Dental implants are an increasingly popular solution to tooth loss, but they are not suitable for everyone. Before you decide to get a dental implant, it is essential to do your research. But what do you need to know before getting dental implants? Let’s find out before you arrange to see a dentist that offers consultation appointments.
What to Know Before Getting Dental implants – The Advantages
1. They last a long time
Dental implants are a popular choice for people who have lost one or more teeth because they offer a long-term solution. Unlike other tooth replacement options, such as dentures that need to be replaced every few years, a dental implant can last decades—if not a lifetime.
2. They feel like your own teeth
Another advantage of dental implants is that they look and feel like natural teeth. They also function like your teeth, so you can eat the foods you love without worrying about slipping or falling out.
3. They are secure and comfortable
Dental implants are placed in the jawbone. Over a few months after implant surgery, they fuse with the jawbone (osseointegration), giving them a superior level of stability that other tooth replacement methods cannot match.
Additionally, a dental implant won’t rub, slip or fall out and is so comfortable that you will forget it is not your natural tooth.
4. They are easy to care for
Caring for your dental implants is not difficult, but it is essential to follow the recommendations of your implant dentist to ensure that your implants last a long time. Tips for caring for your dental implants include:
- Brush and floss your teeth as you would normally, as well as around the implant area. Your implant dentist may also recommend using a special toothbrush or floss to clean around the implant.
- Be sure to visit your implant dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. If you have a removable dental implant (overdentures), clean it as your dentist recommends and avoid chewing on hard foods.
5. They prevent bone loss
Teeth are generally crucial for maintaining jawbone health. Normal biting and chewing forces on a tooth stimulate the bone surrounding the tooth root. This action encourages the formation of new, healthy cells that regenerate the jawbone and keep it healthy.
One of the problems with losing a tooth is that it leads to bone loss in the jawbone. Over time, this will affect jawbone density. As the skin and soft facial tissue rely on the bones to provide support, the skin can begin to sag if the bones lose density. Ultimately, tooth loss can be ageing in more ways than one.
Dental implants mimic tooth roots and provide the same stimulation to the jawbone — preserving bone health and facial structure.
What to Know Before Getting Dental Implants – The Disadvantages
Now we’ve covered the advantages, what about the disadvantages of dental implants?
1. The dental implant takes several months to complete
This fact will be something to bear in mind if you hope to get a dental implant placed for a special occasion. Generally, the complete process takes between 3 and 4 months from when the implant is surgically implanted into the jawbone until the crown (false tooth) is attached. Between time, the implant and jawbone fuse together to provide a stable and secure base for the false tooth.
In some circumstances, for example, if a bone graft has been carried out because of bone loss, it may take significantly longer—sometimes up to a year.
2. Dental implants are not suitable for everyone
Dental implants are an excellent tooth restoration treatment for many people. However, some factors make it a risky treatment. Of course, you should get a dental consultation near you before deciding whether to have the procedure, but the following circumstances may be cause for concern.
- You will need to have a healthy mouth. The dentist will treat any active signs of gum disease or tooth decay before your dental implant treatment begins.
- The jawbone must be healthy enough to support a dental implant. If you have bone loss, it is possible to augment the bone with a bone graft.
- Although dental implants do not require special care and attention, you must be prepared to look after them with a daily brushing and flossing routine, supplemented with regular visits to the dentist for check-ups.
- Some chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes and autoimmune diseases, can be problematic for the success of dental implants. It doesn’t automatically exclude you from the treatment if you have one of these health issues, but you will need monitoring carefully.
- Implant failure in smokers is significantly greater than in non-smokers. You should think about giving up smoking if you are serious about implant treatment.
Dental implants offer a great solution to missing teeth for most people, but you should be aware of the factors that may be an issue. So, what else is there to know before getting dental implants? Get a consultation at your local dental clinic and find out today.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Dental Nursing: A root to success: a guide to implant osseointegration
Healthline: What you need to know about a dental bone graft
Mayo Clinic: Periodontitis