Dental Implants: Weighing the Pros and Cons

Dental Implants - Pros and Cons

Dental implants have taken dentistry by storm! If you go to a dentist with a missing tooth looking for a solution, chances are they will recommend getting a dental implant. They look, feel and even function as well as your natural teeth. Plus, they give you back the confidence in your smile. In this article, I’ll review the pros and cons of dental implants.

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The pros of dental implants

1) Dental implants fit and appear like natural teeth

Dental implants are designed in such a way that they look and fit like natural teeth. The implant uses a titanium screw to keep the false tooth in place. The screw, which is fitted into the jaw, provides a proper foundation for the tooth, securely keeping it in place.

The fact that the replacement tooth fits well and has a proper foundation enables it to function just as well as your natural teeth. Plus, it looks real so you can smile as if you never even lost your tooth.

2) Dental implants have a high success rate

Dental implants have a success rate of 98%, just as long as individuals take care of them.

How long the implant lasts depend on how well it is maintained and taken care of. With a good oral regimen, the lifespan of implants ranges between 15-20 years.

Dentures, on the other hand, last for around 7-15 years. As implant technology continues to improve, you can expect the lifespan of the solution to continuously improve.

3) Dental implants allow you to stick to your normal eating habit

When you compare dental implants to other tooth replacement options, with implants you don’t have to change your eating habits. You can eat what you like when you like. In fact, there are no restrictions.

Unfortunately, with dentures, you have to watch what you eat. You can’t eat items that are too crunchy or sticky as it can cause problems. 

4) Dental implants keep your jaw bone intact

The implant aids in the preservation of your natural tooth tissues. Since it is screwed into the jaw, it imitates the root of a tooth. This ensures that the jaw bone and tissues remain as they are.

One of the main issues with dentures is that it doesn’t preserve the jaw bone which leads to the jaw deteriorating.

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The cons of dental implants

1) Dental implants require surgery

Okay, well this isn’t really a reason to avoid getting implants but for some surgery can be very scary. Not just that, with surgery, comes the chances of complications.

While the procedure does have a high success rate, and 2% failure is quite low, the risk remains. The complications related to getting dental implants are:

  • Infection
  • Damage to other teeth
  • Prolonged bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Jaw fracture

However, these complications mostly arise when you go to an inexperienced dentist. Which is why you should carefully research where you get your implants.

2) The procedure takes time

On average, the treatment for dental implant takes anywhere between 3 to 6 months to health. The jaw bone takes time to heal which is why the procedure takes this long. This is not even accounting bone grafting. If bone grafting is required, the healing time can extend up to 18 months.

In today’s world of instant gratification, no one likes prolonged treatments. Plus, take into account the number of times you will have to visit your dentist. This reason alone can turn many away from the solution.

3) Dental implants are expensive

When it comes to the cost of dental implants, it varies based on two things:

  1. The dentist performing your surgery
  2. The difficulty and uniqueness of your case

Even if you look around and opt for the most affordable option, other replacement options such as dentures, are lower in cost.

If you do find a surgeon willing to offer you dental implants at a cost similar to dentures, you should double check the practice to make sure it is legit. Experienced dentists know that the amount of work and effort that goes into dental implants. As a result, they should charge you much more than getting dentures.

4) Dental implants result in bone loss

Even with dental implants, there is some loss of bone around the jaw where the implant is placed. While the rate of loss is much lower than other solutions, it can increase if the implant is not fit properly.

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Are dental implants right for you?

The bottom line here is that if you can afford dental implants the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Fortunately, if you can’t afford it, you have other tooth replacement options at your disposal. 

Curious if dental implants are a good option for you? Contact your local dental professional for a consultation today!

Have questions about dental implants? Ask them below!

Guest author: Dr. Daniel Greenstein earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) from the University of Stony Brook’s School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Dan has been practicing for the past 34 years and is one of the pioneers when it comes to dental implants and cosmetic procedures. Dr. Dan can be found creating awesome smiles at VIPcare Dental Ocala.