Are your considering dental implants as a treatment option for your missing teeth? Here, our Winnipeg dental team explains what dental implants are, their advantages and their disadvantages as a choice of treatment.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants permanently replace missing teeth. Held in place with a tiny titanium rod implanted into the patient’s jaw bone, the implant serves as the root of the artificial tooth.
Titanium is used because this type of metal can bond with bone. Titanium implants are very stable, secure tooth replacements. We then cap the dental implant with a dental crown, which looks like a natural tooth.
Working together, the implant and cap both appear and function like your natural tooth.
What are the advantages of having dental implants?
Dental implants offer several advantages, including:
Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth in the upper or lower jaw. We can combine implants with other treatment options such as a bridge or denture.
Your unique case and oral health requirements, alongside the density of your jaw bone, will all determine the number of dental implants you need or can get. Since they have a number of different potential configurations, dental implants are a popular option for many patients.
Provided you properly care for your dental implant, it can last a lifetime. A proper at-home oral care routine is a must, as are regular visits to your dental office for cleanings and exams.
Other factors including nutrition, genetics or development of dental diseases can also impact the longevity of your dental implant.
Natural Look and Feel
As mentioned above, your dental implant, paired with a bridge or crown, will look and function just like your natural tooth.
No one should be able to tell that you have artificial teeth, and you can eat, speak and function as you did before while enjoying quality of life. Since there are no nerves in a dental implant, you will not feel sensations.
Instead of feeling through the nerves in your tooth, any sensations related to your dental implant will actually come from the soft tissue surrounding the implant. After this implant has healed and you have become used to it, you will likely notice very little difference between it and your own natural teeth.
Easy to Care For
Similarly to crowns, bridges or other restorations, you can care for your implants like your natural teeth. They will require thorough flossing and brushing and your dentist will need to check them during your regular exam.
What are potential disadvantages of dental implants?
Depending on the nature of your case, dental implants may not be for you. Here are some aspects of dental implants you may want to consider:
While dental implants may look and feel somewhat more natural than dental bridges, the dental implant process is a lengthier, and more invasive.
Depending on your treatment plan and your specific case, the entire dental implant procedure can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to complete.
Depending on your insurance coverage and your specific dental issue, the cost of dental implants can vary. While some insurance companies pay part of the cost, others may cover the entire cost of your implants and still others may not pay for any part of it.
Check with your insurance provider to learn whether your insurance plan will cover your treatment.
In addition to the items above, you must have enough density in your jaw bone for a dental implant treatment to be a success. If you don’t, you may still be a candidate for the procedure but would require a bone graft to transplant bone to your jaw to support the implant. This would make the process longer and more invasive.
How do I know whether dental implants or other options are right for me?
While bridges, denture and dental implants all have their benefits, the right choice for correcting your smile will depend on your oral health needs, your budget and other factors.
Ultimately, you’ll need to discuss your case with your dentist to find out which tooth replacement option would work best for you.