Written by: Sarah Kong, DDS (Dallas County Dental Society Member)
Losing one or more teeth can affect not only one’s self-esteem but also their health. If you can’t chew food properly, the entire digestive system will suffer, leading to serious conditions in the long run. Add to that the high risk of gingival infections, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes and you understand the importance proper oral hygiene plays for your overall health. Before rushing to your dentist to schedule a dental implant procedure, it’s vital to understand what this process entails and what the risks and benefits are.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is usually a cylindrical post made of titanium, placed in the jawbone as a substitute for the root. The crown is custom-made and replaces the lost tooth. As such, the aspect and color are similar to your natural teeth. These two components are joined together by a connector. The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) recommends dental implants as the best way to treat teeth loss.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of dental implants is that they mimic your natural teeth so well that you won’t be able to tell the difference. The way they look, feel, and function is similar to your denture. As such, smiling, eating, and speaking becomes easier than ever.
Another benefit would be is that you can say your farewell to cavities as they can’t occur in an implant-restored crown. Don’t get the wrong ideas, though: even though your dental implant will last you for a long time, you still have to take proper care of your teeth. Brush twice a day, floss, and schedule a visit with your dentist at least twice a year.
Unlike bridging or dentures, dental implants are cheaper and more effective in the long run. According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, the cases when the body rejects the implants are extremely rare.
Risks of Early Failure in Dental Implants
Although the chance of failure is low, there are a few important factors that can lead to complications if not corrected on time. In a study on dental implants that included 1093 patients, nearly 73% of them had an early failure. The main risk factors included prophylactic antibiotherapy, the quality of the implant surface, and lower bone density. The interval between extraction and the dental implant can also influence the final results as can poor hygiene habits.
To avoid any difficulty, a qualified dentist can help you understand whether or not dental implants are the best solution for you. If you have additional questions or second thoughts, they will address your worries and listen to your concerns before proposing any options.