While dental implants are advantageous for most people, some do have down-sides to think through. In general, most of supposed “disadvantages” you might hear of have more benefits that outweigh the possible negative. Dr. Marc L. Montgomery is a dentist in Woodbury, MN that offers many options for patients missing teeth including oral implants. You may be asking if dental implants are the best answer to your missing and lost teeth concerns. This article can help you decide how to proceed by learning about the pros and cons of dental implants.
The FDA says, “Dental implants can significantly improve the quality of life and the health of a person who needs them. However, complications may sometimes occur.” 
To be clear; a dental implant restoration is a surgical procedure. It is also known as oral implantology.
It is not painful as you will be safely and comfortably sedated throughout the dental implant surgery. It involves replacing your natural, damaged tooth roots with titanium screws that will adhere to your surrounding bone structure. This bonding process is called osseointegration.
Essentially, just like with all surgeries, there are pros and cons to consider.
If you have a missing, damaged, or loose tooth, chewing may be challenging. Since a proper diet requires the ability to chew your food well, it’s important to restore your teeth’s functioning if inhibited. For example, if you are avoiding meats, nuts, Apples and carrots, or corn on the cob, these food items are good for you. It’s best to address chewing issues as soon as possible to continue eating a well-rounded diet.
During most people’s younger days, there is little worry about your teeth and chewing whatever you wanted. As an adult, that’s a functionality that dental implants can bring back to you. Because tooth implants serve as artificial tooth roots and anchor the prosthetic crown into the jaw, they tolerate chewing forces that equal those that natural teeth withstand.
Therefore, dental patients can continue to have a complete diet, even foods that are harder to chew or fibrous are no problem. Alternative restorations commonly follow with a list of food that should be avoided, including many healthy options. Why not enjoy all the foods that you like and that are good for you?
If the process was completed by an inexperienced dentist who caused injury during surgery (example, surrounding jawbone fracture), proper chewing ability may be impaired. If you feel like your teeth do not bite together normally, tell your dentist immediately. While it rarely occurs, implants don’t always take if the patient was poorly suited for the procedure from the start.
Replacing any missing teeth with dental implants typically helps prevent bone loss from occurring. By helping your jaw retain its natural shape and appearance, dental implants mimic your natural teeth’s function. If you gain dental implants, you can worry less about bone loss. Jawbone loss can weaken your jaw, which may alter your facial appearance. Your implant will stimulate your jawbone in the same way that a natural tooth prevents bone resorption.
You see, when a tooth is lost, the jawbone below it slowly weakens. A dental implant post that replaces that missing tooth root provides needed stimulation to avoid bone loss. Traditional dentures and bridges aren’t as effective; they eventually lead to bone loss in the jaw because of a lack of stimulation. This loss creates a sunken-in facial look and makes you appear older.
A sensation that the tooth is loose or wiggling due to an abutment screw not taking or loosening. This may occur if the person’s oral health or overall health have been compromised.
Studies on modern dental implants strengthen the premise that a well-cared for implants can last decades. This signals that they’ll be a lifelong improvement to your smile. The failure rate is extremely low. With an overall 98% success rate, implants are the most proven effective treatment offered in restoration dentistry.
Immediate implant placement into extraction sockets is a widely satisfactory treatment option to lower treatment time and enrich oral esthetics.
The August 11, 2022, Survival Rates and Factors Affecting the Outcome Following Immediate and Delayed Implant Placement: A Retrospective Study evaluated outcomes of these two failed implant placement types. Patient-sites without failure were censored at the last follow-up visit. Georgios S. Chatzopoulos, writes that “The estimated mean survival time for immediate implants was 68.90 months, while delayed implants placed in healed sockets showed a mean survival time of 75.11 months.”
A professional dental implant restoration with crowns offers you a very attractive smile, in most cases, for the rest of your life. Our patients value the assurance of knowing their teeth are firmly in place for chewing comfortably and safely. You can smile confidently knowing that your crowns are made of a durable, natural-looking porcelain material that looks just like natural teeth.
Your implant is an internal part of a tooth that supports a fixed restoration on top of it. In the case where you get a crown or a bridge, it’s possible your porcelain may still wear out. It may need replacing over time. Much depends on how you take care of your teeth and what you eat. Often, loose dental implants can be fixed with minimal cost and effort.
With the right tension on the neighboring teeth, implants actually prevent the movement and shifting of the tooth on its right and left. Modern implants are made of a material that is biocompatible and integrates efficiently with bone tissue. A process called osseointegration helps the tissue in your jaw fuse with the titanium implant and become securely in place.
More advanced than other tooth replacement treatments, oral implants are holistic and compatible with your normal smile features. Because they are designed to replicate the natural size and shape of the tooth they’re replacing, neighboring teeth also remain natural and stable. This carefully crafted alignment supports your bone and unique facial tissues for a healthy and youthful appearance.
When a tooth is lost, the jawbone beneath it will slowly begin to weaken. A dental implant post will replace the missing tooth root to provide the necessary stimulation to avoid bone loss. Traditional dentures and bridges will eventually lead to bone loss in the jaw due to lack of stimulation. This will create a sunken-in look on your face and make you appear older than you are.
As with natural teeth, implants rely on enough bone to be stable and not loose. If you leave a missing tooth unattended to, over time this “gap” contributes to bone shrinkage. Bone loss is also common when a person loses a tooth or teeth due to gum disease. A skilled dentist can perform a bone graft to overcome this predicament. The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry reports that osteoporotic individuals experience significantly higher implant failure. 
You may feel like going with a different type of oral restorations because it is initially less money. However, they commonly need to be replaced every several years. This makes the price of dental implants more cost-effective over time.
Currently, most people’s insurance doesn’t cover dental implants. When this cost falls on you, you’ll notice your out-of-pocket expense. It’s important to be realistic about the process up front. It can be quite complex and require multiple appointments to be done right. Each step in an implant restoration is important. The long-term outcome is important; you want to work patiently with your dentist to have the best result. Once you see the larger picture, it’s easier to see why dental implants run in the thousands of dollars but save even more expense.
They are an investment in your quality of life. They are not meant to be a short-term fix with pending redo costs. Look at it as an investment in yourself; most patients then view them as worth it.
Dentures will cost you less. However, they have several drawbacks and fewer benefits. If you consider the long-term numbers, then dental implants are clearly an investment that is worth it! Temporary, removable dentures impact your ability to smile hugely, eat what you want, and to speak clearly. Dental implants have been the service of choice for many of our patients who care more about their future than an initial cost.
You can replace as many teeth as needed to look great. A good dental implant specialist may recommend using one, two, or as many as four. Whether it is best to use a single crown or a full arch denture, you can typically have the smile you want. These dental prosthetics retain and restore a person’s natural appearance so you can socialize without issue or embarrassment.
They are the healthiest, most attractive dental restoration for people who are missing a single tooth, a full arch of teeth, or any number of missing teeth. An implant and crown can be custom made to appear as if the tooth has had no dental work on it. Color matches are made to complement your cosmetic appearance.
Completing your dental implant surgery needs several treatment phases. Starting with your initial implant consultation and exam to the completed surgical placement may involve several visits. You will want to give your oral soft tissues time to complete a healing phase. Additionally, bone simply heals slowly. It may mean restorative visits. Be prepared that you may have multiple appointments over the duration of about six months. Each patient with the procedure will have what’s best for them is recommended. It’s so important to schedule your initial dental appointment and CBCT scan so you know what to expect.
Oral implant restorations do not rely on the use of healthy teeth to secure them. Dentures and bridges leverage your surrounding teeth to hold them in place. This means a process where your adjacent teeth will be ground down to house a dental bridge. Partial dentures put stress on neighboring healthy teeth to hold them in place. Unnecessary stress on teeth using other methods may lead to future decay.
If you don’t follow your home care instructions or fail to attend follow-up dental appointments, issues may arise. If the normal healing time is interrupted, difficulty cleaning the gums around the implant may result in poor oral hygiene.
Patients who opt for dentures as a solution for missing teeth take a while longer to get used to wearing them. Many report them feeling larger than their natural teeth and uncomfortable to wear. Dentures can also affect your speech and may slip around in the mouth, whereas oral implants do not. Dental implants are the most natural teeth replacement option. They both look like natural teeth, you forget they exist, and they function completely natural.
While this rarely happens, post-surgical numbness due to nerve impingement or damage may occur. Then pain possible reminds you that you have an implant and that it likely needs to be fixed.
Now that you are knowledgeable about the pros and cons of dental implants, take the next step.
Dr. Montgomery believes it’s important to be transparent and to educate patients on both the advantages and disadvantages of a potential dental implant procedure. Once you consider most of the cons as just part of the process, you know what to expect. Feel free to ask all your questions during your initial consultation. With a realistic understanding it’s easier to overcome hurdles that may keep you from deciding. If you are a good candidate, it may be the right time to move forward with dental implants.
Before your tooth or teeth became damaged, you probably took chewing normally as a given. This article is meant for individuals where it has become an issue. With proper after care, you can enjoy all of the advantages. If you live anywhere in the Minnesota Twin Cities area and are interested in learning how dental implants can be advantageous for you, we please schedule an appointment at Montgomery Dental Care.
Dr. Marc L. Montgomery has been practicing in Woodbury, MN since 1986 and has helped hundreds of patients love the results they gain from dental implants. Learn more about other popular smile makeovers that our patient’s love.
The work that I have had done was very well worth the time and money. It has changed my social and business life tremendously. My thanks to Dr. Marc and his staff.