Wondering if dental implant surgery is worth the time and expense? Here's a look at what to consider when you're thinking about replacing a missing tooth or teeth with a dental implant.
The Pros of Dental Implants: More than Just a Pretty Face
There are many reasons why dental implant surgery makes great sense for anyone requiring an artificial tooth. Here are the main dental implant benefits to keep in mind:
- Aesthetics: If you want an “Insta-ready” smile, dental implants may be the right choice. They look and feel just like regular teeth.
- Bone health: When you get dental implants, the implant is replacing the root of your tooth. This means that — although it is still possible — bone loss is much less likely.
- Durability: One of the key benefits of dental implants is that they are about as permanent a solution as you can get. Because the implants are fused to your jaw bone, they’re very stable, and if you take good care of them, you can expect them to be just as durable as your natural teeth. When you consider the fact that dentures typically last for only about five to eight years, dental implants are a great choice for those looking for a long-term option.
- Practical benefits: Dental implants aren’t just for people who want a picture-perfect smile. Because the implant’s titanium post is fused to your jaw, implants stay in place. That means (unlike dentures) your speech is not affected and eating is easier.
The Cons of Dental Implants: Patience is a Virtue
Dental implant surgery isn’t without its challenges. Here are some key dental implant factors to consider:
- Lengthy process: Getting dental implants fitted can take a long time, as you’ll need to wait up to six months for your implants to fuse with the jawbone. Given that there are multiple steps involved with the procedure, this may not be the best solution for someone who needs an immediate fix.
- Infections: Although dental implant complications are rare, it’s possible for your gums to get infected after your implants are inserted. In the most extreme cases, dental implant complications can result in periodontal disease, leading to bone loss.
- Additional procedures: In some cases, dental implants may require additional procedures. For example, certain people may not have enough bone to support the implant, meaning that they may require a bone graft. It’s also possible that you may need a sinus lift if your sinuses are located too close to your jawbone. These additional surgeries can increase waiting time for your implants, while they may also ramp up the price.
- Cost: One of the key things to remember about dental implants is even if your insurance plan covers them, you’re still going to have to pay for a portion of the procedure. The exact details are dependent on the specifics of your plan, but you can expect to pay more for this type of procedure than you would for any typical dental treatment.
And the winner is...
So, is dental implant surgery worth all the trouble? Owing to their durability, appearance, and functionality, dental implants are probably the best option for missing teeth replacement, giving you a long-term option that can last for the rest of your life.
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