The Downside of Dental Implants

BY: Dr. Sandeep Sharma
|
male dentist with woman patient at clinic

The Downside of Dental Implants

Dental implants are a widely-known tooth replacement option, but they’re not perfect. While dental implants can be used to restore missing teeth, they come with some risks and potential downsides that you need to know.

Keep reading to learn more!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are metal posts that serve as artificial tooth roots and are surgically placed into the jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Once it is in place, a dental prosthetic (false tooth) can be attached to the post.

Dental implants are an option for people with tooth loss due to periodontal disease, tooth decay, an injury, or other reasons.

There are three parts to a dental implant:

  • The implant (the metal post which is placed in the jaw bone)
  • The abutment (a connector piece attaching the implant to the dental prosthetic)
  • The dental prosthetic (the false tooth, which is the new tooth or bridge that is placed on top of the abutment)

While dental implants are usually made from titanium, there are also zirconia and ceramic dental implants. These options have benefits and drawbacks that should be discussed with a dental professional before dental implant surgery.

Dental implants are a viable option for people who want to restore their smile. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

What Happens During A Dental Implant Procedure?

The dental implant procedure involves multiple steps, and the entire process usually takes place over several months.

During the initial consultation, the dentist will assess if you are a good candidate for teeth implants. This involves taking X-rays and impressions of your teeth.

If you have insufficient jaw bone density, your dentist will recommend additional procedures such as a bone graft or sinus lift. If you are determined to be a good candidate, the next step is to proceed with the dental implant procedure.

The actual placement of the implant is a fairly quick and straightforward procedure. First, the dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue and place the implant into the jawbone. The incision is then sutured closed.

Once the implant has been placed, it will need to heal for several months before the dental crown, bridge, or denture can be attached.

During this healing period, the titanium post will fuse with the jawbone and provide a strong foundation for the restoration. Once the implant has healed, you will return to the dentist to have an abutment placed over it. This is where your restoration will be attached. After your gums have healed around the abutment, the fabrication of the restoration, which can be a crown, bridge or denture, will begin. After fabrication, the restoration can be attached to the abutment.

When all these are done, your dental implant is complete. You have a tooth replacement that looks and functions just like natural teeth.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?

Dental implants may be a popular option for tooth replacement, but they are not right for everyone. Patients should be aware of some potential disadvantages of dental implants before deciding. These include:

  • The Need for Surgery:
    Dental implants require surgery, which carries risks. This is one of the major downsides of dental implants. It is important to discuss the procedure in detail with your dentist and ask any questions you may have before deciding.

  • The Possibility of Bone Loss:
    Dental implants can help preserve bone mass in your jaw, but losing some bone around the implant usually occurs over time. This is a normal occurrence with aging. However, losing too much bone would require the replacement of the dental implant.

  • Cost:
    Another downside of dental implants is that they are more expensive than traditional tooth replacement options such as dentures or dental bridges. They may also not be covered by insurance.

  • Implant Failure:
    There is a chance that the implant will not fuse properly with the jawbone, which can lead to more problems later on.

Patients should weigh both advantages and disadvantages of dental implants before deciding if it is right for them.

What Are the Limitations of Dental Implants?

There are several limitations of dental implants that must be considered before surgery, including the following:

  • Adequate bone density is required:
    For an implant to fuse properly with the bone, the jawbone must be healthy and strong enough to support the implant. If the jawbone is too weak, the implant will not have a solid foundation and will likely fail. If the jawbone is not thick enough or strong enough, it may be necessary to perform a bone graft before placing an implant.

  • The presence of gum disease:
    Gum disease can cause inflammation and infection around the implant, which can lead to implant failure.

  • Patients with certain medical conditions:
    People with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may not be candidates for dental implants due to an increased risk of infection.

  • Smokers:
    Nicotine can reduce blood flow to the implant, increasing the risk of failure. This is why heavy smokers are typically not good candidates for dental implants.

While dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth, it is important to talk with a qualified dentist to see if you are a suitable candidate for surgery.

female dentist checking up male patient teeth

What Problems Can Dental Implants Cause?

Like any surgery, there are some risks associated with dental implants. Here are some dental implant problems that you should be aware of:

  • Implant Rejection:
    This occurs when body tissues reject artificial dental appliances like dental implants. Rejection can be caused by various reasons: a bad reaction to the implants’ materials, infection from the placement procedure, or a breakdown in the body’s natural healing process. It can also be caused by lifestyle factors such as alcohol or smoking.

  • The Risk of Infection:
    Implants require a surgical procedure, and as with any procedure, there is a risk of infection.

  • Damage to Surrounding Teeth:
    When placing an implant, it is important to determine if there is enough space in the jawbone to accommodate it. If the implant is not placed correctly, it can damage the adjacent teeth.

  • Nerve Damage:
    This can occur when the titanium implant is placed too close to a nerve. It can cause numbness and tingling in the mouth, cheeks, and face.

To reduce the risk of complications, it is important to choose an experienced implant dentist and to follow all post-operative instructions carefully.

What Can I Do to Minimise the Risk of Dental Implant Surgery?

You can do many things to minimise dental implant problems and risks. Here are five tips:

  1. Choose an experienced and reputable implant dentist.
  2. Make sure you are in good overall health before having surgery.
  3. Follow all of your oral surgeon’s instructions before and after surgery. Eat soft foods and practice good oral hygiene.
  4. Quit smoking before and after surgery.

By following these tips, you can have a successful dental implant surgery with minimal complications or risks.

Should I Still Get Dental Implants Despite These Disadvantages?

While dental implants are not for everyone, many advantages can make them a viable choice for those who are missing one or more teeth. Dental implants:

  • Provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. Once the implants are in place, they will not come loose as dentures can.
  • Help preserve the jawbone, which can shrink after tooth loss. This helps to keep the face looking young and healthy.
  • Allow people to eat and speak without worry. Dentures can sometimes slip out of place, but implants stay put.
  • Are easier to care for than dentures. They need to be brushed and flossed like real teeth.

While dental implants have some disadvantages, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for many people.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a great option for people who have lost teeth and want to restore the appearance of their smile. But while dental implants offer many benefits, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides.

If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision about your oral health. We hope this post has helped you better understand what dental implants are and how they can improve your quality of life.

At Clear Choice Dental, we want our patients to have all the information they need to make the right choice for their oral health. So if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment, please visit our website or call us today. Thank you for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several types of dental implants that you can choose from, depending on your needs.

  • Single-tooth implants are used to replace a single missing tooth.
  • Implant-supported bridges are used to replace multiple missing teeth.
  • Implant-supported dentures are used to replace all of the teeth in an arch with six or more implants.
  • All-on-Four dental implants are used to replace all of the teeth in an arch with four implants.

You should consult a dentist to determine which type of dental implant is right for you.

Dental implants are made of titanium and other materials that do not decay like natural teeth. However, you will still need to practice good oral hygiene habits to remove food particles and prevent plaque buildup. This will help keep the surrounding gums and tissue healthy.

In addition, regular visits to the dentist for routine cleanings and checkups are important for oral health.

Yes, dental implants are easy to maintain with regular brushing and flossing. Your dentist may also recommend getting a special toothbrush or mouthwash to help keep the area around the implant clean. Additionally, you must visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

The cost of dental implants varies depending on the individual patient, type of implant, and complexity of the procedure. However, the average cost of dental implants is between $4,000 to $6,000.

Talk to your dentist about payment plans or other options that may help make the procedure more affordable. Additionally, some insurance policies may cover some of the costs associated with dental implants.

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