Patients who are pondering a tooth replacement are likely to consider the device’s effects on many aspects of their lives, including their diet. If you want to continue to enjoy as many foods as possible after tooth loss, you should investigate the possibility of getting a tooth implant, which is the only structurally complete tooth replacement currently available.
Dental implants are made of titanium, which is biocompatible. That means that the surrounding jawbone is capable of forming a strong bond with this material. After an oral surgeon inserts the dental implant into the patient’s jaw, that osseointegration process leaves the implant as a root-like structure, which then supports a prosthetic crown, bridge or denture.
This characteristic of dental implants has tremendous benefits for the patient’s ability to chew. The bond between the bone and the tooth implant facilitates the replacement tooth’s ability to withstand relatively strong chewing forces.
Although you will eventually be able to enjoy a complete diet, you should check with your oral surgeon for specific instructions on foods that you may need to eliminate as you heal from the tooth implant placement procedure. For example, patients typically need to maintain a softer diet (including foods like eggs, applesauce, mashed potatoes, ice cream) in the first couple of weeks after the dental implants are placed, as chewing crunchy or sticky items could interfere with that initial healing process. Ask your surgeon if you have any questions about when you can resume a normal diet.
Additionally, you should use common sense when chewing with your dental implants. You don’t have carte blanche to gnaw on whatever you want. Anything that could damage your biological teeth (ice cubes, non-food items like pencils and fingernails, using your teeth to open packages, etc.) can harm your dental implants, too.
Dental implants give patients a number of advantages, one of which is preserving much of the natural tooth’s chewing function. If you are concerned that you might have to give up your favorite foods after tooth loss, call our office to schedule an evaluation to see if dental implants might be right for you.