The Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Losing multiple teeth through trauma or disease is a serious matter and can have a significant impact on the remainder of an individual's life. Teeth provide more than just a surface upon which to cut and grind food. They also play an essential role in the structure of the human mouth. When teeth are lost, that structure is altered. The end result goes far beyond cosmetic considerations. Many people who suffer tooth loss will also experience difficulty with their speech, and some will even encounter bone loss that can weaken the entire structure of the jaw. These risks, combined with the desire to restore an attractive smile, will lead many people to consider dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants, Exactly?
Unlike dentures, which are false teeth that are temporarily held in the mouth by adhesive or connection to healthy teeth, dental implants are a permanent solution for one or more missing teeth. Dental implants are anchored within an individual's bone structure and replace both the roots and the visible surface area of a lost tooth. They are shaped and tinted to resemble the surrounding teeth and will look and function in the same way as a natural, healthy tooth. The primary difference is that a dental implant will never decay.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Getting one or more implants involves a significant investment of time. It will take multiple dentist office visits to complete the process as well as a waiting period in between visits to allow the jawbone to heal before the replacement tooth is put into place. At the end of the process, however, patients walk away with a permanent solution to their dental needs, a fully restored smile and the confidence to match.
What About the Cost?
It is true that dental implants will have a higher upfront cost than dentures. However, over time, many who choose dentures will find that the lower initial cost is outweighed by the need for additional dental care. Dentures can be difficult to properly fit to an individual's mouth, and some patients find themselves having to return for multiple adjustments before they are able to effectively use their dentures to eat and speak normally. In addition, dentures that anchor to the surrounding teeth can cause decay to those teeth, which can lead to additional dental problems and loss of even more teeth. That, in turn, requires a new set of dentures. Dental implants may cost more initially, but the long-term cost of caring for implants is much lower than that of dentures.
To learn more about dental implants and how they might fit your particular dental needs, please feel free to contact the Great Lakes Dental Team to schedule a consultation.