Dental implants represent the state of the art in tooth replacement technology. These natural-looking artificial teeth, which are permanently implanted in the jawbone, offer much greater chewing security, comfort, durability, and ease of care than old-fashioned bridges and dentures. Even so, you might find yourself wondering about the long-term implications of selecting dental implants as your mode of smile repair. Here are three key points that can help you make the wisest decision for your needs and expectations.
1. Dental Implants Can Actually Save You Money
Have you found yourself breathless with excitement as you learned about the many benefits of dental implants -- only to become equally breathless with shock over the potential cost? There's no getting around the fact that implants can cost several thousand dollars per tooth. On the other hand, implants are meant to last a lifetime, making them a one-time expense. Compare this consideration against how much you might spend to have a removable bridge or denture relined, repaired or replaced every few years. The younger you are, the more such expenses you'll rack up over the decades, making implants the wiser investment.
2. Dental Implants Need Care (Just Like Natural Teeth)
Although dental implants can keep you chewing, smiling, and laughing with confidence for the rest of your life, they're not indestructible. Just as your own natural teeth require regular dental checkups and hygiene, so will your implants need a reasonable degree of attention. Infections that damage the gums or bone, for instance, could make your implants loose and unstable. Fortunately, you can provide adequate care for your implants simply by subjecting them to the same routine of dental checkups, professional cleanings, and brushing/flossing that keeps your natural teeth and gums healthy.
3. Dental Implantation Is a Process
In this world of same-day crowns and single-session root canals, patients have come to value and even expect the quickest possible resolution to their dental issues. If you're the impatient type, you might actually be happier getting a removable bridge or denture, which typically takes just a matter of weeks to prepare and adjust. By contrast, dental implantation is a process that can take months to reach its conclusion. For instance, if you don't have enough bone density to support a successful implant, you need to have (and recover from) a bone graft before moving on. Your implant dentist will then insert the titanium supports into your teeth, where they will need up to 6 months to fuse with the surrounding bone. Only then will you receive the permanent crowns that complete your new smile (although you can wear a temporary tooth replacement over the implants if you wish). Thankfully, the time you're willing to spend on this process now could buy you a lifetime of worry-free comfort and function.
Dental implants can give you the most natural tooth replacement experience available to modern dentistry, but it's up to you to decide whether they're the best choice for you. Schedule a consultation with your local implant dentist to discuss these considerations in detail. Your mouth deserves no less!