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Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants

Dental implants are an increasingly popular way to restore the functionality and aesthetics of one’s smile. They offer a long-lasting, natural-looking replacement for missing teeth that can boost self-confidence and improve oral health. But along with these advantages come some potential disadvantages, so it’s important to be aware of both sides before committing to this procedure.

Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of dental implants, helping you make an informed decision about whether they’re right for you.

A dental implant is a tiny, screw-like post or frame, often made of titanium, a biocompatible metal. It’s implanted into your jawbone through minor oral surgery, acting as a replacement root for a missing tooth. Once in place, the implant supports one or more restorations or replacement teeth, such as dental crowns, bridges, or dentures (false teeth).

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What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are several advantages of dental implants that make them an excellent option for replacing missing teeth. They include:

  • Improved appearance:

    Since dental implants replace your missing teeth, they improve how you look, boosting your confidence. Plus, they look like your natural teeth, so nobody can tell you have dental prosthetics. You don’t have to feel embarrassed about smiling in photos or in public.

  • Enhanced Speech:

    Missing teeth can affect the way you speak, as well as your pronunciation of certain words. Dental implants aid in delivering clear sound and speech.

  • Improved oral health:

    Dental implants help to preserve the healthy bone and tissue adjacent to the space left by missing teeth, which helps to maintain your existing bite. The implant also prevents other teeth from moving out of position, keeping your overall dental structure strong and stable.

  • Better comfort:
    More qualified and experienced dentists may charge more for their services. However, you will likely get quality results when you choose a dental surgeon with plenty of experience in placing teeth implants.

  • Long-lasting results:

    One of the advantages of dental implants that makes them popular is that they are durable and can last for many years—10 to 15 years on average. But with proper care, you can expect their lifespan to reach 25 years.

  • Help stimulate bone growth and prevent jaw bone loss:

    When a tooth is lost, the jaw bone in that area starts to deteriorate due to lack of stimulation. With an implant, you can prevent this bone loss and keep your natural face shape intact or prevent facial sagging.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

In general, tooth implants are known to have a high success rate. Many studies have already been done, and the results show that, in most cases, there are higher chances that dental implants can survive for ten years.

For example, one study, wherein they examined the success rate of dental implants in patients with a mean age of 48, shows that the 10-year implant survival rate is 98.8%, while the success rate is 97%.

Another long-term study that examined 4,247 patients showed that the success rate of dental implants over ten years is 96.8% and 94% for 15 years.

However, it’s important to note that several factors can influence this success rate, including the quality of your bone, the skill of your dentist, and how well you look after your implants.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?

Like other dental procedures, there are also disadvantages of dental implants that you have to consider before making your final decision, such as:
  • The cost
  • Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement options like dentures or dental bridges, as they require minor surgery and costly materials. This is especially true if you don’t have dental insurance to help you pay for your treatment.

  • It requires surgery
  • If you have dental anxiety or a fear of needles, you may have to think twice because dental implants involve invasive surgery. This means that your dentist will make incisions, and the procedure involves anaesthetics or sedatives.

  • It takes time to heal<
  • One of the major disadvantages of dental implants is the long time it takes to complete the process. Depending on your overall health, recovery takes a few months, sometimes up to 6 months or more. During this time, you must be patient and wait for the healing process to complete before you can use your dental implants as normal.

  • Risk of infections
  • While they are generally safe, remember that there are risks associated with the treatment. These include infection, nerve damage, and sinus issues due to incorrect placement of the implants.

  • Allergic reactions
  • Some people may be allergic to one or more materials used for dental implants, such as titanium and other metals.

  • Risk of dental implant failure
  • Several factors can cause your dental implants to fail, such as unmanaged diabetes, poor lifestyle practices like smoking, and poor oral hygiene.

  • Not everybody is a good candidate
  • You need to meet certain requirements to be eligible for implant treatment. Sometimes, you need additional procedures, such as bone grafting, a sinus lift, and tooth extraction, so that you can have this treatment. That’s why your dentist will discuss the pros and cons of dental implants during your consultation to help you decide.

Do Dental Implants Fail?

As mentioned, dental implants can fail. One study found that the failure rate of this dental treatment is 3.11%. The following are possible reasons why implants fail:

  • Age
    A study found that, compared to patients younger than 40, patients aged 60 to 79 have a higher risk of dental implant failure. This may be because seniors are often at risk for bone loss and dental problems.

  • Medical conditions
    Certain medical conditions, like uncontrolled diabetes, can significantly increase a patient’s risk for implant failure because of slow or poor healing. This makes osseointegration more difficult.

  • Inadequate oral hygiene
    Poor oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of dental implant failure, as it can lead to infection and inflammation.

  • Smoking
    Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, can also contribute to dental implant failure due to slow healing and infection.

  • Faulty placement of the implant
    If the implant is not properly placed, it can lead to nerve damage, sinus issues, and other complications. These can then cause implant failure.

  • Bone quality
    A low-quality bone may not be able to support the implant and may lead to failure. That’s why your dentist or oral surgeon examines your jaw bone during your implant consultation to determine if it’s strong and healthy enough to support the implant.

What Other Treatment Alternatives Are Available for Tooth Loss?

If you’re not a good candidate for this treatment or you believe the disadvantages of dental implants outweigh the benefits, you may want to consider other options, such as:

  • Dental bridges
    This is an alternative to dental implants that involves attaching false teeth (pontics) to both sides of the missing teeth or gap using dental crowns. On average, they can last up to 5 to 7 years, but they can last ten years or longer with the right maintenance.

  • Complete or partial dentures
    These artificial teeth made of acrylic, nylon, or metal fit snugly over the gums and are removable. They are a less expensive replacement for missing or damaged teeth.

  • Resin-bonded bridge
    Also called a “Maryland bridge,” a resin-bonded bridge is similar to the traditional bridge but uses composite resin cement to bond the pontics to the back of either of the adjacent teeth. This is an ideal option for those who don’t want to undergo surgery, as it’s a noninvasive procedure.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a great option for tooth replacement to help you achieve a more beautiful smile and restore your teeth’s functions. They are durable and long-lasting, but they can also be expensive and require a long healing period. One must be aware of the pros and cons of dental implants if they are considering this treatment to help them decide if this procedure suits their needs and preferences.

If in doubt, consult with South Perth Dental Surgery to better understand how this surgical procedure works and if it’s right for you. Our clinic is equipped with modern technology and dentists with years of experience performing dental implant surgeries. These allow us to provide you with quality dental services.

We will examine your oral health during your appointment to determine if you are a good candidate. We will also sit down with you to discuss the disadvantages and advantages of dental implants so that you are well-informed before you proceed with the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortunately, dental implants don’t get cavities because they are made of artificial materials. However, you need to care for your oral health as plaque buildup can occur around it, which can lead to tooth decay on your real teeth.

The dental implant procedure doesn’t hurt because you will be given anaesthesia to numb the area during your surgery. But you may feel pain and discomfort after the effects of the anaesthetics wear off, which may last for a week or two. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to manage the pain and apply ice packs for the first 48 hours after your procedure.

This depends on the replacement teeth you choose and how you take care of them. If you receive crowns, they might last between 10 and 20 years. On the other hand, dentures can last up to 7 to 10 years, while the lifespan of bridges can be up to 10 to 15 years.

You can prolong the lifespan of your dental implants by maintaining good oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily. In addition, it’s essential to visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional checkups and cleanings. This way, they can spot potential issues and address them early on before they become bigger. Also, if you are a smoker, consider quitting because this can cause an infection that leads to implant failure. Another way to extend the life of your implants is to avoid eating hard and chewy foods. Lastly, if you have bruxism, talk to your dentist about getting a night guard to protect your implants from damage.

Call Us Today to Schedule Your Dental Appointment

South Perth Dental Surgery has been providing high-quality dental care to families for over 30 years. Our team of experienced dentists offer extensive world-class services and stays current with the latest dental technology so we can help keep your smile looking great.
Make an appointment with us today and see what we have to offer!