Over 27 million people in the United Kingdom are missing at least one tooth, with the nation having 110 million missing teeth as a whole. As this statistic clearly illustrates, this is a common problem and one that affects adults of all ages.
If you are one of the millions who is missing one or multiple teeth, there’s probably one thing on your mind – getting the problem fixed. The good news is, thanks to innovative technology in the dental industry, there are several options for tooth replacement.
One of the most popular options for tooth replacement is dentures; however, a large number of people who use “false teeth” feel limited regarding what foods they can eat. This has led to a demand for a better solution.
This is where dental implants come in. Before jumping into the pros and cons of dental implants, it’s a good idea to get to know a bit more about this tooth replacement option.
What are Dental Implants?
Unlike dentures, which (as mentioned above) are false teeth that are held in position by a connection to healthy teeth (i.e. a bridge) or adhesive, dental implants are a non-removable, permanent solution. These can be used for replacing one, or multiple, teeth.
The design of dental implants is quite innovative. They consist of a titanium anchor that is embedded into the jaw bone. The goal here is to replace and mimic the tooth root, ensuring bone loss does not occur.
After the anchor is placed, a crown is shaped and colored to resemble the nearby teeth (if any are still present). The end result is a “fake” tooth that looks, feels, and functions like your natural teeth.
Advantages Offered by Dental Implants
There are several advantages offered by dental implants. Some of the most appealing include:
As mentioned above, dental implants feel and look like your own, natural teeth. Also, they are designed to fuse with your jaw bone.
This is what causes the implants to be a permanent tooth loss solution. Unlike dentures, implants don’t have to be removed – they remain in place permanently.
If you opt for dentures, they are going to be removable. This means there is a possibility they may dislodge when eating or slip out of place when talking.
With dental implants, the possibility of these embarrassing issues occurring is eliminated. Also, you don’t have to worry about removing implants to clean them or using a messy adhesive to keep them in the proper position.
If you wear dentures that don’t fit your mouth properly, they may start to slip in your mouth. This can result in you mumbling or even slurring your words.
With dental implants, you can speak without fear that your teeth may slip out of their proper position. This peace of mind is invaluable for many people.
When properly cared for, dental implants will last for many years – in some cases, a person’s entire life. The key here is to ensure they are properly cared for, which includes brushing and flossing, as well as regular checkups with a dentist.
Implants aren’t removable. Over time, as the titanium post heals in the jaw, they become a part of you.
This results in the implants eliminating the discomfort associated with removable dentures.
Improved Oral Health
The placement of dental implants doesn’t require any type of reducing of your other teeth. This is something that must be done if you opt for a tooth-supported bridge.
Since the teeth nearby aren’t altered to provide support for the implant, more of your natural teeth are left in place and intact. This helps to improve your overall, long-term oral health.
Additionally, an individual implant provides easier access between your teeth. This helps to improve overall oral hygiene.
It’s estimated that up to 50 percent of all Brits hate to smile due to their teeth being in poor condition. This includes missing teeth, decay, misalignment, and other issues.
While dental implants can’t solve all of these problems, they can help with issues related to missing teeth. As a result, those who invest in this replacement option can regain a bit of self-esteem they may have lost due to an imperfect smile.
When dentures slide and slip in the mouth, it can make chewing extremely difficult. However, dental implants function like natural teeth.
This means you can eat all of your favorite foods without worrying about issues related to slipping or pain.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Just like anything else, there are also a few disadvantages related to dental implants. If you want to make an educated decision regarding if this tooth replacement option is right for you, then understand the pros and cons is a must.
Some of the main disadvantages of dental implants include:
Dental implants can cost between £2,000 and £4,000. However, this amount can go up significantly depending on a person’s oral health.
In the U.K. dental industry, this is considered a “luxury” procedure and one that many people can’t afford. The good news is, however, there are many dentists who will work with patients to help them get implants with an affordable payment plan.
Surgery is Required
If you choose dental implants to replace your teeth, it’s important to know this is a surgical procedure. As with any surgery, there are some risks involved.
Some of the most common risks include pain and swelling after the procedure; however, this is something that typically doesn’t last more than a few days.
Another risk is the possibility of an infection. Your gums, near the implant, may become infected by bacteria. This can trigger periimplantitis. Over time, it can result in bone loss.
The quality of your implants is dependent on the dental professional you use. It’s crucial that you take the time to find a quality dentist.
The top part of your implant, which is what looks like a natural tooth, is called the crown. After about 10 to 15 years, replacement may be necessary.
While this is true, the actual implant is going to last longer. In fact, when cared for properly, they will last a lifetime.
Caring for Your Dental Implants
If you want to ensure that your dental implants last, then you have to learn how to care for them. Some tips for help with this can be found here.
Good Oral Hygiene is a Must
It’s important to care for dental implants just like your natural teeth. Brush two times a day (minimum) and floss once a day.
It’s a good idea to use interdental brushes. These are brushes that can slide between your teeth. They can help you reach the crevices around your newly placed implant.
Avoid Hard Foods
Avoid chewing or attempting to eat hard foods. This includes hard candy, ice, and other hard items that could damage your implant.
If you do eat this type of food, you may wind up breaking your crown. This can be expensive to replace.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Just because you essentially have “fake” teeth, it doesn’t mean you can neglect or put off professional dental care. It’s important that you continue going to the dentist every six months.
By visiting the dentist regularly, they can let you know if there are any potential issues that need to be addressed with your implants.
If you smoke, here is yet another reason you need to quit. Keep in mind, dental implants represent quite an investment. You don’t want to do something that could compromise this investment, right?
If you continue smoking after your dental implants are placed, then it can weaken your jaw’s bone structure. Over time, it can lead to implant failure.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants: Now You Know
As you can see, when it comes to the pros and cons of dental implants, there are quite a few things to consider. Understanding all of the information here can help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you.
You should also speak with your dentist, as they can provide you with more information and insight about implants, along with other tooth replacement options. After all, if you are like most people, you want to choose the option that is best suited for you, right?
If you are ready to schedule an initial appointment to see if dental implants are a good option for you, then book online with us. Our team is dedicated to helping you get the beautiful and healthy smile you want and deserve.