If you have at least one missing tooth, chances are you've heard of dental implants by this point. Dental implants are a long-lasting form of tooth replacement that uses a lot of the same mechanisms as real teeth to secure themselves and stay sturdy for years. However, as one might expect, real teeth and dental implants aren't identical, and there are some differences in feeling between them. If you're curious about what to expect, here's a look at how dental implants feel.
The main part of the dental implant that you'll be able to see is the crown. This is essentially identical to the type of crown that you have put over damaged or decayed teeth in the dentist's chair. If you haven't had one before, you'll be pleased to know that they look and feel very much like real teeth.
Dental crowns tend to be made of porcelain, which is strong and has the same glossy luster to it that real teeth do. This lets the crown look authentic and gives it the same mouthfeel when you touch the crown with your tongue or lip.
The implant itself is under the surface of your gums, with only a small knob peeking out at the top. This is covered by the crown, so you won't be able to feel it once the procedure is complete.
Dental implants contain titanium pegs that make up the base of the implant. This peg allows pressure and vibrations to travel through it, so when you bite down, chew, or clench your teeth, some energy will be transmitted through the implant and into the surrounding surfaces, like your gums. This can restore some of the feeling that went away when you lost your former tooth and provides more sensation than something like dentures or bridges can.
There is one difference between the feeling in a real tooth and a dental implant, and that's because dental implants lack nerves. While the vibrations and pressure going through the implant can create familiar sensations in your gums and even jaw bone, you won't have any feeling in the actual implant or crown itself. This is because it lacks nerve endings and can't communicate any information to your brain as a real tooth would.
However, most people don't notice a significant loss of sensation in a dental implant versus a real tooth. For many people, the only time they feel any significant sensations in their real teeth is when pain strikes, like drinking something too hot or cold. You won't feel those unpleasant sensations anymore, but you will be able to chew and speak effectively.