Considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option? Our the Okanagan Valley dentists explain exactly what they are, and the advantages and disadvantages of this common procedure.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a long-term solution for replacing missing teeth. They consist of a small titanium rod that is inserted into the jaw bone, serving as an artificial tooth root.
Titanium is chosen for its ability to bond with the bone, ensuring stability and security for the implant. To complete the restoration, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant, resembling a natural tooth in appearance.
The combination of the implant and the crown closely mimics the look and function of a natural tooth.
What are the advantages of having dental implants?
Dental implants offer several advantages, including:
Dental implants offer a versatile solution for replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. They can be combined with other treatments like bridges or dentures to achieve optimal results.
The number of implants required or feasible in your case will depend on various factors, including your specific needs and the density of your jaw bone. Dental implants are highly customizable, allowing for different configurations to suit individual patients.
Due to their adaptability and various potential configurations, dental implants are a popular choice among many patients seeking tooth replacement options.
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 can also impact the longevity of your dental implant.
Natural Look and Feel
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 can eat, speak and function as you did before while enjoying quality of life. Since there are no nerves in a dental implant, you will not feel sensations.
Instead, any sensations you may feel in relation to your dental implant will actually come from the surrounding soft tissue. Once your implant has fully healed and you've become accustomed to it, you'll likely notice minimal distinction between your implant and your natural teeth.
Easy to Care For
Similar to bridges, crowns or other restorations, you can care for your dental implants jus like your natural teeth. They’ll need thorough brushing and flossing, and your dentist will need to check them during your regular exams.
What are the potential disadvantages of 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 may look and feel somewhat more natural than dental bridges, the dental implant process is lengthier and more invasive.
Depending on your treatment plan and your specific case, the entire dental implant procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to complete.
The cost of dental implants can vary depending on your insurance coverage and the specific dental problem you have. Some insurance companies may contribute partially towards the cost, while others may cover the entire expense of the implants. However, there are also insurance providers that may not provide any coverage for dental implants.
To determine the extent of coverage for your treatment, it is advisable to contact your insurance provider directly and inquire about the details of your insurance plan.
In addition to the points mentioned earlier, having sufficient jawbone density is important to the success of dental implant treatment. If your jawbone lacks density, you may still be eligible for the procedure, but it would involve a bone graft to transplant bone into your jaw to provide support for the implant.
This additional step would make the process longer and more invasive.
How do I know whether dental implants or other options are 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 would work best for you.