Dental implant restorations have become one of the most popular options for treating tooth loss, and in fact, implants are now preferred over the usage of dentures or fixed bridgework. Here are a few dental implants pros and cons to help you decide whether this treatment might be right for you.
What Are s?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are attached to the jaw bone with a titanium post, upon which an abutment and porcelain crown are placed. Implants are used to replace missing teeth or teeth that are infected, severely decayed, or cracked from the root.
While the technique has been used since ancient times, the procedure has only become commonplace since Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark developed a technique using titanium for the post, as this metal fuses easily with the bone and is readily accepted by the body itself.
Dental implants offer a wide variety of possibilities for oral rehabilitation that surpass the results of dentures or a fixed bridge:
One of the biggest benefits of this procedure is that it is a permanent solution. By filling the gap from root to crown with a replacement tooth, implants help to prevent further bone loss because they restore the root function and prevent other teeth from shifting out of place. The titanium post that is used in place of the tooth root becomes part of the jaw bone structure—a process known as osseointegration.
Another important positive aspect of dental implants is that the procedure doesn't require touching any of the adjacent teeth or removing healthy teeth to insert a denture. This can help to keep costs down as fewer surgical procedures are necessary. It also reduces the pain to a minimum as the rest of the mouth is left alone.
Dental implants feel and look like real teeth, without the chewing and speaking difficulties that are common with dentures. That means that you can eat chewy foods, sugary foods, and crunchy foods normally—there are no restrictions on the food that you're able to eat, in contrast to traditional dentures.
While dental implants are typically made out of porcelain, they have a natural appearance and can be made to match the surrounding teeth. If you are considering having your teeth whitened, it is best to do this before getting implants to match the porcelain to your whitened teeth.
The most significant downside of dental implants is that it is not a quick fix. The process involves multiple stages that take more than 6 months in total and several visits to the dental office. The main steps can be performed using sedation dentistry. There are a couple of additional things to be aware of when weighing up dental implant pros and cons:
Risk of Infection
One possible disadvantage is that, as in any other surgery, some risks are involved. This includes the risk for infection from bacteria getting around the implant or gum disease if plaque builds up around the implant. These risks can be reduced by following a thorough dental hygiene regimen and visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning. You can also reduce these risks substantially by working with a highly skilled, reputable dentist who specializes in implants.
Higher Upfront Cost
It is also worth mentioning that dental implants cost more than dentures. Implants can cost around $2,000-$6,000 per tooth (as an industry average), and this is not usually covered by medical insurance. To reduce the cost of multiple dental implants, you can sometimes get a dental bridge with fewer posts. Many dental offices also offer payment plans to make this restorative treatment more accessible.
The Benefits Far Outweigh the Risks
Despite these two disadvantages, dental implants are extremely safe and reliable. They have a surgery success rate of over 90%, and they can significantly improve your quality of life. Dental implants can improve your speech and chewing ability and are considered to be lifelong replacements, while other options such as porcelain veneers, bridges, or removable dentures need to be replaced every few years.
Caring for s
Dental implants require the same care that real teeth do. You will need periodic visits to the dentist and a solid daily oral hygiene routine. At a minimum, make sure that you:
Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
Floss between your teeth once a day (except between the teeth in dental bridges).
Rinse your mouth daily with an antibacterial mouthwash.
Visit your dentist every 6 months. It's much easier to correct any problems when they start to develop rather than waiting for things to get worse.
One advantage of dental implants over natural teeth is that they are not affected by tooth decay. However, taking care of your teeth and maintaining a healthy diet greatly increases the chance that the implants will be successful and even last for several decades.
Eligibility Criteria for s
Although dental implants are not a suitable option for all patients, they can be applied to a large majority of adults. A few factors must be evaluated to determine whether or not someone is a good candidate for dental implants, such as:
The overall state, quantity, and quality of the bone
Whether or not the patient is a smoker
Whether the patient has chronic conditions like diabetes, which can delay healing
If there is insufficient bone for attaching a titanium post, your dentist may recommend a bone graft procedure to prepare the jaw bone for implants. You can also improve the quality of the bone by following a low-sugar, high-nutrient diet. If you are a smoker but would like to have implants, it is usually sufficient to cease smoking one week before the implant procedure and for at least two months after the entire process is complete.
If you have weighed up these dental implant pros and cons and decided that this treatment could improve your quality of life, choose an experienced dentist for the greatest chance of long-term success. The results of dental implants are usually stunning, making the time that you spend more than worth it in the end.