Dental Implants: A Comparison Between the Pros and Cons

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Dental implants are tiny metal posts used to act as artificial tooth roots. Your dentist or orthodontist inserts them into your jawbone through minor surgery and attaches prosthetic teeth, bridges, or dentures to the posts. Dental implants are an effective solution to tooth loss. However, they have advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider before going ahead with the surgery.


This blog post will compare the pros and cons of dental implants to help you decide whether or not this treatment suits your needs and budget.


close up smiley patient dentist clinic

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

The following are the benefits of dental implants:

  • They are durable and long-lasting.
    With proper care, implants can last for more than 25 years. Dental implants are often made of titanium, which bonds well with human bone.
  • They are aesthetically pleasing.
    The prosthetic teeth, bridge, or crown placed on top of your implants will be designed to look like your natural teeth. The laboratory that fabricates your restoration will match the colour and shape of your new teeth to the rest of your smile. These prosthetic teeth can also act as natural teeth since they are securely placed in your mouth. This means that they can’t move, slip, or fall out.
  • They are easier to care for than removable dentures.
    Dental implants do not require special cleaning solutions or adhesives. You can brush and floss them just like your natural teeth.
  • They prevent the resorption of the jaw bone.
    Resorption of the jaw bone occurs when you lose teeth, and the bone used to support them starts to shrink. This can cause your face to collapse and make you look older. Dental implants help prevent bone loss by providing stimulation to the bone.
  • They don’t require the grinding down of adjacent teeth, as with dental bridges.
    When you get a dental bridge, the healthy teeth on either side of the gap must be trimmed so the bridge can be attached. With dental implants, there is no need to trim your natural teeth since dental implants will be used as anchors instead of teeth.
  • There are fewer food restrictions.
    With full or partial dentures, you must be careful about what you eat because they can slip and fall out. Since implants are securely placed in your mouth, you don’t have to worry about them falling out or slipping. This can make you feel more comfortable when eating. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?

Along with the advantages, there are also disadvantages to this oral surgery. These include the following:

  • They are expensive.
    While the price will depend on the type of implant, the number of implants you need, and the location of your dentist or orthodontist, dental implants can be expensive. This is because the treatment is technique sensitive and requires surgery, which means you have to pay for the associated costs, such as the anaesthesia, the surgical suite, etc. Also, the material used for the implants is usually titanium, which can be costly.
  • They have a longer treatment time.
    The duration of dental implant treatment can take several months. Your recovery period, including the time for the implant to fuse with your jawbone, can take 3 to 5 months. Sometimes it may take longer, depending on your lifestyle, oral hygiene, and habits.
  • They require surgery.
    While the surgery involved is minor, it is surgery nonetheless. So, if you have dental anxiety or fear of injections, this may not be the right treatment for you. You can opt for other sedatives or general anaesthesia to help ease your anxiety, but this will add to the cost of the treatment.
  • They have a risk of failure.
    While the success rate for this surgical procedure is high, there is still a chance that it may fail. This can be due to an infection, damage to the implant site, or rejection by your body.
  • They carry a risk of infection.
    As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection with dental implants. This occurs around the implant site and can be caused by bacteria that enter the site during or after surgery. Also called peri-implantitis, this condition can also arise due to poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, bruxism or grinding of teeth, and a compromised immune system. This can cause inflammation and pain, and even dental implant failure.
  • They are not suitable for everyone.
    If you have health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease or taking certain medications that can delay healing, you may not be suitable for dental implants. Also, if you have had radiation therapy to the head or neck area, this can affect your suitability to get dental implants. In addition, you need to quit or avoid smoking, as this can also delay healing and put you at a higher risk for infection.

    Moreover, you need a strong and healthy jawbone for dental implants to succeed. If your jawbone is too thin or too short, the implants may not fuse properly or fail altogether. If you choose to continue with the procedure, you need to undergo additional procedures, such as bone grafting or sinus lift, which can add to your total expenses and entire treatment time.
  • They may require several dental visits.
    Dental implant treatment is not a one-sitting treatment. It requires several dental visits spread over a couple of months. First, the implant site must be prepared by placing a metal post into the jawbone. Once the post has healed and bonded with the surrounding bone tissue, a false tooth can be attached to it. The entire process can take several months to complete, but it is typically worth the wait for patients who want a long-lasting solution to their tooth loss.

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

If you have missing teeth or loose dentures, the quality of your life may be affected. This is especially true if you must talk to people daily as part of your job. Chewing and pronouncing certain sounds correctly may be difficult for you.

Dental implants may be worth it if you consider these significant benefits. While there are disadvantages, they can be reduced if you carefully follow your dentist or orthodontist’s instructions. In addition, dental implants can last for more than two decades with proper care, and you don’t have to go to the dentist often for replacement. Dental implants can also prevent the resorption of the jaw bone, which is a common problem among people with missing teeth.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth and restore your teeth’s functions and appearance, boosting your confidence. Overall, they can improve your quality of life for many years. However, they have pros and cons you need to consider before deciding to continue the treatment.

If you plan on getting a dental implant procedure and have questions and concerns, contact us to book an implant consultation.

Upon your initial appointment, one of the dentists at Ellen Stirling Dental will examine and assess your oral health to see if you are a good candidate. This may involve taking x-rays and 3D scans of your teeth and jaw. Once you are deemed suitable for tooth implants, they will discuss the procedure, benefits and disadvantages, and what to expect after completing your treatment. This is to allow you to decide based on facts. They may recommend other tooth replacement options if you are not an ideal candidate.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best candidates for dental implants are healthy adults with good oral hygiene who are experiencing tooth loss due to an accident, injury, or periodontal disease. They should have enough bone in their jaw to support the implant. They should also be in good overall health and are committed to following their dentist’s instructions for care after the surgery.

Some studies show that the survival rate of dental implants at 15 years is 94.0%. This means that many people undergoing this treatment have a successful outcome. If you follow your dentist’s instructions correctly, your risk of failure may be very low.

Not everyone can get dental implants. You need to meet certain qualifications to be suitable for this procedure. Good oral hygiene and overall health are necessary. You should also have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant and no active gum disease and tooth decay. Your dentist can tell you if you are eligible for implants during your implant consultation.

Dental implant surgery is not a painful procedure. However, you may experience discomfort and soreness after surgery, which goes away after a few days. This can be alleviated with pain medication prescribed by your dentist or by applying an ice pack to minimise swelling and pain.

Dr. Rachit Shah

Author

Dr. Rachit Shah

Dr. Rachit Shah has a caring and holistic approach to your healthcare. He brings a gentle and modern approach to dentistry; one aimed to create a painless and anxiety-free experience whilst using conservative methods to create long-lasting and highly aesthetic smiles.

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