Dental implants have become an integral part of improving patients’ oral health all over the world; however, a question that often raises red flags is, “if dental implants are safe long-term?” and “what the negative side effects could be?” Just like with any medical procedure, there are benefits and risks associated with dental implant surgery, but it’s important to remember that it has a 98% success rate and can drastically help improve your quality of life if you have one or more missing teeth. Implant failure is very rare, though, it can still occur if proper oral hygiene isn’t followed. Let’s take the time to explore the advantages of dental implants and if it’s the right option for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a way to completely replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. A titanium screw will be surgically attached to your jawbone to act as the new “root” of your tooth. It may take around six months for the bone to heal, but you can still receive a dental crown within a couple of weeks. A customized dental crown, often made from porcelain, will be attached to an abutment tooth that’s screwed on top of the titanium post. Dental crowns look and feel just like your natural teeth, are very durable and are virtually stain resistant.
Dental implants can also act as an anchor for dental bridges and dentures. They’re carefully designed to last a lifetime, however, dental crowns may need to be replaced over time though they can also last upwards of 15-20 years following proper oral hygiene care.
What Are The Advantages of Dental Implants?
Dentistry has come a long way since 600 A.D! Did you know that the Mayans utilized shells to replace mandibular teeth? And in ancient civilization in China, they would hammer bamboo pegs into patients’ jawbones. Rest assured there is no need to hammer anything into your jawbone anymore! All that’s required is a small slit in your gum line in order for your oral surgeon to carefully attach the dental implant to your bone. Thankfully the dental implant surgery procedure is much easier nowadays and there are many advantages that come along with them. We know you’re worried about the risks, but take the time to think of these four benefits you can receive from implants.
1. Dental Implants Improve Your Smile
Whether you’re missing one or more teeth, having gaps in your teeth can negatively impact your confidence and often make patients feel like they need to hide their smiles. When you have dental implants, you can be brought peace of mind knowing they look and feel exactly like the rest of your teeth, so no one will ever notice a difference. Plus, with improved self-confidence, you’ll never duck out of sight from a camera again. You deserve to be happy and confident in yourself.
2. Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss
Something many patients don’t understand is that the longer they go with gaps in their teeth, the more likely they are to experience bone disintegration. Without a strong jawbone, dental implants will not succeed. It may also cause gum recession and lead to further complications like gum disease; therefore, you may have to undergo a bone grafting procedure first. Bone grafting is when your surgeon removes bone from another part of your body or gets it from a donor and surgically attaches it to your jawbone so it becomes thicker and stronger to fully support a dental implant.
Bone grafting will definitely prolong the healing process, but it’s necessary in order for your dental implant surgery to succeed. It may take around six months for the new bone to heal before a dental implant can be placed but the pain is minimal.
3. Dental Implants Prevent Teeth and Facial Changes
If you have gaps in your teeth, not only are you at risk of losing bone, but you’re also at risk of your surrounding teeth shifting and noticing changes in your facial structure. If your teeth do shift, you could also be more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. As such, teeth are what support your cheeks and lips so if they’re missing, your cheeks and lips can actually start collapsing. Dental implants can stop this from happening since they act just like the rest of your natural teeth.
4. Dental Implants Can Restore Your Bite
If you have had dentures because you’re missing multiple teeth, you know how frustrating it can be to eat sometimes. Not only do your dentures get dirty, but also they can slip around and make eating very uncomfortable. With dental implants or implant-supported dentures, you don’t have to worry about slippage or not being able to eat certain foods. While you’re healing, you’ll have to be careful with your diet, but you’ll be able to get back to having a normal bite and chew in no time.
Can Dental Implants Make You Sick?
The reason some patients question the safety of implants is because of the material used – titanium, a metal. Titanium is one of the safest biocompatible metals used for a variety of medical purposes – for hip replacements, knee replacements, back surgeries and much more. It’s considered a completely safe and non-toxic material, so yes, dental implants are safe. One reason patients may experience rejection from their titanium implant is due to having a severe allergic reaction to the metal. There are still options for people who have metal allergies such as zirconia dental implants; however, they’re not as commonly used because it is much less reliable than long lasting titanium.
Am I A Good Candidate For Dental Implants?
If you’re curious as to whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental implants, it’s important to search for a reliable dentist for implants to help you answer these questions, as they may not be the best solution for everyone.
If you fall under one of these categories, you may not be a good candidate for dental implant surgery:
- You have gum/periodontal disease
- You are a heavy smoker
- You have uncontrolled diabetes
- You have another uncontrolled autoimmune disease
- You’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis
- You’ve recently undergone chemotherapy treatment around your head or neck area
- You have poor dental hygiene
- You are under 18
Are Dental Implants Really Worth It?
Dental implant surgery is a safe, effective and long-lasting dental procedure that patients undergo in order to improve their oral health and overall quality of life. One of the reasons patients pose the question “are dental implants safe?” is because they’re made from titanium, which of course is a metal. Those with metal allergies can experience dental implant rejection, but this is very rare as dental implants have a success rate of 98%. Titanium is one of the most-used and reliable medical materials used for surgeries from head to toe.
When it comes to the dental implant procedure, it may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually quite simple! While it may take longer to heal from than other dental procedures, dental implants have very little side effects. The healing process will vary per patient, but you can expect to be back at work within a few days. When it comes to bone grafts, healing will take even longer (approximately six months) before an implant can be attached to the bone. After the implant has healed (a couple of weeks), it’s time for your customized replacement tooth. Once you see the end results, you’ll see that it really was worth it in the end. Whether you get one implant or more, your smile will thank you.
The Permanent Tooth Replacement Option You’ve Been Searching For
There are a few tooth replacement options to choose from and discuss with your dentist, but dental implants are a great permanent solution. They’re extremely durable, long-lasting, reserve your bone strength, prevent shifting and facial changes and can drastically improve one’s confidence and self-esteem. We hope that this has helped to ease your mind about the dental implant procedure as a tooth replacement option. If you still have questions, discuss them with your dentist in-person so that we can answer any of your specific concerns. Surgery can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be when you’re well educated and confident in your surgical team.