Congratulations! You’ve taken the next step in protecting your oral health and are considering dental implants.
The more information you have about this dental treatment, the more confident you’ll feel about the process. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of dental implants so you can make an informed decision.
Pros/Advantages of Dental Implants:
Your overall oral health will be improved and protected into the future.
Older forms of replacing teeth such as dentures or bridges are not anchored to the bone underneath the device. This means that over time the bone deteriorates and the device must be replaced. If no device is inserted at all, the teeth on either side shift to fill in that space and soon all the teeth are shifting and becoming more crooked.
An implant is different in that the space is filled with a device that is firmly anchored in the bone. It is permanent, doesn’t have to be replaced, and preserves the bone underneath the implant. Your facial features are also protected from a sunken appearance where the missing teeth were.
Dental implants are permanent.
A dental implant can routinely last for up to 50 years or more. They don’t need to be replaced as they age, unlike dentures or bridges. An implant replaces a missing or damaged tooth and performs exactly like a real tooth. It bites and chews without any movement or slipping. It can be brushed and flossed alongside your other teeth without removing the device.
As long as you continue to use good oral hygiene, like brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits for preventative care, the implant will usually be there permanently. This means no extra costs involved, too!
A dental implant is more cost-effective in the long run compared to dentures or bridges.
It is true that the initial cost is higher than other replacement devices. But an implant never has to be replaced like dentures or bridges. Those temporary devices have to be replaced every 5 to 15 years. Plus, there are no additional products that must be purchased for a lifetime in order to keep them clean. An implant is anchored in the jaw so it is cared for just as any natural tooth.
Your bottom line is protected over the life of the implant.
Dental implants improve your appearance.
A dental implant will keep your facial structure in place. You may have seen people whose face seems shrunken, their lips folded in, and a pointed chin. In many cases, this is caused by the bone of the jaw dissolving away because there is nothing there to keep the bone strong and healthy.
Implants preserve the bone and improve appearance. The face’s normal structure is protected and some patients feel an implant has taken years off their appearance! When it comes to pros and cons of dental implants, this is one of the pros that many people value the most. Dental implants can help you be confident in your smile again.
Enhance Your Overall Quality of Life
When your appearance is improved with implants and your oral health benefits, you become more confident and your quality of life is enhanced. Your smile, your speech, and your eating will all be more comfortable. Dentures and partials often slip and over time they no longer fit. This means embarrassing social situations of all kinds.
Here are some specific ways your life will be better with implants:
- Implants need no adhesives to keep them in place.
- Implants use no ugly metal clasps.
- Eating, drinking, or talking won’t lead to humiliating slipping of the implants.
- You can smile without worrying about gaps or movement.
- You will never take out the implant for sleeping at night. (No teeth in a glass!)
- Caring for implants is simple: you brush and floss normally.
- Your speech will be normal.
Dental implants won’t get cavities
As long as you take care of your general oral health, the implant is simply holding a place for a missing tooth. It isn’t real so it won’t get cavities.
Cons of Dental Implants:
We have established that dental implants have many benefits. But they must have some drawbacks, so let’s explore the reasons implants may not be the choice for some:
The process of getting implants is often lengthy.
Yes, it can be. There are multiple steps in the entire process, which can take some time. The general time frame is 6 to 8 months. It might be longer if there isn’t enough strong bone to support the implant and grafting has to be done first.
Most patients who have embarked on a dental implant treatment plan don’t find, though, that there is any disruption to their normal life.
Dental insurance may not cover them.
This is something you need to research thoroughly before you make a decision about implants as the best choice for you. Some insurance plans cover the crowns that are on the implant, but not the implant itself. Explore the financial coverage and options with your dentist’s office and insurance representative. You may be surprised that much of the implant procedure and hardware is covered, but you need to know so you won’t be surprised later.
Dental implants do require surgery.
Surgery is always a health risk. Complications include infection, delayed bone healing, damage to surrounding teeth, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, or jaw fracture. However, the complication rate for implant surgery is only 5 to 10%.
The procedures have become routine in most dental offices with better safeguards than when implants were new. But there are always risks.
The restorations attached to implants may need to be replaced.
The implanted posts have a high percentage of lasting more than 50 years. However, the crowns attached to them may need to be replaced over time.
But, if these crowns are made of porcelain and you floss and brush as you should, they should last for your lifetime.
Dental Implants Are a Good Choice for Most Patients
According to the American Dental Association, about 500,000 dental implants are placed each year in the US and the complication rate is low. That’s a good testimonial in general. But, to determine if they’re right for you, you must weigh the pros and cons of dental implants carefully, discuss the treatment plan thoroughly with your dental team and insurance company, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Contact Vineland Affinity Dental Care today for more information and to schedule a consultation regarding the possibility of dental implants for you. We can answer any questions you may have!