If you’re considering replacing a missing tooth or teeth with dental implants then it helps to have a good understanding of dental implant pros and cons. This way you can weigh up your tooth replacement options to help you make an informed decision.
So let’s start off with the advantages.
Dental implants come with many advantages including:
While all tooth replacement methods replace the aesthetics of the missing tooth and restore the functionality of the bite, dental implants do it better.
Implants are the only form of tooth replacement that replaces the entire tooth, including the root. After the implant post has been placed into the jaw it gradually fuses with the surrounding bone and tissue to become a permanent fixture in the mouth. Once topped with a natural-looking dental crown, it looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth. Even better, it retains almost all of the biting force of a natural tooth so that patients can eat whatever foods they like without any restrictions.
But that’s not all …
Because the implant has become a permanent fixture in the mouth, patients have no need to remove it at night to give the gums a rest or worry about it staying in position. Instead, a dental implant is brushed and flossed just as you do your natural teeth. Simple!
Did you know that when a tooth is lost, the body starts to reabsorb the bone that supported it?
And were you aware that in the first year alone, the jaw can lose as much as 25% of its density? This is what causes the jaw to shrink and the facial structures to sag, giving that hollow aged look.
Unfortunately, conventional forms of tooth replacement like dentures and bridges can’t prevent bone loss which is why the jaw changes shape and dentures, in particular, need regular adjustments/replacement to retain their fit.
Depending on how well a patient cares for their dental implant, it has the potential to last for 15 to 20 years and even longer. In fact, dental implants placed into the first-ever dental implant patient were still going strong when he passed away some 40 years later. While the dental crown may need replacing within 15 years, there’s no reason why the titanium implant post can’t last indefinitely.
On the contrary, you can expect a denture or bridge to last between 7 and 10 years before it needs replacing. Depending on what age you receive a denture or bridge, it could need replacing a couple or more times in your life. So while the cost of a dental implant initially is much higher than for dentures or bridges, in the long term it can prove extremely cost-effective.
So now you know the many advantages of dental implants it’s only right we talk about the disadvantages.
Even though dental implants have become the ‘go-to’ treatment for tooth replacement, it does have its disadvantages. Namely:
Unlike other forms of tooth replacement that rest on the gum, a dental implant is placed into the jaw to become a permanent stable fixture in the mouth, and this requires a surgical procedure.
Due to advances in dental technologies, improved materials, and 3D virtual planning, dental implant surgery is now regarded as minor surgery and is a quick and comfortable process. However, patients do need to be medically fit to undergo surgery and if this isn’t the case, they may need to seek alternative options.
Dental implants can take between 6 and 9 months to complete from start to finish with much of this time spent waiting for the implant to bond with the jawbone. So if you’re not prepared to wait this long and commit to visiting your dentist for regular progress checks then a quick-fix solution such as dentures may be a better option for you.
The cost of a single dental implant can range from $1500 to $6000 depending on whether you need a bone graft beforehand. While it may seem costly, patients are paying for a dentist’s expertise, expensive materials, oral surgery, and ongoing support.
That said, most dental practices offer a variety of payment methods and finance plans (often 0% finance) enabling patients to spread the cost over several months or years.
As you can see, the benefits of dental implants far outweigh the disadvantages. Not only are they an investment in your oral health but they can and do change lives for the better.
If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of a dental implant why not schedule a free implant consultation with Dr Melba Akinwande at Chesterfield Dentistry. We provide dental implant solutions for all tooth loss situations.
Call us today on (314) 469 6429 or book online. We look forward to making your smile whole again.