There are several options to choose from when replacing teeth that are missing or damaged. In the past, dentures and fixed bridgework were common options that could help fill gaps however, dental implants have become more popular in recent years.
Despite the functional and aesthetic benefits that dental implants can provide, replacing missing teeth is more than just a cosmetic procedure. A lost tooth causes the alveolar bone supporting the tooth in the jaw, to disintegrate and this can affect the structure of your face, which includes the jaw and its joints, as well as the supporting soft tissues, if many teeth are missing. This in turn, can cause remaining teeth to shift and affect your bite negatively, with the alignment of the upper and lower teeth resulting in difficulty chewing and poor nutrition. In some cases this may also open up food traps in other areas becoming a decay risk as teeth move into gaps.
Dental implants are an innovative option that offer benefits that other tooth replacement services can’t. Even though dental implants are generally considered to be a safe procedure, as with any surgery, complications may occur – including bleeding, infection, nerve, sinus or nasal cavity injuries. Here are the pros & cons of dental implants.
Pros Of Dental Implants
1. Prevents Bone Loss
Tooth loss can often cause a loss of bone mass in your jaw. In order for your jawbone to maintain its mass, it needs the stimulation it gets when your teeth connect. Dental implants are unique in the way that they are the only tooth replacement option that provides jaw bone stimulation through load that is transmitted whilst chewing, thus helping to prevent bone loss.
2. Matches Natural Teeth
Dental implants consist of a root form which is implanted in the bone, the functional and aesthetic part of the implant is the “crown” which is connected to the dental fixture/root form. The crown is typically what is above the gum. Your dental implant dentist will work with you to design a suitable prosthesis that attaches to the implant to match the colour and shape of your surrounding teeth and facial features, while fitting precisely to close the gaps.
3. Restores Bite Force
Dental implants allow you to bite with more or less the same amount of force you could use with your natural teeth. The implant is anchored into your jaw with a titanium post that replaces the tooth root. in comparison, dentures that sit passively on the gum often rely on the supporting soft tissues compressibility for stability. The more flabby or compressible the soft tissue, the more the denture can rock. Dental implants allow you to enjoy all kinds of foods, especially foods that are more fibrous or are of a harder consistency that you may be unable to enjoy with dentures.
4. Permanent Fixed / Removable Solutions
Dental implants can be fixed in the case of a single tooth implant or a bridge supported by implants. This means the patient is unable to remove it. In such cases proper hygiene is necessary around the implants similar to teeth to maintain gingival and bone health. In some instances, where multiple teeth are lost, dental implants can act as a retainer for removable dentures. This means that the implant acts as a retention point for a implant retained denture, however it is still possible to remove the denture to clean other teeth, the gums and even the denture itself.
5. No Cavities
Artificial teeth require a prevention of bacteria from building up in your mouth and causing infections, but a major advantage is that dental implant materials can’t decay. Following your dental implant procedure, you will no longer have to worry about getting cavities in your dental implants ever again. In comparison bridges and dentures still rely on the surrounding teeth for support. Decay of these surrounding teeth may compromise those replacement options.
Cons Of Dental Implants
1. Lengthy Process
Getting dental implants fitted can be a lengthy procedure that requires up to 4 to 6 months for your implants to fuse with the jawbone. Due to the multiple steps involved with the process, it may not be the best solution for anyone who doesn’t have 6 months to wait or who need an immediate fix.
Complications in dental implant procedures are rare however, it’s still possible for your gums to become infected once your implants are inserted. The gum around the implant can be susceptible to infection by bacteria, possibly resulting in Peri-mucositis (inflammation around the gums around the implant) or peri-implantitis (inflammation of the gum and the bone structure around a dental implant) and other periodontal diseases that can result in bone and soft tissue attachment loss. Our friendly dentist will assist you in educating you to keep these investments clean. Regular check-ups are also recommended so that the gum and bone around the implants are monitored closely by our dentists.
Dental implants can cost a little more than other replacement options. There are several stages of dental implants that are spread out over time, in a lot of cases it’s a pay by stage approach. Here at Blackburn Family Dental Care we can tailor a payment plan that is flexible for you.
4. Additional Procedures
Dental implants may require additional procedures in some cases. A bone graft may be needed for example, when certain people do not have enough bone to support the implant. If there is insufficient bone in the posterior maxilla, sometimes a sinus lift procedure is necessary. Additional surgeries such as these can increase the waiting time for implants, while driving up the price as well. The best advice is not to assume that multiple procedures may be required, but to do a specialised 3D bone scan called a CBCT scan. Our friendly dentist can then advise on whether or not you have sufficient bone, and, in many cases, it may well be that additional procedures are not required.
Are you considering dental implant procedures? Dental implants may be the best solution for replacing missing teeth or dentures that don’t fit. They have a natural look, better functionality and an ability to reduce the resorption of bone that can happen with other replacement options such as dentures or bridges. Dental implants can also improve the way you chew, speak and self-confidence, while providing a long-term solution that can last the rest of your life.
If you’re looking for dental implants, our friendly and caring team at Blackburn Family Dental Care are here to help. We provide a wide range of treatments, from single tooth implants to multiple teeth replacement implants, we take pride in providing the best service to our patients in our warm and professional family dental clinic. Contact us today to find out more about what we can do for you.