Did you know 120 million people in the U.S. alone are missing at least one tooth? Or that as many as 36 million Americans have no teeth? For those who are missing one or more teeth, dental implants are a way to regain their confidence, health, and quality of life.
Most have considered implants as an alternative to dentures or bridges. But, many are confused about this tooth replacement option and how it works. They wonder what the pros and cons of dental implants are.
If this sounds like you, continue reading. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the pros and cons of dental implants so you can make the best decision for your health.
1. Pro – Implants Look and Feel Like Regular Teeth
Perhaps the most significant benefit to dental implants is they look and feel like regular teeth. While dentures can provide some of the same benefits, they feel far from natural and take considerable time to get used to. Even the highest-quality dentures look less like natural teeth versus implants.
2. Con – Lengthy Process
When comparing the pros and cons of dental implants, many consider the lengthy process to be the most significant disadvantage. But why does the dental implant process take so long?
There are multiple steps involved in creating realistic-looking and naturally functioning teeth. In some circumstances, additional procedures like bone grafting or tooth removal may be necessary.
Those looking for an immediate solution may prefer to avoid the lengthy process of implants. It’s important to note, however, the long process also produces lasting results. Many people feel the time investment is well worth it.
3. Pro – Helps Prevent Bone Loss
When you’re missing teeth, the jaw bone surrounding the empty area gradually begins to deteriorate. This bone loss leads to the typical “sagging” facial features that happen after someone takes out their dentures.
Dental implants are one of the only tooth replacement options that maintain bone density in your jaw. By helping to prevent bone loss, implants can help you maintain a more youthful appearance.
4. Con – High Initial Costs
One of the primary reasons people are unsure about getting dental implants is the high initial costs. The exact price will vary based on certain factors and the dentist you go to, but it’s always higher than the cost of dentures.
The high initial costs can be too steep for some people to afford. If the price is an issue, some offices offer financing options. Some dental offices can also help you understand third-party funding options that may be available to you.
5. Pro – Highest Return on Investment
Although the initial costs may be high, the return on investment (ROI) received from implants is also much higher versus other options.
Many factors will need to be considered when determining the ROI on implants versus dentures. Generally, implants will have an ROI of two to three or more times that of dentures.
6. Pro – Implants Are a Permanent Solution
Implants are the closest thing to a permanent solution for missing teeth you’ll find. Whereas the average lifespan of dentures is five to seven years, implants will generally last more than two decades.
Not only are dental implants longer-lasting, but they don’t need to be taken out. Implants are designed to fuse with your jawbone like natural teeth. Many people forget they even have dental implants because they function like permanent, regular teeth.
7. Con – You Must Meet Set Requirements to Be Eligible
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible to receive dental implants. If you’re unsure whether you meet the set requirements, the best thing is to speak with a certified dentist or oral surgeon.
A few of the most common reasons people aren’t eligible to receive dental implants include:
- They have an autoimmune or blood disorder
- They’re heavy smokers or drinkers
- There isn’t a high enough jawbone density, and they aren’t eligible for bone grafting
- Gums aren’t healthy enough to support implants
- They’re overall in poor health
Sometimes, it’s possible to remedy the issue making you ineligible. If you suffer from gum disease, for example, you can first get it under control and then be reevaluated. Heavy smokers and drinkers can make healthy lifestyle choices to be reevaluated for dental implant eligibility.
8. Pro – Speech Is Less Affected
When a person wears dentures, their speech can sometimes be affected. This is due to dentures slipping or sliding inside the mouth from poor fit or weak adhesive. Since implants are secured with a root system, these issues don’t occur, and speech is less likely to be affected.
9. Pro – Care Is Simple
One of the things people love best is caring for dental implants is simple. You should care for them as you would your regular teeth.
Dental implants should be brushed twice a day with any natural teeth you still have. The use of mouthwash and floss at least once a day should also be incorporated. Annual dental visits are essential in maintaining the health of both natural teeth and implants.
10. Pro – Eating Is More Comfortable vs. Alternatives
Eating with dentures is much more restrictive when compared to implants. At times, eating with dentures can even be painful.
With dental implants, eating is much more comfortable. While you should avoid excessively chewy or hard foods, there is significantly less restriction on your diet.
Do You Have More Questions About the Pros and Cons of Dental Implants?
The pros of dental implants outweigh the cons for people who are eligible for the procedure. Whenever in doubt, it’s best to speak to a professional with your concerns.
Do you have more questions about the pros and cons of dental implants?
Check out our other blog posts. You’ll find a wealth of information on related topics that’ll allow you to dive deeper into the subject.