People need dental implants for many different reasons. If you are thinking of getting one or are simply curious about them, we are here to guide you in the right direction. If you haven’t yet, but would like to learn the basics, you can read more in-depth about dental implants here.
Why You Should Get Dental Implants
Dental implants can make your life easier in many ways. They fill in all your missing gaps, making it possible for you to eat the foods you’ve been dying to have again. They also look as real as the natural teeth beside them, allowing you to smile with confidence and not have to worry about other people’s impressions of your teeth. Finally, they are a more permanent solution than any other option, so you would not have to worry about them falling out or breaking just years later; they will last you for decades–hassle-free!
With all of these great advantages, you should first consider if they are right for you. It will all depend on your goals and concerns for your health and smile. So, what are some factors in determining whether or not to get one?
- Having missing or damaged teeth
- Experiencing difficulty speaking or chewing–due to missing teeth, damaged teeth, and/or jaw problems
- Looking for a long-term solution to your dental issues
- You are tired of or insecure with the situation you are currently in
- Disliking or would not prefer the other options available–and would rather find an alternative right from the start
If you identified with any of the previous situations, you may want to consider the dental implant option.
When You Should Consider Implants
Timing is another important factor when considering dental implants. The implant process can take some time, so you will want to think about the entirety of it, which consists of the initial consultation, preparation for the implant, the surgical procedure, healing time, and follow-up appointments.
The process starts with a consultation visit in which you will discuss your options with a specialist. If the dental implant option works best for your needs, then we will move on to jaw prepping and bone grafts, if necessary. After that, the surgical procedure can be scheduled; however, the procedure typically only involves the placement of implants. Sometimes, abutment pieces can be placed during the surgery, but rarely ever will the actual crowns, bridges, or dentures be attached. That said, an appointment for the tooth replacement will take place weeks to months later to allow time for healing.
A follow-up is also suggested to monitor any potential complications such as infection. If you are considering mini dental implants, the time factor should be less of an issue since all or most parts can be placed in just one visit. However, the timing for both also relies on the situation at hand. For some, receiving dental implants may be an urgent matter. For others, it may be a matter of years before issues may pop up or there may never be any issues at all. Whatever the case, here are some factors that might impact your current situation:
- Mouth or jaw injuries
- Jaw pain (whether constant or only when chewing or smiling)
- Tooth extractions or missing teeth
- Stage of jaw development
- Low self-esteem or confidence in your smile
These issues in and of themselves can be less severe than the timing in which they occur. Problems may arise at or near the time of the incident, or it may take months to years to develop any real issues. If you are concerned about your current situation, contact one of our specialists today.
Pros of Dental Implants
- Implants look natural in more ways than one. They are sized and shaped to fit perfectly into your gaps, so they will align correctly with the rest of your teeth. Additionally, the teeth themselves will look and feel real, so you won’t have to worry about other people noticing them. You will finally be able to smile with confidence.
- Because of the personalized size and shape, and since the material feels similar to a real tooth, you will quickly and easily adjust. You should even find comfort in its placement soon after placement.
- Tooth presence supports your facial structure, so once the gaps are filled in, you may notice more symmetry in your face and/or jaw
- You may also notice enhancements in your speech or chewing–with the absence of pain
- Implants are long-lasting, so with the exception of routine check-ups, you may not have to consult a dentist about any issues for decades–if ever again!
- With mini dental implants, you have the opportunity to choose an alternate option that offers a reduced time commitment, involvement in surgery, recovery, and cost
Why Not To Consider Implants
Although dental implants are a great option for some people, they may not be as practical, or even an option, for others. The following health factors might affect your ability to receive an implant:
- Issues that prevent you from undergoing sedation or surgical healing such as diabetes, allergies to anesthesia, heart problems, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, neurological disorders, or skin conditions
- Specific medications, drugs, or alcohol that could have an effect on the immune system
- Teeth grinding or clenching habits
- Smoking or unhealthy oral hygiene
- Jaw size
- Narrow gaps in your teeth (leaving little to no room for an implant)
- Not yet having braces when you might need or want them in the future
If you are considering mini dental implants, this can impact the importance of these issues in relation to the surgery. Mini dental implants involve a less-invasive procedure, so it is less likely that you would experience complications from it. As a result, more people are qualified to receive this type of implant. In addition, mini dental implants involve a much shorter recovery time because of their root size; with a smaller implant comes a smaller incision, which requires less time to heal. Both the smaller incision and shorter healing time lessen the opportunity for complications to arise.
If you’re still unsure whether or not implants will be a good fit for you, here are some alternative options to weigh…
Traditional bridges offer a non-surgical procedure that is less painful than bridge implants. They simply require the teeth on either or both sides of the missing teeth to be shaved down and/or cut. The bridge is then placed over the teeth to fill in each gap. Traditional bridges only take a few weeks to be prepped and placed, so the timeline for them is much shorter than it is for implants. They are also much more affordable. However, one downside includes a less appealing aesthetic since they do not appear as natural as implants. They are also only short-term replacements since they have to be replaced every decade or so.
Dentures non-surgically replace several or all teeth on the upper or lower jaws. They are also removable, held in place by an adhesive, which is to be applied daily after brushing. This option is much cheaper than dental implants, especially when considering the number of teeth that need to be replaced. Some downsides to dentures are: they may not always stay in place when in use, they can form ulcers on the gums, and they are quite difficult to maintain and take care of; in fact, they require heavier maintenance than natural teeth. This includes regular check-ups as well as daily cleanings–in the morning, before bed, and in-between meals. They also cannot be worn while sleeping and need to soak in solution or water overnight.
Primarily used for cosmetic purposes, veneers are attached to the front surfaces of teeth to whiten them and fix minor issues. These issues can include minor gaps, broken or inherently small teeth, stained or discolored teeth, and slightly misaligned teeth. The process will involve minor shaving of the front enamel (although, in some cases, this step can be skipped) and placement of a temporary tooth while the permanent one is made. Similar to bridges, these are not long-lasting like implants are, but they do out beat bridges by a few years. If your teeth are too damaged or misaligned, however, crowns may be a better option.
Primarily used for restorative purposes, crowns cover up and revive damaged teeth without the hassle and pain of tooth extraction and implant insertion. They are essentially caps that replace the top layer of a tooth to present and maintain better health. They are a great alternative to fillings or bondings and are used in cases of tooth decay, damage, wear and tear (from prolonged grinding or clenching), serious discoloration, and genetic deformation.
With a wide range of options to consider, it is best to speak with one of our specialists to fully and accurately assess which would work best for you. Let us know if you have any questions, and we would be happy to answer them for you.
Cons of Dental Implants
- Conventional implants involve a relatively long execution process and large expense
- Unfortunately, just as with any other surgical procedure, things can go wrong, such as on-site infection, gum recession, implant issues, nerve/tissue damage, or sinus issues
- Implant issues include the following:
- Damage to the implant from force and/or pressure during surgery
- A loose implant
- Nerve/tissue damage involves the following, but is very rare, with less than a 3 percent chance of complication:
- Side effects include a numbing, tingling, tickling, or burning sensation of the surgical area, following after the anesthesia or numbing medicine wears off–which can take up to six hours; however, symptoms can be delayed for up to a month after the procedure, so if experiencing one or more of them at any period after the initial surgery, a specialist should be notified immediately.
- Sinus issues involve the following, but are also rare, with a complication rate of approximately 3.5 percent:
- Side effects include head, face, and/or jaw pain. This should also be treated with caution, and your dentist should be notified if any symptoms occur.
- Implant issues include the following:
Now that you have been informed about the positives and negatives of dental implants, it may be time for you to move forward in your journey. At PRECiDENT, we want you to love your smile, but having missing or damaged teeth can affect your ability to do so and can negatively impact your gum health. If you’re ready to take the next step in gaining back your self-confidence, we welcome you to discuss your options with a specialist.
Schedule a consultation today to get started on the smile you’ve always dreamed of.