Tooth loss can happen due to a variety of causes, ranging from injury, tooth decay and diseases. Dentures and bridges have always been the most popular solutions for tooth loss over the years, but nowadays, more and more people are benefiting from dental implants.
As the term implies, dental implants are metal implants, which may be fixed or permanent, that are anchored to the jawbone, providing a framework for new, natural-looking teeth. Unlike dental bridges and dentures which do not provide as much support, these are lasting investments for improved appeal and confidence, as well as, normalized functions for eating, speaking and smiling.
But what are the pros and cons of affordable dental implants and how are they better alternatives to traditional dentures and bridges?
Pros of Dental Implants
1. Implants Permanently Replace Lost Teeth
They look like your other existing teeth, and are stable enough to provide similar functions without the annoying noise or struggle in speaking and chewing. You’ll also care for implants the same way as you would with your healthy teeth.
2. Protect the Rest of your Teeth
Unlike bridges and dentures, it can reliably stand on their own without anchoring with the neighboring teeth. Implants prevent bone damage as well because they are individually anchored to the jawbone, replacing lost tooth right from the roots.
3. Durable and Long-Lasting
They are sturdier alternatives than bridges and dentures since implants are as good as a new tooth, that is why you’ll get a lasting and permanent solution. You also don’t have to deal with messy dental adhesives as with dentures, and you are confident that it stays in place whatever you do.
With the right dental hygiene, implants can last for a very long time.
4. Pain is Generally Manageable
One might imagine that getting it is a painful process as it involves surgery. But contrary to popular belief, implants are less painful, even slightly comfortable than having a tooth extracted. Dentists administer local anesthesia to manage and lessen the pain and make you comfortable during the entire process.
5. Implants Can Improve Your Physical Appeal
The condition of your teeth has a significant impact on your beauty and physical appeal. With tooth visibly missing, you may find it hard to smile, eat or even speak normally. Dental implants can help you deal with such physical flaws way better than a denture would, and make you look and feel good.
Cons of Dental Implant
1. Most Dental Insurance Policies Do not Cover the Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants can be expensive especially because most dental insurance doesn’t cover them. Some insurance policies may cover the procedure, but it still depends on the cause of tooth loss or injury.
Talk with your insurance provider and dentist before getting dental implants, and financially prepare for it if you are genuinely interested.
2. It is a Surgical Procedure
It requires you to go under the knife and expect the surgery to complete the process. Any type of surgery carries a risk, but as long as you are generally healthy and practice proper oral hygiene, the success rate for dental implants are typically high.
If you suffer from infection and excessive bleeding, pain, and discomfort after the procedure, consult with your dentist right away.
3. Implants Need time to Take Effect
You won’t get implants on the first visit with your dentist. Once the metal framework is in place, you need to wait around six months before the new tooth is screwed over it.
Your dentist can put a temporary implant while you wait and then come back when the jawbone has fused with the metal framework and is ready to receive the new tooth. Other things can complicate the entire process. For instance, if you have osteoporosis, the dentist may have to perform grafting which further delays the placement of the implant.
With a success rate of over 90%, getting dental implants can be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make for yourself. Implants restore your ability to speak, eat and smile as you normally would, knowing that your new tooth is anchored to the jawbone very securely.
Although there are some disadvantages, such as the higher cost of implants versus dentures and bridges, it’s good to know that the benefits far outweigh them. It may be a long process and require a good amount of money, but it is also an investment for a permanent and long-term solution for tooth loss.
It is just important to remember that it doesn’t end when you successfully get dental implants. Observe the best practices for oral care and routinely visit your dentist, whether or not you have dental issues. It’s better to spot the oral problems early so that you and your dentist can work out the best possible solutions.