What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants, which were introduced in the late part of the 20th century, have become a lot more common these days. Patients are often choosing them over dentures. That may make you wonder: What are the benefits of dental implants?
The main advantage of dental implants is that once they have been inserted, it will be like you have natural teeth again. There is no concern about them jarring loose like dentures. You will be able to talk, eat and drink like you normally do. Also, you won’t have to worry about altering your eating habits, since the implant will function like a normal tooth and not be breakable like a denture would.
Once they are in your mouth, dental implants do not require any extra maintenance. Just brush your teeth and floss like you normally do. Treat it like it’s a regular tooth. On the other hand, you need to take your dentures out of your mouth every day and brush them thoroughly before dropping them into a cup full of denture cleaning solution overnight. That ensures that they are sterile when taken out in the morning.
Dental implants are also quite durable – typically they will last about 25 years. Dentures, on the other hand, have to be replaced about every 5-7 years. That’s because they gradually bend and even possibly break due to usage or being dropped when they are removed. That’s another benefit of implants – you will likely find yourself spending much less time in the dental chair than if you were to get dentures.
Even though the implants offer all of these benefits, that doesn’t mean that you’re an automatic candidate for them. First of all, they are expensive, especially since insurers often see them as cosmetic and not truly necessary, so they will foot only a fraction of the bill. That means you will pay a large out-of-pocket expense. Secondly, the bone mass in your jaw will determine whether you can get the implants. If there’s not enough, your dentist or specialist will try a few things to generate enough mass, or see if you can get mini implants, which use smaller screws. If either of those reasons keep you from getting the implants, dentures are still an option.
While there are some faster options, like same-day implants and mini implants, one should be prepared to wait for a long time – measure this in months – to get the implant, since it is a surgical procedure. If this is done by a skilled implant dentist, the risk of complications is minimal – but like all surgical procedures, there is a chance. In order to get the most secure fit, the traditional implant is recommended, since the same-day and mini implants are not as secured.
Also, one doesn’t maintain the same bone mass throughout the entire time with the implant, so there’s a chance that the whole thing may have to be done again at some point. That’s what you will have regular check-ups for. While the replacement tooth is strong, it is capable of chipping or breaking… just like a regular one. Be careful with eating things like hard candy.
Dental implants offer a lot of benefits. It’s not a one-size-fits-all perfect solution, though and it takes some consideration. The technology will continue to improve over the years and it may become an even more viable option as time goes on.
The experts at Esthetix Dental Spa will be able to guide you carefully when it comes to deciding whether or not to get dental implants. Ask about them when you call them at 212-795-9675.