Replacing lost teeth can be a daunting prospect. While dentures don’t require surgery, they do require a lifetime of care and extra cleaning. And while implants are easier to maintain, they do involve an involved surgical procedure. However, if you ask a dentist what they might recommend, most family dentists will advise their patients to get the implants. Here are some pros and cons, and how it all balances out.
Pros of Dental Implants:
- Implants are more stable than dentures, with absolutely no slippage or detachment. They are anchored into the jawbone itself, and are every bit as strong as your real teeth.
- Dental implants can be used to anchor one tooth or more than one tooth. In fact, an entire set of upper or lower teeth can be placed on as few as four implants (the One Day Smile Solution).
- Since implants are mimicking your natural teeth, they will naturally appear more… well, natural. The replacement teeth can be molded to exactly match the surrounding teeth, from color to bite pattern.
- Dental implants require far less extra maintenance than dentures. They can be brushed and flossed exactly as your natural teeth would be, and with proper care, can easily last a lifetime.
Cons of Dental Implants:
- The implantation is, in fact, a surgical procedure, and as with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of infection. However, since there is no open site after the procedure (the hole is filled with the implant), the incidence of infection is actually lower than in other surgeries.
- Likewise, with any surgery there will be post-operative pain and discomfort. It can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks for the bone to heal around the implant, but any pain that occurs during that time can be easily managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.
- Implants are made from titanium, which has shown to produce the fewest instances of rejection (when the body recognizes a foreign object and works to remove it). In incredibly rare instances, patients may have an allergic reaction to the titanium, which will cause rejection.
- Dental implants are more expensive upfront, there’s no denying it. But when you prorate the cost over the projected life of the implants (at least two or three decades with proper care), they prove to be very cost-effective.
If you have any questions about the procedure, you can always ask a dentist who specializes in dental cosmetics. If you’re starting from scratch, you can search online to find dentists who fit the bill, or even ask your general dentist who they might recommend. Never be afraid to ask a dentist, any dentist, for their opinion: a happy, healthy, restored smile may be more within reach than you think.