A dental implant offers many benefits when compared to other forms of missing teeth replacement. It is, for instance, long-lasting, permanently fixed in the mouth so it won’t move and can be used to replace one, several, or all of your teeth. But one question we are regularly asked at Digital Dental Implants Institute here in Sydney is “How strong are dental Implants?”
In this post, we’re going to explain their strength when compared to other forms of teeth replacement options and also how strong they are when compared to real teeth. We’re also going to look at why that’s important. So without further ado, let’s dive in and get started.
Firstly, what is a dental implant?
A dental implant is to all intent and purpose an imitation tooth root. Unlike conventional replacements which either utilise existing natural teeth for support (dental bridges) or sit on the bony ridge of the gum (dentures), a tooth implant is secured down into the jaw during dental implant surgery where existing bone fuses with it over time. This creates an incredibly strong platform upon which a tooth restoration such as a dental crown can be placed.
Once in position, a dental implant remains a permanent fixture in the mouth and looks and feels just like a natural tooth.
Dentures, on the other hand, rely on suction to keep them in position. So although they don’t require a surgical process to fit and are designed to be removed for cleaning, they aren’t a permanent fixture. Ultimately this affects the strength.
How strong are dental implants when compared to dentures?
Typically, denture wearers can expect to experience subtle changes in their diet because harder crunchy foods can be difficult to bite and chew. Sometimes excessive chewing can cause the denture to rub on the gum line causing sore spots. So, to avoid any problems, denture wearers (particularly those wearing full-arch replacements) tend to stick to a softer food diet for a hassle-free experience.
In fact, dental studies show that even the most modern denture only has a bite capability of around 25-30% when compared to natural teeth.
Now, compare this to a dental implant which remember is fixed permanently into the jaw. As a result, it has more leverage and because it doesn’t move, has more strength but how much more?
Extensive research shows that typically a dental implant has around 3 times the biting strength of conventional dentures meaning that patients who have undergone dental implant surgery can in effect choose to eat whatever they like. This gives them the freedom to adopt a healthy diet if they wish utilising foods such as crisp green apples, nuts, seeds and lean meat.
So now we know how strong dental implants are when compared to conventional forms of missing tooth replacement, but what about when compared to natural teeth?
Dental implants vs natural teeth
This is a little more tricky to say for certain because even though a dental implant looks and feels just like a natural tooth, it’s still to all intent and purpose a restoration – albeit a strong one. Did you know, for example, that natural tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the body? It’s incredibly resistant to general wear and tear and even using the highest quality dental porcelain, that can be difficult to replicate using man-made materials.
Then, of course, other factors that come into play such as where the dental implant is positioned in the mouth. Implants located at the back of the mouth will initiate more chewing action and therefore are more likely to experience greater wear and tear. As a result, it’s highly likely that an implant positioned in the rear of the mouth won’t last as long as an implant located at the front of the mouth.
Then there is the bone strength of the individual. Varying bite force measurements can and do affect the mechanics of mastication. So some patients will experience different results in terms of bite strength in their natural teeth when compared to other individuals and undergoing dental implant surgery is unlikely to change that.
So what are we really saying?
When it comes to strength in terms of longevity, the titanium implant part of the tooth is as strong as a natural tooth in most respects. Whereas a replacement dental crown – the visible part of the tooth, should still be able to withstand the rigours of everyday living but would need to be treated with care. Remember each person is different. So as you would with natural teeth, no using implant teeth as beer bottle openers otherwise you are asking for trouble.
If we had to put a figure on it we would suggest that a typical dental implant placed in a mouth with healthy bone would have a bite strength of somewhere between 80% and 90% of your natural teeth.
That’s pretty good going when you consider that a dental implant is a man-made object being asked to take on the role of something that is supposed to take an impact of around 160lbs per square inch.
So there you have it. Hopefully, this has given you a detailed answer to the question “how strong are dental implants” and if you are considering undergoing dental implant surgery, to give you the confidence that you are indeed making the right choices.
If you would like to find out more about how implant-based restorations can benefit you, then come and talk to our experienced team at either the Digital Dental Surgery Sydney or at our sister practice the Digital Dental Implants Institute.
Book your free dental implant consultation and CT scan today. Call us at these numbers: