Are you contemplating dental implants as a possible tooth replacement option? Our North York dentists define them and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this procedure.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants permanently replace missing teeth. Held in place with a tiny titanium rod implanted into the patient’s jaw bone, the implant serves as the root of the artificial tooth.
Titanium is used because it is compatible with bone. Titanium implants are extremely stable and secure tooth substitutes. The dental implant is then capped with a dental crown that mimics the appearance of a natural tooth.
Together, the implant and the cap look and function just like your natural tooth.
What are the advantages of having dental implants?
Dental implants offer several advantages, including:
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth in the upper or lower jaw. Combining implants with other treatment options such as a bridge or denture can be done too.
Your unique situation and requirements, as well as the density of your jaw bone, will dictate the number of actual implants you require/can obtain. Dental implants are a popular choice for many people due to their versatility.
Provided you properly care for your dental implant, it can last a lifetime. A proper at-home oral care routine is a must, as are regular visits to your dental office for cleanings and exams.
Other factors including nutrition, genetics or the development of dental diseases can also impact the longevity of your dental implant.
Natural Look and Feel
As mentioned above, your dental implant, paired with a bridge or crown, will look and function just like your natural tooth.
Nobody should be able to tell you to have artificial teeth, and you should be able to eat, speak, and function normally while maintaining a high quality of life. Due to the absence of nerves in a dental implant, you will experience no sensations.
Rather than that, any feelings you have about your dental implant will originate in the soft tissue surrounding the implant. After your implant has healed and you have become accustomed to it, you will most likely notice little difference between your implant and your natural teeth.
Easy to Care For
As with bridges, crowns, and other restorations, dental implants can be cared for similarly to natural teeth. They'll require thorough brushing and flossing, and they'll need to be checked during your routine dental exams.
What are the potential disadvantages of dental implants?
Depending on the nature of your case, dental implants may not be for you. Here are some aspects of dental implants you may want to consider:
While dental implants may look and feel somewhat more natural than dental bridges, the dental implant process is lengthier and more invasive.
Depending on your treatment plan and your specific case, the entire dental implant procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to complete.
The cost of dental implants varies depending on your insurance coverage and the nature of your dental problem. While some insurance companies may cover a portion of the cost, others may cover the entire cost, and others may not cover any portion of the cost.
Check with your insurance provider to learn whether your insurance plan will cover your treatment.
In addition to the items listed above, you must have sufficient density in your jaw bone to ensure a successful dental implant procedure. If you do not, you may still be a candidate for the procedure but will require a bone graft to replace the missing bone in your jaw. This would lengthen and add invasiveness to the procedure.
How do I know whether dental implants or other options are right 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.