Dental Implants: The Pros and Cons
Dental implants are one of the best solutions for replacing a lost tooth, but are they right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about the pros and cons of dental implants.
When you lose a tooth, everyday activities like eating, talking and even smiling can feel uncomfortable. Tooth loss can affect your mood and confidence and lead to long-term damage if left untreated.
Therefore, it’s important to treat and replace missing teeth as soon as possible. Dental implants are one of the best options for those suffering from tooth loss. They can end your discomfort and restore your smile.
The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Before replacing your missing teeth, you want to make sure implants are the right choice for you. Here are the pros and cons of dental implants to help you decide whether or not to go down the implant dentistry route.
The Pros: What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Implants are long-term solutions, rather than quick fixes, and as such, they come with a wide range of benefits.
Dental Implants Look and Feel Like Natural Teeth
Dental implants have the appearance of real teeth. In fact, once your implant has been fitted, you’ll hardly be able to tell the difference between your replacement tooth and your real teeth.
As well as looking natural, implants won’t feel any different from your real teeth. The tooth implant will be anchored firmly into your jaw, so it will feel just as strong and stable as your existing teeth. You’ll be able to eat and talk as you normally would.
Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime
Implants are a long-lasting tooth replacement solution. You may need to replace the crowns every 10-15 years, but if you look after the implants, they can last a lifetime.
Try to stick to a healthy lifestyle and keep on top of your dental hygiene. Avoid smoking and sugary foods such as sweet treats, fizzy drinks and junk food. Brush your teeth and gum line twice a day and have regular check-ups with your dentist.
Looking after your tooth implants will increase the likelihood of them lasting for many years to come.
Eat and Chew with Ease
Unlike dentures and bridges, eating and chewing with implants won’t really feel any different. This is because implants feel almost identical to your natural teeth.
Once the dental implant procedure is complete, there’s no limit to what you can eat. Whether you fancy crunchy snacks, chewy foods, or hot or cold drinks, you can eat and drink without concern — just remember not to overdo the sugary treats.
Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
The roots of your teeth encourage the strengthening of the jaw bone. When you lose a tooth, the bone around the site of the missing tooth can start to break down and disintegrate. This is known as periodontitis.
Dental implants are anchored into your jaw, much like your real teeth. The screw thread of the implant acts like as root of a natural tooth, so with dental implants, your jaw bone remains strong and you won’t experience bone loss.
Implants Are Easy to Look After
It’s important to look after your implants if you want them to last a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean they’re difficult to look after.
You should care for them in the same way you’d care for your real teeth, with daily brushing, regular check-ups and a healthy diet.
Implant Dentistry is Cost-Effective
Dental implants aren’t the cheapest solution to tooth loss, but as a long-term, and potentially life-long, solution, they’re highly cost-effective.
Once your implants have been fitted, you won’t have to pay out for them again, or at least not for a very long time.
It’s a one-time cost for many years of comfort and confidence. You’ll soon forget you ever had a missing tooth in the first place.
The Cons: What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?
While the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of dental implants, no procedure is right for everyone. Here are a few reasons why dental implants may not be the best choice for you.
You Have to Meet Set Requirements for Implant Dentistry
To get dental implants, you first need to meet certain criteria. As the procedure involves anchoring the implant to your jaw bone, if you’ve experienced significant bone loss as a result of losing teeth, there may not be enough for the dental implant to be successful.
You’ll also need to be in good physical health so that your jaw can recover fully from the dental implant surgery.
It’s also not advised for smokers to have dental implants fitted. Smoking can cause dental implants to fail, which can increase the risk of bone loss.
The Dental Implant Procedure Can Be Lengthy
If you’re looking for a quick fix, dental implant surgery is not for you. Far from consisting of a single dentist visit, the dental implant procedure often takes several months.
If you’re replacing an existing damaged tooth, this will first need to be removed. Your dentist will then need to prepare the tooth site before fitting the implant anchor.
Once the anchor has been fitted, you’ll need to wait several months while it heals and the surrounding bone grows. The final stage of the procedure involves placing the artificial tooth.
Cost of Dental Implants
Implants aren’t the cheapest fix for a lost tooth. They’re the best long-term solution, but as the procedure is lengthy, it can be quite costly.
Unfortunately, dental implants aren’t usually offered by the Health Service Executive, so you’ll need to have them fitted by a private dentist.
However, the cost of dental implants is worth it for the comfort, confidence and natural feel you’ll experience, and it’s the closest you’ll come to having your real tooth back. The James Clinic can also make treatments more affordable by offering financing options. On a finance plan, the total cost can be repaid over the course of a year or even longer.
Dental Implants Can Fail
The dental implant failure rate is the lowest it’s ever been, and the vast majority of patients won’t experience any issues. Only 5-10% of patients will experience dental implant failure, but it’s a risk that patients should be aware of.
Failure can be caused by gum disease, insufficient jawbone or other medical conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, but it can also be caused by poor dental hygiene or smoking.
To limit the risk of implant failure, your dentist will assess whether implants are the right solution for you during your initial consultation. If an implant does fail, it can be removed and you can try again three months later.
Our Verdict on Dental Implants
There are both pros and cons of dental implants, but the benefits more than outweigh the disadvantages.
If you’re a suitable candidate for implants, they’re definitely the best solution for tooth loss. They look and feel natural, so you can eat, talk and smile without a worry in the world.
Their long lifespan means that once the procedure is over, you can sit back, relax and enjoy your new smile for many years to come.
If you’re thinking about getting dental implants or you want to know more, contact The James Clinic today. Our highly experienced dentists are always happy to advise and want to help you find the best solution for you and your smile. Get in touch now.