Dental implants is a metal post that is screwed into the jawbone to replace the root of a missing or damaged tooth. After the implant is screwed on, a zirconium or titanium abutment is fitted and on top of that, a replacement tooth crown. Crowns look and feel and function like normal teeth and are typically made from porcelain or ceramic. To date, they are your best option if you want to replace a missing or damaged tooth, because they are much more durable than other options. Nevertheless, using dental implants means that you have to think about what you can and cannot eat or drink.
A number of foods are just plain bad for your teeth, and this is even more so for dental implants. You will retain 90% of your former chewing ability when you get dental implants, so chomping on food should not be a problem. You may still encounter problems, though.
Dental implants are particularly vulnerable in the first one to two weeks of their placement. It is recommended that you stick to softer foods during this transition period, as your jawbone adjusts to the dental implant. Anything which you struggled to chew when you had no dental implants, should be avoided completely during this period. Alcohol, and anything acidic or sugary should be shunned. And when drinking, avoid straws otherwise you will suffer from the “dry socket effect”
Your chewing ability should remain, as we said, largely intact. However, you will still have to make adjustments in terms of what you can eat. You have to know that dental implants are more prone to staining than normal teeth. So, after drinking red wine, coffee or tea, you should brush your teeth. Drinking these when you have natural teeth can be damaging and this is even more true when you have dental implants.
Specific foods, like apples, nuts, ice, candy and popcorn, will require adjustments in your relationship with them. For example, with regards to candy, that really should stop, but, we all know how hard that is. What you can do is to limit your intake to the odd bar of chocolate or bag of sweets and avoid hard, chewy, or sticky sweets like chewy toffees or boiled candy.
Overall, these changes are fairly reasonable. Given that dental implants function much like normal teeth, you should not experience any significant changes. Even if you have the best dental implants, you may still have slips that will allow food to get underneath the dental implants. This will often occur because of hard-to-chew foods. Once the slip occurs, you will have to remove and clean the dental implants.
Dental implants may also change our sense of taste. We often think that the tongue is the centre of taste buds, but in reality, that honour is shared with the roof of our mouths. So if you wear upper dental implants, your sense of taste may be affected.
Armed with this information, you should be able to adjust to a life with dental implants. As we have stressed, you will retain at least 90% of your chewing ability so the changes you will experience are pretty minor.