For many people, dental implants can be a permanent solution for dealing with lost or damaged teeth. This type of treatment is designed to last a lifetime. Once it is complete and healed, patients can enjoy a more beautiful smile without having to worry about any dietary changes, difficult home care, or unnatural-looking teeth.Dental implants…
Are Dental Implants a Viable Choice For You?
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may consider getting dental implants. Implants are a popular tooth replacement option, as they look and feel like natural teeth and, most enticing of all, have the potential to last for a lifetime. That said, though implants offer several benefits, they do come with a few drawbacks. Moreover, not every tooth loss patient is a candidate. Before you set your heart on dental implants, work with your dentist to ensure you are a viable candidate and to go over the pros and cons of the option.
Factors that affect a person’s candidacy for dental implants
Though most people make good candidates for dental implants, there are a few factors that may disqualify a person from receiving this innovative tooth replacement procedure. One of the most influential factors that determine candidacy is a person’s existing oral health and, more specifically, jawbone health.
Strong bone support is crucial for implant success. Implants rely on a healthy jawbone to provide robust and ongoing support in the years and decades following the procedure. If a jawbone is weak, the implants have nothing to “grab onto,” so to speak, and can quickly become loose and fall out. In addition to a healthy and strong jawbone, some other factors that may influence a person’s candidacy include gum health, the health of surrounding teeth, bone density, and oral hygiene habits. Dentists also recommend that patients drop unhealthy habits such as smoking and heavy drinking, as both may interfere with the implant healing process.
The pros and cons of dental implants
If you are a good candidate for dental implants, explore the pros and cons of the prosthetics before you begin the implantation process. Below is an overview of each.
Advantages of dental implants
Dental implants offer several advantages over other tooth replacement options. The top benefits of implants are as follows:
- Improved speech
- Improved appearance
- Increased comfort
- Heightened self-esteem
- Better oral health
- Comfort while eating
One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is their ability to improve your self-confidence. Because implants look and function just like natural teeth, and because they do not come with any of the drawbacks of dentures, many implant patients claim to feel better about themselves post-surgery.
Drawbacks of implants
Despite all the benefits that implants offer, the few drawbacks associated with them can and often do deter potential candidates. The biggest deterrents involve the time and monetary investment that the process requires.
Compared to other tooth replacement options, which often need replaced every few years and require substantial maintenance, implants can last for decades, if not your entire life, making them the most cost-effective tooth replacement option. However, the upfront investment is substantial and something that most insurance companies do not cover. For many people, cost is the number-one reason they decide against implants.
The time investment associated with the implant process is also substantial. The entire implant process occurs in several stages and can take anywhere from six months to a year to complete. During this time, patients will need to attend several appointments. Many individuals do not have time in their schedules to devote sufficient time to the implant process.
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