Considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option? Our Parksville dentists explain exactly what they are, and the advantages and disadvantages of this common 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 utilized because it can form a strong bond with the bone. Tooth replacements made of titanium are incredibly stable and secure. The dental implant is then covered with a dental crown that imitates 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. We can combine implants with other treatment options such as a bridge or denture.
The number of actual implants you need or can get will depend on the details of your case, your needs, and the density of your jaw bone. Due to their numerous possible configurations, dental implants are a common choice for many patients.
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.
No one should be able to tell that you have artificial teeth, and you can eat, speak and function as you did before while enjoying a quality of life. Since there are no nerves in a dental implant, you will not feel sensations.
Any emotions you may feel in connection with your dental implant will actually originate from the soft tissue surrounding the implant. You most likely won't notice much of a difference between your implant and your natural teeth once it has healed and you have adjusted to it.
Easy to Care For
You can take care of your dental implants the same way you would your natural teeth, just like you would bridges, crowns, or other restorations. You'll need to brush and floss them thoroughly, and your dentist will need to check them when you have regular checkups.
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 price of dental implants may vary based on your insurance plan and your particular dental problem. Some insurance companies cover a portion of the cost, while others may pay the full price for your implants, and still, other insurance companies might not cover anything at all.
Check with your insurance provider to learn whether your insurance plan will cover your treatment.
In addition to the aforementioned requirements, your jawbone must be sufficiently dense for dental implant treatment to be successful. If not, you might still be a candidate for the procedure, but a bone graft would be necessary to add bone to your jaw so that it can support the implant. This would lengthen the procedure and make it more intrusive.
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.