For patients missing a single tooth or several teeth, we often discuss the pros and cons of dental implants. This option is a good solution where a patient’s tooth has been deemed non-restorable, or has already run the gambit of restoration options.
All things considered, I believe implants are the best option when compared to a fixed bridge or partial bridge. This is for several reasons.
The Pros of Implants
First, an implant is the most predictable, long-term solution. Once your body accepts the implant and bone grows into the titanium structure, there will be no relative movement between the implant and the bone. For that reason, this option is as close to permanent as you can get with dental restorations.
In addition, implants are not subject to decay or cavities, so the long-term maintenance of the tooth is much less than that of a bridge. Implants are also much better at handling normal tooth stress in terms of eating and are not subject to fracture. Finally, implants do not have a nerve, so they don’t have any sensitivity that patients may have experienced in the past.
The Cons of Implants
While implants may be the best solution for patients, there are several cons that should be considered.
First, it takes a considerable amount of time to complete an implant restoration. This process can range from four to six months, depending on the time it takes for the implant to integrate with the bone. And an additional three to four months can be added to this timeline if the patient requires a bone graft for the implant to be placed.
Second, this procedure is an invasive surgery, whereby the dentist is placing a titanium screw into the jawbone. It is no minor procedure, particularly when the jaw requires grafting to sustain the implant. Finally, implants are aesthetically more difficult to integrate with the existing teeth. Many patients believe that the implant will look better because it is costly than a bridge, but this is not true.
You may be asking yourself, “Why would I get an implant when there are so many cons?” The number one reason I suggest implants above other options is their predictability and longevity. If our ultimate goal is to make your teeth outlive you, implants will go a long way in achieving this success and will decrease your risk of future dentistry, as well as costs over time.
For more information on dental implants or to request a consultation, call us at (813) 689-4226 today.