According to recent studies, millions of American citizens suffer from tooth loss. It normally happens because of tooth decay, injury or periodontal disease. Apart from that, 1 in 4 adult citizens in America lose all their permanent teeth by the age of 74, according to AAOMS (American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons).
If it happens that you lose a tooth, it is highly recommended to replace it straight away. Tooth replacement is considered more than just a cosmetic procedure. When the tooth is lost, the surrounding bone structures start disintegrating. It, in turn, affects the jaw, joints in your mouth if too many teeth are missing and the facial structure. One missing tooth can also have a negative effect on the remaining teeth, which can cause them to shift and have issues with the bite, by affecting the alignment.
During the last couple of years, bridges and dentures have been the only available option for people suffering from tooth loss. With the developments in dental care, people are now able to go for a much better option, which is dental implants. They are a metal post that is surgically attached to the jaw bone in order to support an artificial tooth. When it is placed, a surgeon will mount a replaced tooth to the implant. This kind of procedure has a high success rate. These implants offer a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are designed to match your natural teeth. Before committing to this choice it is highly important to understand all the pros and cons of dental implants.
There are a lot of pros of dental implants and they provide a number of benefits for people who are in need of artificial teeth. The main advantages of dental implants are depicted below:
Dental implants are a perfect choice if you want a beautiful smile. As you know, the first impression is always very important and your smile is an integral part of it. They have an appearance of regular teeth despite the fact that a lot of people have a misconception that they look extremely artificial. A regular person will not be able to spot the difference between your natural teeth and the artificial ones.
This is probably the most important advantage of dental implants. They are considered the most permanent solution that you can even get. This is due to the fact that they are fused to your jaw bone, therefore, they are extremely stable. In addition to that, they are as durable as your natural teeth if you take care of them properly. This involves an extremely high level of hygiene. For instance, if you take dentures into consideration, they could last only for approximately 5 to 8 years making dental implants a perfect long-term solution.
- Bone health
The procedure of applying dental implants involves the replacement of the root of your tooth meaning that the possibility of bone loss decreases significantly. It, in turn, increases your bone health. Implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for additional support, which assists in protecting the remaining teeth from damage. This is not the case for bridges.
- Practical benefits
Another advantage of dental implants is the fact that your speech is not going to be affected. Eating and the chewing processes are much easier with dental implants as you will not spot the difference between your natural and artificial teeth. However, when it comes to dentures and bridges, you will definitely determine that your eating and chewing processes have changed. Apart from that, when dental implants are placed, you will not have any restrictions in terms of what you can eat and/or drink. It means that crunchy snacks, hot and cold drinks are allowed. Although you need to keep in mind that it is not advised to overdo the sugary treats.
- Cost efficiency
As was mentioned previously, dental implants are almost a life-time solution. Without any doubt, this is not the cheapest solution in the market but it is a long-term solution, therefore cost-efficient. When your dental implants are fitted there will be no need to pay for them again. You make a one-time payment for several years of confidence and comfort. They allow you to forget about the fact that you have ever had a missing tooth.
Just as with anything else, dental implants have also a number of disadvantages. It is essential to be aware of all the cons that come with this solution. Therefore, the following section focuses on explaining the main ones.
- Long process
Normally it takes up to six months for your implants to fuse with the jawbone. It takes a lot of time for the dental implants to get fitted. This is not considered a good solution for people looking for an immediate fix if keeping in mind that this procedure involves multiple steps.
- Not everyone can qualify for dental implants
In order to get dental implants, you have to meet certain criteria first. Due to the fact that this procedure involves anchoring the implant to the jawbone, experiencing a crucial bone loss as a result of losing teeth may lead to an inability of dental implants to be inserted. Apart from that, a patient needs to be in good overall physical health in order for your jaw to recover properly after the surgery. Specialists also state that smoking can negatively affect dental implants causing them to fail and increasing the risk of bone loss.
It might look extremely weird that cost is both an advantage and a disadvantage. You will have to pay for this type of procedure much more than any other typical dental treatment. However, you have to understand that this is a one-time payment and you will not need to make investment anymore. You have to make it clear for yourself what is better for you: pay now more and forget about the problem of missing tooth or pay every 4 years for the cheaper option.
- Additional interventions
There are some cases when the need for additional procedures for dental implants arises. For instance, there are some people whose bones were not able to support the implant. It means that they require a bone graft. It might be also the case that some patients may require a sinus if it is located too close to the jawbone. All the aforementioned increases the waiting time for your implants as well as driving the price up.
Specialists claim that dental implant complications are extremely rare, but still possible. One of the most common complications is infections. After your implants are inserted you run the risk of your gums being infected. In very rare cases, dental implant complications can lead to periodontal disease, increasing the chance of bone loss. Infections can occur and develop during or after the surgery. Risk factors for this condition include bad oral hygiene, smoking and having an autoimmune disease.
As you can see there are a number of pros and cons of dental implants. However, it is obvious that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Its durability, appearance, and functionality make dental implants the perfect solution for your missing teeth, offering you a long-term option for the rest of your life.