If you have damaged or discolored teeth — or gaps in your smile — there are several restorative dentistry options to consider. Dental implants are the only choice that can permanently replace missing teeth. Plus, they can support artificial replacement pieces, like crowns or bridges.
So, how do you know if dental implants are right for you? Learn more about the pros and cons of dental implants here.
Pros of Dental Implants
Dental Implants Can Last a Lifetime
Dental implants are typically made from titanium, which is biocompatible, and built to last. Over time your jaw will grow new bone around the implant, holding it secure like the root of a natural tooth.
Although the force of biting and chewing will eventually wear down the surface of the replacement teeth attached to the implants, the underlying fixture can last 25 years to a lifetime with the proper care.
Implants have a 90-95% success rate, making them one of the most effective treatments in modern restorative dentistry.
They Look and Feel like Natural Teeth
Removable dentures are made to look like natural teeth, but you may have issues with slippage. Not only can this produce clicking sounds, but it may also affect your speech. These drawbacks are avoided with implants since they’re anchored into your jaw.
Implant crowns come in various shapes and sizes and are specifically designed to blend with your smile. They won’t feel any different from your regular teeth, and most importantly, they won’t look out of place.
Prevent Bone Loss
A missing tooth will no longer stimulate the bone under it to regenerate, which may eventually lead to bone loss. Multiple missing teeth can cause the jaw to shrink and prematurely age your face.
Dental implants support your facial structure and stimulate new tissue growth by bonding with the jaw. As a result, the jawbone remains strong, and you’re less likely to experience bone loss and deterioration.
Cons of Dental Implants
They’re Not Suitable for Everyone
Dental implants are one of the best ways to restore your smile, but they’re not suitable for everyone. For example, patients with diabetes, autoimmune diseases, or blood disorders have a higher risk of implant failure. Smoking and active gum disease can also affect treatment.
Patients with low jawbone density or thickness may need a bone graft or sinus lift before implant placement. Unfortunately, these procedures add to the overall cost and treatment length.
Can Cost More than Other Options
Dental implants cost more upfront than dentures or bridges, but you end up paying less in the long run. Most people undergo implant surgery once, with only their prosthetic teeth needing to be replaced after a few years. Dentures and bridges, on the other hand, usually require more frequent replacement.
The Process Can Be Lengthy
The dental implant procedure typically involves a series of appointments and several months of recovery time between the implant procedure and the restoration placement. This may be off-putting if you want a quick fix for your smile. That said, the wait is necessary for the jaw bone to heal around the implant. You will be fitted with a temporary crown or bridge during this time.
Additionally, if you don’t like the idea of surgery, dental implants might not be the best option for you. Implants require a minor operation on the gums and jaw. However, each step of the treatment and recovery process will be explained to you by your dentist, so you’ll know what to expect.
Implant Dentist in West Omaha, NE
Taking the next steps in improving your smile is as easy as booking a consultation at Eagle Run West Dental Group. Our dentists can assess your teeth and gums and determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants. We coordinate our implant cases with a local oral surgeon.
Author Bio: Drs. Sharlene and Robert Wilson offer a variety of general and cosmetic dentistry services in Omaha, NE. They both earned their doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. With over 30 years of combined experience, both are committed to helping patients achieve beautiful, healthy, and long-lasting smiles. Call 402-498-8804 to schedule an appointment.