of a natural tooth is that it will tell you when your bite is off. Your natural tooth has nerves inside it, as well as the periodontal ligament, which can sense the force, and, if it’s too much, can express pain. Even a slight excess of bite force can be communicated. Your bite may not hurt, but it will feel off.
Your dental implant, on the other hand, doesn’t have any nerves inside it. It also doesn’t have a periodontal ligament. All you will feel is pressure on the bone, which may not be enough to warn you about excessive bite force because the bone has fewer nerves.
You may not get warning about the excessive bite force until bone loss begins.
Designing a Healthy Bite for Implant Success
With dental implants, it’s vital that you get a bite that’s properly designed and balanced to avoid excessive force. That’s one of the benefits of working with a neuromuscular dentist who has additional training in the science of bite measurement to ensure the most comfortable and healthy bite.
For full arch replacement, FOY ® Dentures or New You Dentures™ are a great choice. They are designed using the principles of neuromuscular dentistry to restore the characteristics of a natural, healthy, balanced bite. This not only ensures your implants won’t be subjected to destructive forces, but also helps you avoid TMJ as you get older.
And you’ll enjoy the rejuvenating benefits of restoring your face to its youthful proportions, enjoying a reduction in wrinkles around the mouth and an improvement in the definition of your chin and neck.
To learn more about dental implants or quality dentures in Tulsa, please call (918) 528-3330 today for an appointment with Dr. Winters at Winters Dental Excellence.