Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the most highly desired tooth replacement options available in dentistry. When one or more teeth are missing or damaged to the point of needing extraction, dental implants provide a replacement option.
If you’re trying to decide if dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you, it helps to consider the pros and cons.
What Are Dental Implants?
To understand the pros and cons of dental implants it helps to know what they are and how they work. A dental implant is a titanium or zirconia post shaped like a screw that is surgically placed in the jaw to replace the natural root of the tooth. The threads of the screw help it fuse with the bone and form a solid bond. Then an abutment and crown can be attached to the implant to replace a single tooth. Multiple implants can be placed in the jaw to support a bridge or dentures.
Pros of Dental Implants
The biggest advantages of dental implants include:
- Security. Dental implants fuse with the bone in your jaw to form a solid bond that can support a crown, bridge, or dentures. They are just as secure as your natural tooth roots. Implant supported dentures stay in place more securely than traditional dentures because they connect to the implants that are placed in the jaw.
- Natural look. Dental implants can look very natural because they are anchored in the jaw like a natural tooth.
- Prevents bone loss. The way dental implants bond with the jaw bone prevents it from weakening and dissolving as it would in the absence of a tooth root.
- Last a lifetime. Once a dental implant fuses with the bone it can last for decades, and in many cases a lifetime.
Cons of Dental Implants
Dental implants do have some disadvantages, such as:
- Requires sufficient bone structure. Before a dental implant can be placed, there must be enough bone structure available for placement. The bone must be a certain width, depth, and density to support an implant successfully. If one or more teeth have been missing for a while, the bone may have weakened and resorbed (dissolved). This means bone grafting may be necessary to prepare the jaw for implants.
- Higher cost than lesser quality prosthetics. Dental implants are the most expensive tooth replacement option because they are the highest quality. Dental bridges and traditional dentures cost less, but they are not as secure and may not look as natural.
- Not always covered by insurance. Many dental insurance plans don’t cover dental implants, but some do. Check your specific plan to see if you have dental implant coverage and what the exact rules about that coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
How long does it take to get dental implants?
The process of getting dental implants will take a few appointments. The entire process from the initial consultation to the final restoration may take anywhere from a few months to about a year.
Does dental implant placement require surgery?
The placement of dental implants in the jaw is a minor oral surgery. It can be done with just local anesthesia in most cases and may take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.
Are Dental Implants Right For Me?
If you’re interested in dental implants, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Scott H. Froum, DDS, PC. Dr. Scott Froum is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Osseointegration and has experience with dental implants for over 20 years. After a brief evaluation we can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants and if they are the right tooth replacement option for you.