If you’re of a certain age, you can probably remember a grandparent putting their teeth to bed in a glass of water every night: they had dentures. Dentures used to be the only solution to a mouthful of compromised teeth. But, dentistry has greatly advanced: rather than a set of removable, often ill-fitting teeth, you can have implants that act just like your original teeth (and they might even look better).
Implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone. The “tooth” (really a crown) is placed onto an abutment, which is attached to a titanium root. The crown is designed to look just like your own teeth, down to the shape and color. And, perhaps best of all, implants aren’t a painful procedure, either.
Implants are growing in popularity. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, about 3 million people have implants, and that number goes up by 500,000 annually.
1. Dental implants really do look and feel like your own teeth. Plus, they’re fused into your jaw and function exactly the same as natural teeth.
2. They’re very comfortable. Unlike dentures, which require sticky adhesives (and can slip out for suspenseful social moments), implants are actually part of your mouth, not an accessory for it.
3. You can eat, talk, and kiss with ease. There’s no worrying about a denture slipping around and causing slurring or spitting.
4. Implants create far better oral health when compared to dentures, as your nearby teeth aren’t required to hold a denture in place. You can brush and floss just as you normally would.
5. Take care of your teeth, including your implants, and they’ll last a lifetime. In fact, implants have a 98% success rate.
Risks Associated with Implants
1. Implants can be much more expensive than dentures and bridges. And, because each mouth is unique, it’s hard to estimate an average cost and budget for it accordingly.
2. They require planning and multiple dental visits. Getting implants takes several months, as opposed to weeks for a bridge or dentures.
3. Like any surgery, you’ll run the risk of complications, including infections.
4. Don’t depend on your dental insurance. It doesn’t usually cover the cost of implants, since dentures are less expensive.
5. Do your due diligence when choosing an oral surgeon. Improper implantation can cause nerve damage, sinus problems and gum recession.
There are some conditions, such as diabetes and smoking, which might make implants an impossibility. Be completely honest and upfront when speaking with an oral surgeon about implants; they’re an investment in your oral health!