The most common disadvantage of getting a dental implant is that it is a costly procedure and may not always be covered by insurance providers. Additional potential disadvantages of dental implants include:
- Pain, swelling, and bleeding due to surgery
- Anesthesia complications like nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness
- Infection due to breaks and looseness
- Bone not accepting the implant
- Nerve damage of adjacent muscles or sinus cavity
- Implants may wear out eventually or without proper oral hygiene
- Dental implants are not suitable for everyone, few patients may not be eligible for tooth replacement due to their bone health. Dental implants usually require healthy bones that are dense. Strong bones in place are a parameter to support dental implants.
- Dental implants are also a lot more complicated than other options. They take longer to complete, they require a greater commitment from the patient, and they put the patient at greater risk for infection and disease.
- Sometimes implant placement may need extra surgical procedures. If there is not enough bone to accommodate dental implants then you may need surgical procedures like a sinus lift or bone augmentation that may increase the cost of the procedure and healing time.
- If a patient is looking for instant results for missing teeth, dental implants aren’t the solution. A major disadvantage of dental implants is that they take a long time to heal.
Who are not good candidates for dental implants?
The benefits of dental implants may not be universal to everyone. A decision may be taken by the dentist and the patient. Patients with below conditions may not be a good candidate for dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implantation involves the placement of a metal post into the jawbone to act as an artificial root. It is a surgery that typically involves removing teeth, cutting gums, drilling into the jawbone, and inserting a titanium post.
Titanium, the metal used to make implants, is proved to be highly compatible with the human body. Below are two main types of implants:
- Endosteal: These dental implants are placed in the jawbone. Typically made of titanium and shaped like small screws, they are the most commonly used type of implant.
- Subperiosteal: These dental implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. This type of implant may be used in patients who do not have enough healthy natural jawbones and cannot, or do not want to, undergo a bone augmentation procedure to rebuild it.
The three phases of dental implants include:
- Placing the implant: The patient may undergo surgery to have the implant placed in the jaw, where it is covered with gum tissue and allowed to integrate into the jawbone for three to six months.
- Attaching the post: The dentist attaches a post to the implant and the gum tissue can grow up around it. In some cases, the implant and post are placed simultaneously. Whether they are placed at the same time, the combination implant and post serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth.
- Crown attachment: Dentist attaches a customized crown to the implant post.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
The advantages of dental implants include:
- They help prevent jawbone degradation that comes with tooth loss.
- They are a great way to improve the smile and overall dental health.
- Dental implants provide a more natural tooth replacement than dentures.
- They give the patient a set of strong teeth, allowing patients to enjoy favorite foods without any irritations.
- Dental implants rarely fail and have an average success rate of 95 to 98%.
What should a patient do after dental implants?
Below are a few common ways to maximize the healing process after the dental implant:
- Strictly follow the postoperative instructions recommended by the dentist. Instructions may include taking pain medications like Advil or Tylenol as directed and taking prophylactic antibiotics if prescribed
- Regular gentle rinsing with a warm saltwater solution may kill germs and promote healing
- Avoiding hot, spicy, or crunchy foods for the first 10 days may avoid infection
- Maintaining good oral hygiene is always recommended
- Brushing gently near the implant sites may avoid any infection due to injury
- Using cold compresses as directed will help in controlling the pain
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