3d render of jaw with dental implants

Teeth loss is an inevitable incident which can occur due to several factors including trauma, age, tooth decay, and gum disease. When this happens, tooth replacement using dental implants is the best option. This is due to technological advances in dentistry, which have allowed dental implants to surpass the previous options, i.e., dentures and bridges.

Dental implants are replacement roots for your lost teeth. They are composed of titanium, which is entirely compatible with the human body. Dental implants serve as a base to support crowns, dentures, or bridges, making them more stable.

Like any other advancement in technology, dental implants have their pros and cons, which are discussed below in detail.

The Pros of Dental Implants

The following are the benefits of replacing lost teeth using dental implants:

Aesthetics

This is one of the main reasons why most people choose to replace their missing teeth with dental implants. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. They are strong enough to chew and grind like regular teeth. The crown or denture placed on top of the implant is also tinted to match your teeth.

Durability

Dental implants are inserted into the jaw and then left for about two to six months to Osseo-integrate. This means that they get affixed to the bone, making them almost as strong as natural teeth. Unlike dentures, these implants are permanent or semi-permanent. They can last for as long as twenty years if well implanted and maintained.

Bone preservation

If you fail to replace your tooth, the bone structure that was supporting that tooth starts disintegrating to distribute its nutrients to other parts of the body. If several teeth are lost, there is more bone disintegration, which ends up affecting your overall face and jaw bone structure. Dental implants prevent this by retaining the jaw bones primary function.

Functionality

Teeth are important in chewing and in speech. If you start losing your teeth, these two functions are affected. Your speech becomes slurred, and you begin to experience difficulties when chewing. Replacing your lost teeth with dental implants is the best option of restoring proper chewing and speech.

Hygiene

Because dental implants resemble natural teeth, they can be flossed and brushed without any complications. This is unlike dentures, which you have to remove before cleaning.

Options

Once your dental implants heal, you can have dental crowns or dentures attached depending on your preference.

The Cons of Dental Implants

Despite dental implants having lots of positive impacts when it comes to teeth replacement, there are a few setbacks associated with them. These include:

Cost

Dental implants are expensive, and the NHS does not cover them. In the UK, a single dental implant costs approximately £2,000. This is almost five times the cost of replacing your teeth with dentures.

Time

A lot of patience is required because dental implants take months to fuse with the jaw bone, i.e. osseointegration. This process can take up to six months, depending on the patient. The long waiting period is due to the slow healing property of jaw bone.

Not fit for everyone

Several factors are considered before undergoing a dental implant procedure. To start with, there must be enough bone structure (dense bones) to hold the dental implant firmly. If you are suffering from certain diseases such as osteoporosis and diabetes, you’re not eligible for dental implants. These and several other factors play a significant role in determining whether or not you’re fit to receive dental implants.

Risk of infection

Bacteria can infect the gum surrounding the dental implant leading to a periodontal disease called peri-implantitis. This disease causes bone loss around the osseo-integrated implant and inflammation in the soft tissue surrounding it.

Involves surgery

The surgery performed when placing a dental implant is considered to be generally safe. However, like in any other surgical procedure, certain complications may arise, including nerve injuries, swelling, severe pain, sinus injuries, and teeth sensitivity.

Conclusion

Dental implants are the best option when it comes to replacing your missing teeth. This is because they prevent bone loss, look natural, and can last you longer than dentures. Although there are a few disadvantages linked to dental implants, including risk to infections, the advantages are worth taking the risk.

About Dr David Gilmartin

Dr Gilmartin is the senior dentist at The Hub Dental Practice, the largest private dentist Milton Keynes. He is an experienced dental practitioner, having worked in Milton Keynes for over 30 years. David has a special interest in Dental Extractions and other Oral Surgery Procedures and also very experienced Sedations.

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