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Pros and Cons of Dental Implants: Should You Get Them or Not?

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There are many pros and cons of dental implants. The most notable advantages are that they last a long time, they act like natural teeth and they look natural as well.

cons of dental implants
Learn the dental implants pros and cons

And the biggest disadvantage? Well, they are very expensive, and even with dental insurance, only part of your treatment costs are likely to be covered.

That being said, dental implants are typically considered by dental professionals to be the best way to replace missing teeth — and it is critical that you get missing teeth replaced because not doing so can result in all kinds of problems, aesthetic and health-related.

In this article, we'll talk about the pros and cons of dental implants, including:

  • Cost of implants
  • Process of getting them
  • How they affect your health
  • …and more!

We hope this information helps you decide whether or not this is the best treatment option for you.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a replacement for missing teeth. They consist of a post that is inserted into your jawbone, an abutment that screws into the post, and a crown that attaches to the abutment. The crown is the only part of the implant that you can actually see and is made to look just like a natural tooth.

tooth implants pros and cons
The parts of an implant act like natural teeth

Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth because they act very similarly to natural teeth. Not only does this mean that you can chew and enjoy food just like with regular teeth, but it also means that aesthetically, nobody will notice anything different.

And most importantly, they address the problems that people with missing teeth struggle with. When you have a missing tooth, you don't have the root of the tooth to nourish and stabilize the surrounding jawbone.

The result is that the jawbone loses its density and structure. This can have negative impacts on surrounding teeth and causes the facial muscles to weaken and sag inwards.

Pros and cons of dental implants

As with any tooth-replacement method, there are both advantages and disadvantages of dental implants. Let's take a closer look at these now.

Advantages of dental implants

Functionality

Dental implants function just like regular teeth. Sometimes when people have dentures — a more affordable, but arguably inferior tooth replacement option — the dentures slip or don't fit comfortably.

This can cause problems with speech and with chewing. With dentures, you may have to alter your diet to eat softer foods.

But with dental implants, you can expect to continue your normal habits, and you don't have to worry about an implant slipping about. You do, however, have to make sure to take extra good care of your implants, including flossing and brushing just like you would with a normal tooth.

Durability

The post of a dental implant is made to last a lifetime, which means that with proper care, you only have to get implant surgery once. The crown will typically last from 10 to 15 years before you need to get it replaced, due to daily wear and tear.

If you take particularly good care of your implant, your crown may last longer. Compare this lifespan with dentures, which only last up to about 5 years before you have to pay for a replacement.

Appearance

Dental implants look just like regular teeth. The crown is the only part of the implant that you see. This is typically made out of porcelain and is customized to match the rest of your teeth, both in color, size, and form.

When an implant is made well, nobody will be able to tell that you have one. This is an obvious difference from dentures, which can often be quite noticeable when you are wearing them.

Health

There are various health benefits of having dental implants compared to other options for replacing teeth:

  • Diet: When you are missing even just one tooth, chewing foods can be difficult — altering your diet, and contributing to the deterioration of your overall health and wellbeing. You might find yourself switching to softer, less nutrient-dense foods. With dental implants, you can chew normally and follow a healthy diet.
  • Bone health: Tooth roots stimulate the jawbone and help it maintain its shape and the shape of your face. Dental implants do the same thing, and in doing so, prevent bone loss and stop your face from sagging inwards.
  • Gum disease: When you are missing a tooth, you are at greater risk for gum disease because the gums begin to recede. This creates a pocket where bacteria can thrive. This happens with bridges and dentures because they have spaces underneath where bacteria can grow as well. With dental implants, as long as you maintain a good oral hygiene routine with flossing and brushing, you can lower your risk of gum disease.
  • Mental health: With missing teeth, some people may feel self-conscious about the way they look, talk and eat. Dental implants let you do these things normally, without slipping or clicking like dentures sometimes do. This can restore your confidence and reduce anxiety.

Disadvantages of dental implants

While the advantages of dental implants are great, there are also some disadvantages to consider before committing to this treatment. Let's learn more about these now:

Cost

Dental implants are by far the most expensive way to replace missing teeth. A single implant can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $6,500.

If you need a full mouth of dental implants, there are ways to bring the price down a bit, like opting for all-on-4 dental implants, or all-on-x dental implants, which typically require 4 posts to be placed in each arch. These cost around $15,000 per arch.

Eligibility

Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. When you've gone a long time with missing teeth, your jawbone structure weakens and deteriorates. If too much of your jawbone has gone, then there may not be enough to support an implant. Or you may have thinning gums, in which case the implant could show through, and it could be too late for dental implants.

There are ways around this problem, however, like bone grafts, or implants that are inserted into your cheekbone instead of your jawbone.

Extra treatment

Before you get dental implants you need to have a clean bill of health. This may mean getting a jawbone graft to reinforce deteriorated bone, or gum grafts to address pockets caused by gum disease. Depending on your dentist and treatment plan, these costs may be in addition to the costs of your implants.

Surgery

Dental implants require surgery, which on its own, may scare you, but there is also lots of recovery time involved. If you need a bone graft or a sinus lift especially, the entire process of getting implants may take over a year, depending on how much time you need to recover after each extraneous treatment.

Are teeth implants worth it?

If you consider the positive impacts on your health and self-esteem, dental implants are worth it. But the high cost can make them out of the question for many patients.

They are also only worth it if you are committed to taking great care of them. Otherwise complications could develop and you might need implant removal.

If you can't afford dental implants, it's still important to replace your teeth, and a quality set of dentures or a bridge is definitely better than nothing.

Conclusion

Dental implants come with both pros and cons — just like any tooth-replacement option. The most notable advantages of implants are that they help maintain a strong jawbone, stop your facial muscles from sagging inward, and let you talk and chew like you normally would.

Plus the screws are made to last a lifetime!

The downside of dental implants is that they are very expensive and can require a lot of surgery and recovery time.

Consult with your dentist about the total costs involved, and they can help you figure out if this is the best treatment option for you.

FAQs

What is the downside of getting dental implants?

The downside to getting dental implants is that they are very expensive and that they require surgery. They may also require you to get other treatment first, like a sinus lift.

Are teeth implants a good idea?

Teeth implants are a good idea because they act just like natural teeth. Dental implants help you maintain a strong jawbone and they stop your face from sagging inwards. With implants, you can eat and talk just like you would with normal healthy teeth.

What are the disadvantages of dental implants?

The disadvantages of getting dental implants are that they can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $6,500 for a single implant. They also require surgery and recovery time. You may also need to get additional treatment as well, like sinus lifts or bone grafts.

Pros and Cons of Dental Implants: Should You Get Them or Not?
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Contributors:
Natalie used to work as a Community Health Worker and Health Insurance Navigator. She continues to follow her passion for connecting people with the healthcare they need by writing informative content about dentistry and medicine.