If your dental practitioner has recommended dental implants, it’s advisable to weigh the benefits of the treatments against the risks. Fortunately, dental implant surgery is a predictable procedure with a 90 to 95% success rate. In this article, we are going to outline dental implant risks and benefits to help you make an informed decision about your tooth replacement.
Understanding Dental Implant Risks And Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implant Surgery?
The benefits of replacing missing teeth extend beyond cosmetic value. These are some of the benefits of dental implant surgery:
Restore facial fullness
Missing teeth contribute to a loss of volume and facial harmony. When you are missing multiple teeth, it can cause your cheeks and lips to look sunken because of the loss of volume. It can also contribute to premature ageing.
Bite and chew with ease
We all need a full set of teeth to be able to bite and chew our food. Dental implants allow you to exert the same bite force as with your natural teeth because they become integrated with your jaw. Patients who wear dentures often find they move around when eating or that they have to restrict the kinds of food they eat. Dentures are permanent and stable.
Smile and speak with confidence
When patients are missing teeth, it affects their self-confidence. You might find you don’t want to smile, or you feel inclined to hold a hand in front of your mouth. Some patients don’t like speaking to groups of people or find that missing teeth affect their speech. Getting dental implants solves these problems, enhancing your self-confidence.
Prevent bone loss
Dental implants replace missing tooth roots, which can prevent bone loss. When you have other restorations like bridges or dentures, these prostheses sit above the gum. Over time, this contributes to bone loss under the missing tooth which changes the shape of your mouth.
Get a tooth replacement that lasts for the rest of your lifetime
Dental implants are the longest-lasting tooth replacement available. With good dental care, your dental implants could last for decades or for the rest of your lifetime. Dentures and dental bridges need to be replaced every few years and require a great deal of maintenance.
What Are The Risks Associated With Dental Implant Surgery?
A dentist that offers consultation will explain your personal risk factors for dental implants. By choosing an experienced and highly skilled dental practitioner, you may be able to manage the risks, but dental implants are placed during a surgical procedure, and all surgical procedures carry some element of risk. Although they are all rare, some of the more common risks include:
Infection at the dental implant site
When you get a dental consultation near you, your dentist will give you strict instructions to follow to keep your mouth clean following surgery, but there is always a risk of an infection developing at the implant site.
Smokers are at increased risk of infection, so it’s advisable to quit before your procedure and to avoid smoking during the recovery phase.
Damage or injury to the surrounding blood vessels and teeth
Because the area your dental practitioner works in is so small, the possibility of damage occurring to your adjacent teeth and blood vessels is present. This can largely be avoided through x-rays and by working with an experienced dental practitioner.
If you are having dental implants placed in your upper jaw, there is the risk of the dental implant perforating your sinus cavity, which can cause sinus problems.
Damage to the surrounding nerves during dental implant surgery can cause numbness or pain in your gums, other teeth or chin.
Tooth Implants Do Have A Failure Rate
Even though it is small, implants have a failure rate of 5 to 10%, which is statistically significant. Furthermore, it is possible for implants to fail months or years after dental implant surgery. Some of the factors that can contribute to late-stage dental implant failure include
If you have had a successful tooth implant procedure and you develop gum disease, later on, it can compromise your restoration.
Smokers have an elevated dental implant failure rate of 20%. This is because smoking restricts blood flow to your gums, which interferes with healing.
Autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes can also contribute to dental implant failure.
Dental Implant Risks And Benefits: Is It Worth It?
If you have a jawbone that is strong and thick enough to support an implant, are a non-smoker, and do not have any unmanaged or chronic health conditions, the benefits of tooth implants outweigh the risks.
Working with a skilled and experienced dental practitioner is the most reliable way to manage the surgical risks associated with the procedure. It’s a good idea to ask your dental practitioner what his or her own patient success rate is prior to moving forward with the surgery. And it’s never a bad idea to seek a second opinion before you commit.
To get a consultation at your local dental clinic or to find out more about dental implant risks and benefits, please contact us: (03) 9626 9581.
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