Dental health is an extremely complex and personalized field. While many patients suffer from the same general ailments, treatment options vary based on a wide range of ancillary medical conditions and personal preferences. While dental implants are definitely a strong treatment option for many oral health issues, they are also accompanied by several drawbacks. Before making any oral health decisions it is important for patients to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants.
Dental implants are secured directly to the bone and function similarly to a traditional root system. This means that bridgework, crowns, and overdentures that are secured to the dental implant are independently supported and are not reliant on adjacent teeth or dental structures. Not only are adjacent teeth spared the stress and potential damage that being used as a support system can cause, but implants can also preserve bone and slow the resorption process.
Superior Long Term Option
The stable and permanent nature of dental implants mean that unlike other forms of restorative tooth care, they need much less in the way of consistent maintenance or outright replacement. Not only do they last longer, but they have also been shown to reduce the need for oral health procedures on adjacent teeth.
The primary issue that many patients have with dental implants when examining treatment options is the relatively higher cost when compared to other restorative techniques. While this is often offset in the long run by the reduced need for additional procedures or oral interventions, there is no doubt a higher upfront cost associated with dental implants.
Dental implants require surgery. The good news is that the surgical procedure is relatively minor with a low rate of associated surgical complications. However, it is still a surgery. By its very nature surgery is inherently dangerous and exposes the patient to a wide range of potential complications. These can include infection, nerve damage, and bone damage. Choosing the correct oral surgeon for the procedure can go a long way towards mitigating potential risks.
Slow Completion Process
Traditional bridgework or denture work can be completed in a matter of weeks, or sometimes even days. This is because they are using existing bone and dental structures for support. A dental implant takes much longer to complete because it is anchored directly to the patient’s existing bone structure and is thus slowed by the bone integration process. Bone integration is when the bone itself grows directly against the surface of the implant anchor. While the anchor can be surgically implanted in a matter of hours, further work cannot be completed until complete bone integration has been verified.