If you have missing teeth and are considering implant-based restorations as an option, then it pays to understand the pros and cons of dental implants to know if they’re right for you. In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of undergoing dental implant surgery so you can make an informed decision. Let’s get started.
Firstly, dental implants are expensive
Initially, anyway, a dental implant procedure does not come cheap. In fact, when compared to conventional restorations like bridges and dentures, dental implants can come in at two or three times the cost.
However, if you look beyond the short term, dental implants can last for many years, so it’s likely, that you will only pay once during your lifetime. On the contrary, because conventional restorations will need replacing frequently, you may end up spending more than you think over the course of a lifetime.
The good news is that many dentists now provide flexible payment options for procedures like dental implant surgery, so you’ll probably be able to spread the cost of treatment rather than having to stump it all up in one go.
An implant restoration involves undergoing dental implant surgery
The surgical aspect of a dental implant procedure is something that cannot be avoided. So it’s understandable that people who can’t undergo surgery or are worried or concerned about it may want to choose a different option.
That said, in most cases, undergoing dental implant surgery is a quick and straightforward process taking less than an hour. Our experienced team at Pearl Dental Care, for example, ensure that patients feel minimal to zero discomfort during the implant placement process. Moreover, many patients are surprised by how easy it is and tell us that ‘it was over before they knew it.’
Getting a dental implant is not a quick fix solution
You may already know that the process of getting a dental implant cannot be done in one sitting. Typically, a dental implant procedure, from start to finish, takes anywhere between 4-9 months to complete. Primarily, this is because time is needed for the implant to stabilise in the jaw. So why is this important?
Dental implants are a standalone treatment. In other words, they don’t rely on the support of other structures in the mouth. They instead form a stable foundation by fusing with the existing bone tissue in a process known as osseointegration.
Once the implant and jawbone become one, it’s sufficient to support a single dental crown, a bridge, or as a series of dental implants supporting a complete arch of replacement teeth.
Unfortunately, osseointegration is a natural process that cannot be rushed, taking 2-5 months on average. Once fully stabilised, the implant and its restoration become an integral part of the mouth.
So, while this aspect may be a disadvantage to some people, others realise that what they eventually have is a natural-looking and long-lasting fixed restoration that is easy to care for.
Of course, this post is all about the pros and cons of dental implants. So, as we’ve talked about some of the initial disadvantages, it’s only fair to balance it and discuss the advantages.
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth
Elaborating more on the above section, once a dental implant is fully stabilised and the permanent restoration attached, a dental implant is arguably the closest thing to natural teeth that modern dentistry allows. Dental implants enable you to bite and chew normally, while caring for them is as easy as brushing and flossing regularly.
Let’s touch on the chewing and biting aspect for a moment because it’s an important one. If you opt for a conventional restoration like a dental bridge or denture, chewing and biting capability is often limited. With some studies quoting a significant reduction in bite force, it’s understandable why long-term denture wearers may need to adapt their diet.
On the contrary, research suggests that within 2-3 months of getting a dental implant, your chewing capability may be 80% – 85% of your normal bite. This means that as soon as your dental implants have stabilised in the jaw, you should be able to eat whatever you like.
A dental implant prevents bone loss
As far as the pros and cons of dental implants go, this is perhaps one of the most significant advantages.
When teeth are missing, the bone tissue that once supported the natural tooth root gets reabsorbed back into the body because it is no longer required. This, in turn, causes the jawbone to shrink. In fact, in the space of one year, the jawbone diminishes by around 30%
Unfortunately, conventional restorations cannot halt the bone loss process, which is why the jaw’s ever-changing shape requires dentures or dental bridges to be changed often.
Conversely, because dental implants are anchored directly into the jaw, they re-stimulate the remaining bone tissue. The result is no further bone loss and, by default, no more premature ageing.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of dental implants explained. If you want to know more about dental implants and how they work, get a consultation at your local dental clinic. A dentist that offers a consultation should take the time to answer any questions or queries you have about the dental implant process while checking to see if you’re a good candidate.
Here at Pearl Dental Care, we ensure you understand every aspect of the dental implant process before committing. So, if you are considering getting implants but are still unsure, call us and book a dental consultation near you. We can help you to create a fully functioning and aesthetically pleasing smile that you can be proud of.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
NCBI – Evaluation of Maximum Bite Force In Patients With Complete Dentures
ResearchGate – Maximum Bite Force Following Unilateral Implant-Supported Prosthetic Treatment
NCBI – Prevention Of Bone Resorption by HA And Collagen Composite After Tooth Extraction: A Case Series