If you are considering dental implants, and you start looking at some of the information out there, you might be tempted to think that dental implants are actually better than your natural teeth, but this isn’t strictly true. There are many advantages to dental implants, but they’re still not quite as good as your natural teeth.
Where Dental Implants Excel
Dental implants do have several things going for them. First, titanium is one of the strongest metals on earth, and whether you’re looking at pure titanium or an alloy, it is much stronger than natural tooth material. Depending on the measure we’re using, it may be 100 times stronger than your natural tooth materials.
Dental implants also have the benefit that they won’t decay or get infected like natural teeth can. You’ll never get a cavity in your dental implant, nor will you ever need a root canal in your implant. Your tooth enamel is vulnerable to decay by acid excreted from oral bacteria, but your dental implant–and the attractive dental crown it supports–will never be damaged by oral bacteria. Dental implants, like natural teeth, can be lost because of gum disease, but the implant itself can’t be attacked by bacteria.
Where Your Natural Teeth Are Superior
Although your natural teeth may be much weaker than dental implants, they can perform as well or better than the tooth replacement because they are flexible. Everything about your natural teeth makes them more flexible than dental implants.
The enamel deals with strong bite force by cracking. This allows the softer interior of the tooth to “squish” a little bit. These cracks can get harmful, but tooth enamel is wonderful stuff, and most of these cracks just come back together without lasting concern.
The tooth is also not attached directly to your jawbone. Dental implants are placed in the bone and the bone grows around them, but your teeth are actually attached by stretchy ligaments that help cushion the force on your teeth.
Your gums also attach a little better to your natural teeth than to dental implants, so this can help protect against receding gums.
Preserve Teeth When You Can
In the balance, when we think about which is better, our natural teeth are still slightly superior to dental implants. So we will try to preserve your natural teeth whenever possible or advisable. But if your natural teeth aren’t in good shape, then dental implants are undoubtedly the best option to replace them.