Dental implants are a good solution to replace missing or cracked teeth. Missing teeth can cause health problems in the long run and should not be ignored. Missing teeth reduce the efficiency of chewing and affect nutrition. Missing teeth also adversely affect the appearance of the person and lower confidence levels, leading to social issues.
Dentures can be used to restore lost teeth but this is definitely not the perfect solution. The use of dental bonding i.e. the use of resin to fix chipped teeth is also an option but it is only a temporary solution at best. Dental implants are the best solution to replace lost teeth but they are costly. However, the results they provide justify the cost.
Dental implants are gaining in popularity due to their many advantages. They are stable and have a long life. If proper oral hygiene is maintained, dental implants can easily last 10 to 15 years without any issues. The only disadvantage of dental implants is the relatively high cost. Generally, dental insurance providers do not provide cover for dental implants as it is considered a cosmetic procedure. Before considering if dental implants are an option it is worthwhile to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages they offer and only then make an informed decision.
Advantages of dental implants
Natural appearance: The most advantageous aspect of dental implants is that they look exactly like natural teeth. It is possible to match the color and texture of the crown with that of surrounding teeth and get a perfect natural look. An untrained eye cannot tell the difference between natural teeth and dental implants. This is what makes dental implants an excellent choice to restore lost teeth.
No impact on surrounding teeth: Options such as dentures or dental bonding can affect the surrounding natural teeth. On the other hand, dental implants are placed directly into the jaw bone at the location of the missing teeth and have no impact on the remaining teeth. In fact, dental implants prevent neighboring teeth from moving to fill the gap created by missing teeth and make the remaining teeth more stable.
Stability and long life: Dental implants are very stable and have a long life. If proper care is taken, dental implants will last a lifetime. Dental implants have very low failure rates. Even after 10 years, the failure rate of dental implants is less than 5%. On the other hand, dentures may need to be replaced once every five years. Dental bonding may last only a year or two.
Natural bite strength: Dental implants provide the same bite strength as natural teeth. Dental implants do not cause the bone to get eroded over time. The feeling is also very natural while chewing food. Other options such as dentures do not provide the same strength as natural teeth. They may also lose strength over time.
Disadvantages of dental implants
Expensive: Dental implants are relatively expensive. The cost of a single dental implant can range anywhere from $3000 to $5000 USD. Generally, dental insurance providers do not provide cover for dental implants. The costs of dental implants and other procedures may be cheaper in certain countries like India, China, Thailand, etc. but it is still expensive if other costs such as travel, boarding, etc. are included. On the other hands, dentures cost much less ($1000 to $2000 USD). Dental bonding can cost $300 to $600.
Time taking and inconvenient: Dental implants involve time as a surgical procedure needs to be performed for the placing the root into the jaw bone. The procedure is also not very convenient and can have side effects and risks such as pain or swelling. However, the pain and swelling usually subsides within a few days.
Replacing the crown: Even though the root of the dental implant is stable and lasts a long period, the crown may have to be replaced after about 10 years. This is not exactly exactly a disadvantage but there are expenses involved.
Homework: Dental implants are a relatively complicated procedure and it is advisable to arrive at a decision only after evaluating all the options. It is also important to get the procedure done by a qualified and experienced dental surgeon to avoid any complications and get the best results.