If you need to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth, dental implants may be an option for you. Here, our dentists in Prince Albert explain what dental implants are including their advantages and disadvantages.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are permanent tooth replacements. They are kept in their place by a very small titanium rod that's implanted into the jaw bone of a patient. These implants act as the root for an artificial tooth.
Dentists use titanium because this kind of metal is able to bond with the bone. Titanium implants are very stable, secure tooth replacements. Your dentist will then cap your dental implant with a dental crown, that looks similar to a natural tooth.
When an implant is combined with a cap they have an almost identical appearance and function to a natural tooth.
What are the advantages of getting dental implants?
Here are some advantages of dental implants:
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.
Your specific case and requirements, in addition to the density of your jaw bone, will determine the number of actual implants you need/can get. Dental implants are a popular option for many patients as they have many potential configurations.
If you care for your implant properly it could last a lifetime. It's essential that you maintain a proper oral care routine at home and visit your dentist routinely for exams and cleanings.
Other elements that can impact the longevity of your implant are genetics, the development of dental diseases, and nutrition.
Natural Feel & Appearance
As stated earlier, when your dental implant is paired with a cap such as a bridge or crown, it will function and look similar to 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 the quality of life. Since there are no nerves in a dental implant, you will not feel sensations.
Instead, any feelings you have that are associated with your implant will actually stem from the surrounding soft tissue. Once your implant has healed and you have become accustomed to it, you will probably notice very few differences between your natural teeth and implant.
Easy to Care For
Similar to bridges, crowns or other restorations, you can care for your dental implants the same way as your natural teeth. They’ll need thorough brushing and flossing, and your dentist will need to check them during your regular exams.
Are there disadvantages to 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 can offer a more natural feel and appearance than dental bridges, the process is more invasive and takes longer.
Depending on your individual case and what your treatment plan is, the whole implant process could take anywhere between 2 and 9 months to finish.
Depending on your insurance coverage and your specific dental issue, the cost of dental implants can vary. While some insurance companies pay part of the cost, others may cover the entire cost of your implants and still, others may not pay for any part of it.
Check with your insurance provider to learn whether your insurance plan will cover your treatment.
On top of the items stated above, your jaw bone needs to have enough density in order for your dental implant process to be successful. If you don’t, you might still be able to undergo the procedure, but would need a bone graft to transplant bone to your jaw so the implant can be supported. This makes the process even longer and more invasive.
How do I know which tooth replacement option is 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 will be best for you.