Female patient is being seen by male dentist who is pointing at an x-ray as she looks on.

A Step by Step Guide to Dental Implants

Dental implants are one of the most requested restorative dental procedures by dentists today. While dental implants do offer great benefits, many patients have questions about whether dental implants are the right choice for them. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants to consider.

Disadvantage: Requires Multiple Visits

Unlike an extraction or placing a crown over a root canal, getting a dental implant requires you to make multiple visits to the dentist over a more extended period. The implant will need to be placed and heal before a crown is placed. This requires more visits and takes a longer time to finish the work.

Advantage: Looks and Functions Like Natural Teeth

Probably the biggest advantage of a dental implant is that it looks and functions like a natural tooth. You’ll be able to chew and floss like you would with normal teeth, the dental implant helps to maintain bone in your jaw, and you won’t have to worry about any facial sagging like you could face with a missing tooth. It can be difficult to differentiate a natural tooth over a dental implant from the naked eye.

Disadvantage: May Be More Costly

Dental implants may cost more than other restorative options in certain instances. While most dental implants are covered by dental insurance, some of the associated costs if needed, such as bone grafting to repair damage from diseased natural teeth, may not be covered. By comparison, a simple fixed bridge on natural teeth costs about the same as one implant restoration without bone grafting when replacing a missing tooth. Despite the possibility of increased cost, most patients choose dental implants because of their advantages, outcomes, predictability, and longevity.

Advantage: Long Lasting Solution

Dental implants are considered permanent. They should last more than 20 years with proper care and can help preserve your oral health. Crowns and bridges may break over time and need to be replaced. Even if the crown on top of your dental implant breaks, your dental implant should remain intact.

Disadvantage: Outcome Depends on Dentist’s Skill

Unlike simpler dental procedures, the success of a dental implant largely depends on the dentist’s still. Ideally, you want to only work with dentists that have a lot of experience with dental implants and who understand the procedure. Having a dental implant placed is probably not the time when you should get involved in medical tourism. Instead, choose to work with a periodontist to achieve the best results.

Advantage: Less Invasive Than a Fixed Bridge

One of the most important advantages with an implant is that the patients avoid "cutting down" the adjacent natural teeth that would be required with a bridge.  In this way, the single tooth implant solution is actually more conservative and less invasive than a conventional three-unit fixed bridge on natural teeth. Learn more about the benefits of dental implants.

Despite their disadvantages, dental implants represent the best in modern dentistry. The ability to replace a tooth with one that looks and functions like a natural tooth is well worth the cost. Early research suggests a dental implant may have other positive impacts on your health.

Ready to Get Started?

To learn more or to schedule a dental implant consultation, contact Periodontal Associates today at 508-875-6185 (Framingham) or 617-964-6185 (Newton).