Here, our Calgary dentists explain to you what dental implants are, including their advantages and disadvantages, to help you determine if they are the right tooth replacement for you.
Dental implants are a permanent way to replace teeth that are missing. Implants are kept in place with a small titanium rod that is implanted into the jaw bone of a patient. This implant acts as a root for an artificial tooth.
Implants are made from titanium because this method is able to bond to the bone. Titanium implants are secure and stable tooth replacements. When the implant is ready, your dentist will cap it with a dental crown to offer a natural function and appearance.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Below we have listed some of the advantages of dental implants:
They are Versatile
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth in the upper or lower jaw. We can combine implants with other treatment options such as a bridge or denture.
Your specific case and requirements, in addition to the density of your jaw bone, will determine the number of actual implants you need/can get. Dental implants are a popular option for many patients as they have many potential configurations.
Your dental implant could last you a lifetime if you care for it properly. This makes it important to implement and maintain a proper oral care routine at home and attend regular dentist appointments for routine dental exams and cleanings.
Genetics, nutrition, and the development of dental diseases can also factor into how long your dental implant will last.
Natural Appearance and Function
As mentioned above, your dental implant, paired with a bridge or crown, will look and function just like your natural tooth.
Odds are no one will be able to notice that you have artificial teeth, you will be able to function, speak, and eat the same way you did before and can enjoy a quality life. Because dental implants don't have any nerves, you won't be able to feel any sensations.
Alternatively, any feelings you experience related to your dental implant will actually come from the soft tissue around the implant. After your implant has healed and you’ve gotten used to it, you most likely will notice very little difference between your implant and your natural teeth.
Easy to Take Care Of
Similar to bridges, crowns, or other restorations, you can care for your dental implants just like your natural teeth. They’ll need thorough brushing and flossing, and your dentist will need to check them during your regular exams.
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
Dental implants might not be the right option for you depending on your individual case. Here, we've listed some disadvantages of dental implants you should take into consideration:
While dental implants could feel and look a bit more natural than bridges, the dental implant process itself is more invasive and takes longer.
Depending on your individual case and treatment plan, the complete dental implant procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months.
The costs of your dental implants will depend on various factors such as your individual case and how much your insurance will cover. While some insurance companies pay part of the cost, others may cover the entire cost of your implants and still, others may not pay for any part of it.
Ask your insurance provider if they can cover your dental implants treatment.
On top of the factors detailed above, your jaw bone needs to have enough density for your implant treatment to be successful. If not, you might still be able to get dental implants, but you would need to get a bone graft to transplant bone to your jaw so your implant can be supported. This would make the process longer and more invasive.
How will I know which tooth replacement option will be best for me?
While dental implants, bridges, and other restorations all have their benefits, the right choice for you will depend on your oral health needs, budget, and other factors.
Ultimately, you’ll need to discuss your case with your dentist to find out which tooth-replacement option would work best for you.