Installing a dental implant into your jaw could be a permanent way to replace a lost tooth. But are there any drawbacks to this procedure? And if so, how do they compare to the benefits of having the procedure done?
How Dental Implants Work: The Basics
You can find dental implants in The Woodlands and in most major cities throughout the country. In a dental implant procedure, a dental care professional will remove the entirety of your tooth, including the roots. Those roots are replaced with metal posts that anchor an artificial tooth as a replacement for your natural tooth. Unlike most artificial teeth, this tooth looks just like the other teeth in your mouth and is designed as a permanent replacement.
Once the procedure is done and your mouth has healed, you’ll be able to eat completely normally and smile in full. As long as the dental implant takes successfully, you shouldn’t need any further interventions, aside from routine follow-up care.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Different people have different motivations for pursuing these permanent dental fixtures.
· A fuller, more beautiful smile. For some people, the biggest priority is attaining a fuller, more beautiful smile. If you’ve dealt with a missing or broken tooth for many years, you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed about smiling. But you won’t have to feel that anymore if you replace the tooth that was lost.
· Easier eating. Previous dental issues can also make it more challenging to eat. You may be restricted on what kinds of foods you can eat comfortably, or you may experience uncomfortable eating conditions, such as feeling like your jaw is lopsided. Once you have dental implants in place, most of these issues disappear, and you can return to eating normally.
· Improved jawbone health. It’s not just about aesthetics or comfort; it’s also about your overall jaw health. Your jaw requires teeth as part of its foundation, enabling it to stay in a proper shape and function correctly. When teeth are broken or missing, it can compromise the shape and health of the jaw. Dental implants prevent these types of issues from arising.
· More stable teeth. Having a dental implant in place can also increase the stability of your remaining teeth. If you’re worried about your teeth becoming crooked or out of place, you should consider getting dental implants to help them remain in line.
· Long-term durability. Some procedures and products are designed as a temporary measure for replacing lost teeth, but dental implants are permanent. As long as they heal successfully, you shouldn’t have to touch them or adjust them again.
· Greater convenience (over dentures). Some procedures and solutions require significant ongoing efforts. Dentures are a great example here since you’re required to take out your dentures regularly, as well as clean and practice preventive maintenance on them. In contrast, all you have to do with a dental implant is floss and brush it like normal. Since you’re going to be flossing and brushing the rest of your teeth anyway, it’s no inconvenience.
· More confidence. One of the most commonly cited benefits of getting a dental implant is increased confidence. With all your teeth in place and your smile full and beautiful, you’ll feel much higher self-esteem that can impact your life in many different ways.
The Risks of Dental Implants
There are also a few risks associated with dental implants, though many of them are reducible:
· Improper healing/infection. As with any significant medical procedure, there’s a chance your dental implant could suffer from improper healing or infection. If not cared for properly, your mouth could develop an infection that could lead to major long term consequences. The procedure may also take a long time to heal, depending on your age, your health, and a multitude of other variables.
· Bone growth failure. For the dental implant to take successfully, your jawbone needs to join completely with the metal posts inserted into your jaw. If that bone doesn’t grow successfully, the dental implant could fail.
· Placement errors. In rare cases, dental implants can be placed improperly. If your dental care provider makes a mistake during your procedure, you may require a follow-up procedure or suffer from short-term complications.
· Nerve damage. Nerve damage is also a possibility during a dental implant procedure, but most dental care providers scan for nerves before beginning the procedure to minimize risk here as much as possible.
Overall, dental implants are a safe and reliable procedure that can improve your jaw health, improve your dental health, and help you smile and eat like you did before losing the tooth. The risks are minimal, and in some cases controllable, so if you’re interested in a permanent replacement for your tooth, talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
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