Due to advancements in the medical field, the average lifespan of people has drastically improved. This has contributed to many periodontal diseases, because human teeth are not made to last for such a long life. As a result, people have to switch to some kind of false tooth alternatives after a certain age. Amongst the various options available, dental implants are particularly preferred for their natural appearance and durability. However, before making a lifetime commitment to dental implants, one needs to consider their advantages and disadvantages.
Dental implant procedure is a major surgery in cosmetic dentistry. In this procedure, a titanium implant is drilled in the jawbone, where it is left to fuse with the bone. A false tooth or crown is screwed to the implant with the help of an anchor. As the implant is completely hidden in the jaw, only the crown is visible outside the gum. This gives it a more natural appearance. This procedure is an extensive one, stretching over several weeks. During the consultation session, your dentist will assess your oral health and check if you are a good candidate for dental implants or not. He may even suggest you with other false tooth options and leave the final decision to you. During the surgery session, your dentist only drills the implant in the bone. The implant takes several months to fuse with the bone. Until then, you will be fitted with a temporary false tooth.
Dental Implant Pros and Cons
Now that you have a fair idea about the procedure for dental implant, let me take you through the pros and cons of this dental procedure.
The biggest advantage of a dental implant is its ability to provide a near natural appearance. It can be effectively used as a treatment for tooth abscesses and other periodontal diseases. People who have lost a healthy tooth during a physical injury or trauma can also benefit from this cosmetic procedure. In addition, it can also be used as a support where adjacent teeth are not healthy. Dental implants are meant to last for a lifetime. They require little or no maintenance during their lifetime. In healthy individuals, success rate of implants can be as high as 98%, provided they take good postoperative care. You have the choice of choosing porcelain or ceramic as material for the crown. Porcelain renders a more natural look and ceramic crowns are pretty inexpensive. Other benefits of implants include ability to chew and eat naturally as well as improved speech. Dentures may slip while eating and may make you mumble due to their instability. However, implants are firm, hence cause absolutely no inconvenience while eating or talking. Besides, dental implants allow you to maintain good oral hygiene as you can brush and floss them normally. All this may contribute towards an improved self esteem.
Along with the positives, comes the flip side as well. Dental implants may not be a feasible option for everyone. Their very high cost may deter many from seeking this treatment option. Most dental insurances do not provide a coverage for this procedure. Besides, people with weakened jawbone or bone diseases cannot get implants fitted. People who have a habit of grinding their teeth while asleep are also discouraged from getting implants. Even if you are considered a good candidate, you may have to encounter certain postoperative dental implant problems. In some people, implant rejection may occur, in which the jawbone does not allow the implant to fuse, thereby causing infection and discomfort. Similarly, as this is a surgical procedure, your chances of getting swelling, bruising and infection are same as that for any other surgery. In addition, one may have to endure the expense of replacing crowns every 10 to 15 years, as it may get stained and scratched over a period of time. If you have more than one missing tooth, it only makes sense in investing in some other false teeth option such as dentures or bridges.
In short, dental implant is a lengthy, risky and very expensive tooth loss treatment. However, if you turn out to be a good candidate for this treatment, and highest levels of sterilization are maintained, then you will only be dazzled with its brilliant results.