Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Implants

Recent technological advancements have made dental implants a reliable option for replacing missing teeth – but they don’t work for everyone. Weighing the pros and cons is essential when deciding whether an implant restoration suits your oral health.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants so that, together with your dentist, you can make the right decision for yourself.

Keep reading to learn more!

Summary of the Article

  • Dental implants offer many advantages over other replacement teeth options.

  • Dental implants have a more natural, lifelike appearance and better stability when biting and chewing. They also prevent further jawbone loss.

  • Dental implants are significantly more stable than dentures or bridges.

  • The success rate for dental implant procedures is 90-95%.

  • Dental implants usually last 25 years or longer with proper care and maintenance.

  • Disadvantages of getting tooth implants include their high cost, suitability (not everyone is a suitable candidate), surgery risks, and lengthy recovery period.

  • Dental implant surgery carries several potential risks and complications, such as allergic reactions, damage to adjacent structures, implant failure, nerve damage and sinus problems.

  • Despite their drawbacks in terms of cost and risk of failure, dental implants offer several advantages that make them worth it.
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What Are the Main Advantages of Dental Implants Over Other Replacement Teeth?

Dental implants offer many main advantages compared to other options for replacing teeth.

  • Better Aesthetics:
    Dental implants provide a much more natural and lifelike appearance than traditional bridges or complete dentures. They are designed to mimic the look of natural teeth, giving patients a beautiful smile without sacrificing functionality or comfort.

  • Better Stability:
    They provide superior stability in terms of biting and chewing. Patients can eat, talk and smile confidently, knowing their implant will not move or fall out.

  • Prevent Further Jawbone Loss:
    Dental implants can stimulate underlying bone structure in the same way as natural teeth do, preventing bone loss and helping maintain facial structure.

  • Longevity:
    Dental implants can last for decades with proper care. Unlike other replacements for missing teeth, which must eventually be replaced due to aging materials that wear down over time, dental implants can provide a restoration that can be expected to stay virtually unchanged through many years of use.

  • Preserves the Remaining Teeth:
    Compared to other tooth restoration options such as bridges, dental implants do not require any alteration of healthy surrounding structures. This way, it preserves your remaining dentition.

All in all, dental implants provide many advantages compared to traditional teeth replacement options. These make them ideal for those looking to regain oral aesthetics and function.

What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implant Procedures?

A retrospective study published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry has found that dental implants have success rates of 90% to 95% when the surgery is performed correctly.

However, success rates can depend on several factors, such as:

Measuring success is often based on patient satisfaction and implant survival over ten years, proven with X-rays.

Factors leading to implant failure include:

  • How rigorous post-operative care is followed
  • If systemic diseases such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders exist
  • If adequate bone volume is present for proper implant stability
  • How experienced the dental surgeon is in placing implants
  • Infection
  • Fractures of the prosthetic components
  • Active gum disease or periodontal disease
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Poor implant placement

Be sure to choose an experienced, reputable practitioner and follow the post-operative care instructions provided by your dentist. Taking proper care of your mouth can produce a successful outcome and avoid potential problems.

How Does the Stability of Dental Implants Compare to Dentures or Bridges?

Dental implants are surgically embedded into the jaw bone, allowing them to fuse with the bone. This creates an incredibly stable foundation for prosthetic teeth, allowing them to function like natural teeth. As such, the stability of dental implants stands out from the competition, providing longer-lasting support for false teeth.

On the other hand, dentures and dental bridges are less stable because they rely on suction and other methods to remain in place. As a result, dentures and bridges may require regular adjustments as the jawbone changes shape.

Furthermore, dentures and bridges are less secure than dental implants, making them more prone to slipping out of the mouth when eating or speaking.

Ultimately, dental implants provide superior stability. This way, it can support prostheses that restore missing teeth and improve a patient’s quality of life.

How Long Do Dental Implants Typically Last?

Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option because they are strong and durable. But how long do dental implants typically last?

Generally, with proper care and maintenance, the average lifespan of dental implants is 25 years. However, they can sometimes last even longer than that. Several factors can affect the longevity of dental implants, including:

  • Age:
    Age is an important factor that can affect the longevity of implants. Older patients may have decreased bone density and other medical conditions that can affect the healing of implants. This can significantly affect the longevity of implants.

  • Bone Quality:
    The quality of the bone in the area where the implant is placed can also affect how long it lasts. If there’s insufficient bone, the implant may not have a secure foundation, which could cause it to fail sooner.

  • Habits:
    Teeth grinding, clenching, and other oral habits can put stress on dental implants and cause them to fail sooner.

  • Implant Quality:
    The quality of the materials used for the implant can affect how long it lasts. Poorly made or lower-quality implants are more likely to fail sooner than high-quality ones.

  • Oral Hygiene:
    Good oral hygiene habits are important for all patients, especially those with dental implants. Brushing twice daily and flossing regularly can help prevent infection and promote healing.

  • Overall Health:
    The patient’s overall health can affect how long an implant lasts. Patients who have diabetes or other chronic health conditions may not be good candidates for dental implants because these conditions can weaken the bones and slow down healing, making it difficult for the implants to fuse with the bone.

  • Smoking:
    Smoking can also harm implant longevity. Smoking can reduce the blood flow to the area, meaning healing and integration of the implant may take longer. This increases the risk of infection, which can cause the implant to fail.

Are There Any Maintenance Requirements for Dental Implants?

While dental implants are designed to be durable and long-lasting, they come with maintenance requirements, just like natural teeth do. If you have or are considering getting tooth implants, it is important to understand what maintenance needs may be involved in keeping them healthy and functioning properly.

In effect, these maintenance requirements are the same as with regular teeth, such as:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing daily
  • Using mouthwash and rinsing often
  • Regular visits to the dentist to check on the health of your implant
  • Avoiding eating hard foods like nuts and ice
  • Avoiding smoking or using any form of tobacco product
  • Maintaining a healthy diet

If you take care of your dental implants properly, they can last for many years.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be life-changing for people suffering from missing teeth, but there are disadvantages to this procedure. These include the following:

  • Cost:
    Dental implants are costlier than other dental treatments, such as bridges or dentures.

  • Suitability:
    Not everyone is a suitable candidate for dental implants. Bone loss, gum disease and smoking can affect the success of an implant.

  • Surgery:
    Dental implants require oral surgery and must be surgically placed into the patient’s jaw. The surgical procedure carries the risk of infection, damage to surrounding teeth, and possible nerve damage.

  • Lengthy process:
    The process of dental implant insertion is long, consisting of multiple visits over 6 to 12 months. Additional visits may be required if complications arise during placement or if initial results are unsatisfactory.

  • Longer recovery period:
    Patients must undergo several weeks or even months of healing, complete with dietary and lifestyle restrictions.

As such, anyone considering dental implants should consider these disadvantages before deciding if it is the right choice for them.

How Long Does It Take To Recover After Dental Implant Surgery?

The time required to recover after dental implant surgery will depend on how the patient responds to the procedure. It can usually take around 3-4 months for a full recovery. For more complicated implant procedures with bone grafting or sinus lifts, healing can take a bit longer as these processes require more time for tissue and bone integration with the implant. Overall, you should expect the recovery period to last several months.

Are There Any Dietary Restrictions After Getting Dental Implants?

As a dental implant consists of an artificial root placed in the jawbone and topped off with a prosthesis like a dental crown, it can generally be treated like any natural tooth. However, dietary restrictions are necessary to keep your artificial tooth looking and functioning well.

Your dentist may recommend specific dietary restrictions for you, but these will likely be on a short-term basis only. After that initial adjustment period, your new dental implants should provide you with all the benefits of natural teeth.

Some dietary restrictions include:

  • Avoid crunchy and sticky foods that can cause damage to the implant or dislodge it from the jawbone. Soft foods such as mashed potatoes, oatmeal and soup are easy to chew and take less pressure off the implants.

  • Avoid hard foods like nuts, hard candy, and ice cubes to help preserve the implant.

  • Avoid acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruit, vinegar-based dressings, or soda. These can cause harm to the implant and surrounding teeth.

  • Avoid hot and spicy food that can irritate the implant site.

Following dietary guidelines can help your dental implants remain healthy, allowing you to retain their benefits!

What Are the Risks and Complications Associated With Dental Implant Surgery?

As with any medical or dental procedure, there are risks and possible complications associated with dental implant surgery. It’s important to understand what these are so that you can make an informed decision before committing to the procedure.

Some of the common risks and complications associated with dental implant surgery include the following:

  • Allergic reactions:
    In rare cases, patients allergic to metals may experience an allergic reaction to metal implants. Signs and symptoms include rash, hives, and itching.

  • Damage to adjacent teeth or surrounding structures:
    Implants placed too close to other teeth may cause damage to the roots or surrounding structures.

  • Implant failure:
    Implants can fail due to poor placement, infection, or implant overloading.

  • Infection:
    An infection can occur in the gums around the implant site. Signs and symptoms of an infection are redness, swelling and pain.

  • Nerve damage:
    Nerve damage may result from implant placement that is too deep or too close to nerves in your jawbone.

  • Sinus problems:
    Sinus issues occur when implants within the upper jaw approach too close to a patient’s sinuses

As a general rule of thumb, it is important for any patient considering dental implant treatment to discuss risks and potential complications thoroughly with their dentist prior to undergoing such a procedure.

Do Dental Implants Fail?

Research suggests that dental implant failure is a real possibility. A study published in the Clinical Implant Dentistry and Related Research showed that dental implants have a long-term failure rate of 5-10% overall.

The key to reducing your chances of dental implant failure is to choose an experienced dentist who follows the dental implant process precisely. Work with a dentist you trust, so you know your dental implants will be placed according to ideal practices and quality standards.

How Does the Cost of Dental Implants Compare to Other Tooth Replacement Options?

Dental implants are expensive compared to other tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges.

A single dental implant can cost between \$4,000 and \$6,000. By contrast, a bridge to replace a single tooth can cost anywhere from $800 to $3,000. A full set of upper and lower dentures can cost around $1,100 to $2,200.

While dental implants are the most expensive teeth replacement option among the three, they offer several benefits compared to alternatives

Are Dental Implants Worth It Despite Their Disadvantages and Risks?

While dental implants come with certain drawbacks, such as increased costs and potential risks of failure, they also have many advantages that, in many cases, make them worth considering. These advantages include long-term benefits such as improved dental function, greater comfort when eating, and improved appearance.

Dental implants are worth it with the proper preparation and research beforehand.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants have revolutionised dentistry by providing a long-term replacement option for missing or damaged teeth. With dental implants, patients no longer have to rely on temporary dental prosthetics like dental bridges or dentures. However, dental implant surgery is not without its drawbacks – it can be expensive and requires time for the replacements to fully integrate into the jawbone.

Before dental implant surgery, it’s important to consider both sides. Understanding the advantages and recognising the potential risks is essential for making an informed decision about dental implants.

At Mary River Dental, we understand the importance of making an informed decision regarding dental care. This is why our team always offers patients the information they need to make a smart choice.

So, if you’re considering dental implant surgery, book an appointment through our website or call us today. We look forward to helping you give yourself the beautiful smile you deserve!

Dr. Nick Peters


Dr. Nick Peters

Dr. Nick Peters joined Mary River Dental in 2014 and held Medical Laboratory Science and Dental Surgery degrees from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Before joining the practice, he worked for three years at a private dental clinic in Invercargill. Dr. Peters moved to the Fraser Coast region of Australia after visiting Mary River Dental in 2014.

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