If you're considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option you may have questions about the pros and cons of this popular procedure. Our Lloydminster dentists explain exactly what they are, and some advantages and disadvantages of dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
For many people, dental implants offer an ideal permanent solution to replacing missing teeth. Held in place with a tiny titanium rod implanted into the patient’s jaw bone, the implant serves as the root of the artificial tooth.
Titanium is used because this type of metal can bond with the bone. Titanium implants are very stable, secure tooth replacements. We then cap the dental implant with a dental crown, which looks like a natural tooth.
Together, the implant and the cap look and function just like your natural tooth.
What Are The Advantages Of Having Dental Implants?
For people with one or more missing teeth, dental implants can offer several advantages, such as:
Provided you properly care for your dental implant, it can last a lifetime. A thorough at-home oral care routine is a must, as are regular visits to your dental office for professional cleanings and exams.
Other factors that will impact the longevity of your dental implants include nutrition, genetics and the development of dental diseases.
When combined with various treatment options such as a dental bridge, implant-supported denture, or crowns, dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth in the upper or lower jaw.
Your overall oral health and tooth replacement requirements will determine the number of actual implants you need and are able to have. Dental implants are a popular option for many patients as they have many potential configurations.
Natural Look and Feel
As mentioned above, your dental implant, paired with a bridge or crown, will look and function much like your natural teeth.
It is unlikely that casual observers will be able to spot that you have artificial teeth, and you can eat, speak and function as you did before while enjoying a good quality of life. Since there are no nerves in a dental implant, you will not feel sensations from the implant itself.
Instead, any sensations you experience related to your dental implant will stem from the soft tissue around the implant. After your implant has healed and you’ve had an opportunity to get used to it, you most likely will notice very little difference between your implant and your natural teeth.
Easy to Care For
Similar to bridges, crowns or other restorations, you can care for your dental implants just like your natural teeth. They’ll need thorough brushing and flossing, and your dentist will need to check them during your regular exams.
What Are The Potential Disadvantages Of Dental Implants?
While dental implants have many benefits they aren't the best tooth replacement option for everyone. Depending on the nature of your case, dental implants may not be for you. Here are some aspects of dental implants that are important to consider:
While dental implants may look and feel somewhat more natural than dental bridges, the dental implant process is lengthier and more invasive than that of other tooth replacement options.
Depending on your treatment plan and your unique needs, the entire dental implant procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to complete.
Depending on your insurance coverage and your specific dental issue, the cost of dental implants can vary. While some insurance companies pay part of the cost, others may cover the entire cost of your implants and still, others may not pay for any part of it.
If you are deciding on whether dental implants are within your budget, be sure to contact your health insurance provider to learn whether your plan will cover any or all of the cost of your treatment.
In addition to the items above, you must have enough density in your jawbone for dental implant treatment to be a success. If you don’t, you may still be a candidate for the procedure but would require a bone graft to transplant bone to your jaw to support the implant. This would make the process longer and more invasive.
How Do I Know Whether Dental Implants Or Other Options Are Right For Me?
While dental implants, bridges and other restorations all have their benefits, the right choice for you will depend on your oral health needs, budget and other factors.
Ultimately, you’ll need to discuss your case with your dentist. Your dentist will examine your teeth and gums, then work with you to determine the best tooth replacement option to meet your needs.