In this blog, our Oakville dentists explain what dental implants are, including their advantages and disadvantages, to help you determine if they are the right tooth replacement option for you.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants permanently replace missing teeth. Held in place with a tiny titanium rod implanted into the patient’s jaw bone, the implant acts as the root of 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. We then cap the dental implant with a dental crown, which looks like a natural tooth.
Together, the implant and the cap look and function just like your natural tooth.
The Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer several advantages, including:
Patients can use dental implants to replace one tooth, multiple missing teeth, or all of the teeth in the lower or upper jaw. We can also 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.
A Long-Lasting Option
Provided you properly care for your dental implant, it can last a lifetime. A proper at-home oral care routine is a must, as are regular visits to your dental office for cleanings and exams.
Other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of dental diseases could also affect your dental implant's longevity.
They Feel & Look Natural
As mentioned above, your dental implant, paired with a bridge or crown, will look and function just like your natural tooth.
No one should be able to tell that you have artificial teeth, and you will be able to talk, function, and eat as you used to while enjoying a quality life. Because dental implants don't have any nerves, you won't feel sensations.
Instead, any feelings you experience related to your dental implant will actually come from the soft tissue around the implant. After your implant has healed and you’ve gotten used to it, you most likely will notice very little difference between your implant and your natural teeth.
Easy to Take Care of
Similar to bridges, crowns, or other restorations, you can care for your dental implants just like your natural teeth. They’ll need thorough brushing and flossing, and your dentist will need to check them during your regular exams.
Possible Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Depending on the nature of your case, dental implants might not be the best option for you. Below we've shared some aspects of dental implants you might want to consider:
While dental implants might feel and look a little more natural than dental bridges, the dental implant process is longer and more invasive.
Depending on your treatment plan and your specific case, the entire dental implant procedure could take as long as 2 to 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 above items, your jaw bone needs to have enough density for your dental implant treatment to be successful. If you don’t, you may still be a candidate for the procedure but would require a bone graft to transplant bone to your jaw to support the implant. This would make the process longer and more invasive.
Knowing if Dental Implants are an Option for You
While dental implants, bridges, and other restorations all have their benefits, the best option for you will be determined by your oral health requirements, budget, and other elements.
In the end, you will have to talk to your dentist about your case to find out which tooth-replacement option is right for you.