What Is the Downside of Dental Implants?

What Is the Downside of Dental Implants?

What Is the Downside of Dental Implants?

As with most things, dental implants have both pros and cons. It’s important to weigh both in order to make the best decision for yourself on going forward with dental implants or not.  

What Are Dental Implants?

If you have missing teeth or are unhappy with your dentures, you might look to dental implants for a long-term solution to restore your teeth and have more confidence. But what exactly are dental implants? And how would going through with this procedure affect you?

A dental implant is, like its name suggests, a surgery that replaces your tooth root with a metal, screw-like post, and replaces damaged or missing teeth with real-looking artificial teeth. This involves your existing jaw bone fusing with metal to support the new, artificial teeth. This surgery is typically done in stages and can be a lengthy commitment as there is healing time between each procedure. To complete a dental implant, doctors must:

There are two main types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the most common implants, and these involve the placement of titanium screws into the jawbone, resulting in fusion before adding the artificial teeth. Subperiosteal implants are placed below the gum tissue, above the jawbone. This type of implant is used in patients that do not have healthy enough bone in their jaw to support typical titanium implants.

Maybe this option sounds intriguing and maybe it sounds daunting- so let’s dig a little deeper into the process of getting dental implants.

Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

If you think you might be a candidate for dental implants, you should consult with your doctor and have a comprehensive dental exam, a review of your medical history, and fully understand the treatment plan that would come with dental implants. In order to qualify for dental implants, you must meet certain criteria, and be physically healthy enough to undergo surgery. Doctors generally do not recommend dental implants for:

This means that even though you might be willing to commit the time to the process, have missing teeth or dentures, or want to improve your speech or appearance, you still might not meet the criteria for dental implants.

Some Downsides to Dental Implants

The fail rate for dental implants is a low 10%, and doctors typically only recommend implants for people with a low likelihood of failure. Dental implants are a surgical procedure, and with any surgical procedure comes the risk of serious complications. The risk of serious complications with dental implants is low, also below 10%. However, failure rate and serious complications are not the only factors to consider when thinking about dental implants.

Because dental implants are surgical procedures, you can expect some painful side effects from the procedures. You’ll likely have pain, swelling, and bleeding in and around your mouth. You also might experience anesthesia complications like pain, nausea, or drowsiness. Proper hygiene is essential always, but especially while undergoing the process of dental implants. Because the entire process can take 3-18 months, healing time lost to infection can set you back significantly, and result in more pain.

As we’ve mentioned previously, the dental implants process is a lengthy one because of the need for your bone to fuse to metal screws, and to allow for proper healing time between procedures. Even without any complications or delays, it will take a long time for you to achieve results from this process. Some patients find themselves facing additional procedures as a result of not having enough bone to accommodate implants. This could result in an additional sinus lift or bone augmentation, which will increase the overall cost of the implants, and result in more healing time.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that dental implants can be incredibly costly. While they’re meant to be a long-term solution to tooth damage and loss, it’s not guaranteed that dental implant surgery will be covered by your insurance, which means you could be paying out of pocket for a long time. Should anything go wrong, or should you need to replace or fix an implant, you could be incurring additional costs, adding up to far more than you bargained for initially.