Illustration of teeth and dental implant on dark blue background.

Navigating oral rehabilitation options can prompt questions and concerns, especially among seniors. The benefits of dental implants are clear. However, misgivings about their durability, the procedure itself, and the cost are common.

Hence, this blog aims to dispel these doubts, providing clear, scientifically backed information about the advantages of dental implants. We’ll dive into why they can be a smart, life-enhancing choice, both improving your appearance and offering functional benefits.

Understanding Dental Implants

3D rendering of dental implants.

Dental implants are sophisticated fixtures surgically inserted into the jawbone, acting as a foundation for prosthetic crowns. These devices are designed to mimic the root structure of natural dentition, thereby providing unparalleled support and stability for oral prostheses.

Furthermore, knowing the pros and cons of dental implants requires an understanding of the following key components: 

  • Metal post: A sturdy titanium root placed in the jawbone.
  • Abutment: A connector that holds the artificial dentition to the metal post.
  • Artificial tooth: The part that looks like a real tooth and is visible in the mouth.

The Dental Implant Procedure

The process of installation involves several steps, typically spread out over a few months, to allow for healing and bone integration.

Initial ConsultationEvaluation of oral health, bone density, and planning for placement.
Surgical PlacementThe titanium post is surgically embedded into the jawbone under local anesthesia or sedation.
Healing PeriodAlso known as osseointegration, this phase allows the implant to integrate securely with the bone, which can take several months. [1]
Abutment PlacementOnce healing is complete, the abutment is attached to the post during a minor surgical procedure.
Crown AttachmentAfter the gums heal around the abutment, impressions are taken, and a final crown is fabricated and then attached to the abutment.

This multi-stage procedure ensures necessary components are securely anchored within the jawbone, providing a stable base for the new crown. The result is a functional and aesthetic restoration that closely mimics natural teeth.

Six Advantages of Dental Implants

The adoption of this innovative approach marks a significant advancement in oral rehabilitation, offering a myriad of benefits that surpass traditional methods. This section delves into the pros of dental implants, supported by empirical evidence and scientific research. 

1. Superior Comfort and Stability

Dental implants stand out for their remarkable comfort and stability among oral prosthetics. More specifically, they establish a steadfast bond with the jawbone, creating a natural, comfortable fit. This solid anchor eliminates the “add-on” feeling often associated with other types of prosthetics.

In addition to this, stability and comfort can positively influence various aspects of life, such as:

  • Enhanced eating experiences: The sturdy infrastructure supports effortless consumption of a wide array of foods.
  • Maintained facial integrity: Implants occupy the space of lost structures, lending support to facial muscles and preserving the natural facial contour.
  • Boosted self-esteem: By providing a proficient renewal option, implants can help rejuvenate confidence.

2. Improved Chewing and Speaking

As also briefly highlighted above, the stability offered by dental implants translates into a smooth adaptation during eating and speaking. Plus, they allow for effortless chewing without causing discomfort or fear of slippage, which may be experienced with certain prosthetics, such as removable partial dentures

This increased efficiency can also lead to the following improvements in daily life:

  • Enhanced or restored communication skills: Implants empower individuals to articulate with increased clarity, free from inhibitions related to conventional prosthetics.
  • Better nutrition and health: With ease in consuming a diverse set of foods, dental restoration facilitates optimal nourishment and promotes overall health. [2]

3. Reinforces Jawbone and Prevents Bone Loss

Teeth provide the necessary stimulation to the jawbone through the forces exerted during chewing. This stimulation is crucial for maintaining bone density and volume. As such, the absence of a tooth can lead to a gradual weakening and shrinkage of the jawbone. In other words, understimulation causes the bone to reabsorb, leading to a loss of mass. This is a phenomenon known as bone resorption. [3] 

Substantial bone loss not only affects the immediate area of the missing tooth but may disrupt the facial structure, leading to a prematurely aged appearance. [4] Moreover, maintaining jawbone health is essential for the feasibility of future oral prosthetics, as significant loss can complicate or even preclude placement without additional procedures like bone grafting. [5]

Simply put, the loss of teeth is not merely an aesthetic or functional issue; it also has profound implications for jawbone health. To this end, implants play a critical role in sustaining jawbone density and preventing bone loss associated with missing a tooth.

StimulationImplants mimic natural roots, providing the needed stimulation to the jawbone through chewing and biting forces. This helps maintain bone density and volume.
Prevention of Bone ResorptionBy replacing the root structure of a damaged or missing tooth, this option prevents bone resorption, thereby preserving the jawbone’s integrity.
Support for Facial StructureImplants support and maintain the natural shape of the face by preventing deterioration that can lead to a sunken appearance and premature aging. [6]
Foundation for ProstheticsThe stability provided by implantation ensures a secure foundation for prosthetic crowns, bridges, or dentures, enhancing overall oral function and aesthetics.
Long-Term Jawbone HealthThe osseointegration process contributes to long-term jawbone health, reducing the need for future corrective procedures such as bone grafting. [7]

4. The Natural Look and Feel

Choosing dental implants carries the significant advantage of not only enhancing oral capabilities but also offering a natural appearance and feeling that closely resembles your real teeth.

Aesthetic IntegrationCustom-designed to match surrounding dentition for a seamless appearance.
Functional SimilarityAnchored in the jawbone, allowing normal biting and chewing, akin to natural roots.
Tactile SensationFeels like natural teeth, eliminating discomfort associated with alternatives.
Psychological Well-beingEnhances confidence and satisfaction, positively impacting social interactions and overall well-being.

In a 2021 longitudinal study published in BMC Oral Health, patients reported considerable satisfaction with dental implants, noting their likeness to natural teeth 10 years after implantation. Furthermore, study findings revealed a majority of the patients expressed high contentment with their oral solutions, with an impressive average satisfaction rate hovering around 93%. [8]

5. Preservation of Surrounding Teeth

Choosing this option carries the distinctive advantage of maintaining the integrity of adjacent natural dentition. Here are some of the notable pros of dental implants:

  • No alteration required: They do not necessitate the modification or reshaping of neighboring teeth, preserving their original structure and strength.
  • Independent support: Dental implants provide their own support by integrating with the jawbone, eliminating the need for adjacent teeth to bear the load of the prosthetic.
  • Reduced risk of decay: By avoiding the need to grind down adjacent teeth for bridge placement, the solution minimizes the risk of decay and damage.
  • Easier oral hygiene: They simplify oral care routines, as there is no need to navigate around bridge clasps, potentially reducing the risk of disease and plaque accumulation.
  • Long-term dental health: Supports the overall health of the dental arch by distributing biting forces evenly, preventing undue stress on other teeth.

6. Durability and Lifespan

When contemplating how good dental implants are, one cannot overlook their robustness and longevity, which provides a significant benefit over traditional alternatives such as bridges and dentures. In fact, according to a systematic review taken from the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, implants generally have a high success rate exceeding 95% over a 10-year period. [9]

Below is a breakdown of the associated timelines:

Restoration TypeAverage LifespanMaintenance Needs
Dental Implants20 years to a lifetime [10]Low; regular oral hygiene
Bridges5-15 years [11]Moderate; prone to decay at anchor points
Dentures4-10 years [12]High; adjustments and relining required

Dental Implants vs. Other Tooth Replacement Options

Photo of some denture prosthesis on a white table with selective focus.

Choosing the appropriate method to rectify missing or damaged teeth has profound implications for your overall oral well-being. Here, we compare dental implants with other commonly used options.

CriteriaDental ImplantsDenturesBridges
Stability and ComfortHigh stability; feels like natural teeth due to jawbone anchoring.Less stable; can slip, causing discomfort and irritation.Relatively stable but requires healthy adjacent teeth to be altered.
Impact on Bone HealthStimulates bone, preventing resorption and preserving facial structure.Does not stimulate jawbone, leading to potential bone loss and facial changes.No direct impact on bone health, but does not prevent bone loss in the missing tooth area.
Oral Health ImplicationsPromotes overall oral health; easy to clean around implants.Can lead to gum irritation and potential decrease in oral hygiene due to difficulty in cleaning.Can make cleaning challenging, increasing risk of decay and gum disease around supporting teeth.
Preservation of Adjacent TeethDoes not require alteration of neighboring teeth, preserving natural tooth structure.No impact on adjacent teeth, but does not support them either.Requires grinding down of adjacent teeth, potentially compromising their long-term health.

Are Dental Implants for Everyone?

Selecting the correct mode of restoration for damaged or missing teeth requires professional consultations to judge suitability. In this section, we will discuss who fits the criteria and who might need to consider alternatives.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants

Oral HealthHealthy gums and robust bone density to support the implant.
General HealthGood overall health, enabling safe surgery and effective healing.
LifestyleNon-smokers, or those willing to quit, as smoking can hinder the healing process.
Oral HygieneCommitment to oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups.
AgeTypically adults with fully developed jawbones; not recommended for children or some adolescents.

Risk Factors and Contraindications

Insufficient Bone DensityIndividuals with significant bone loss may require bone grafting before implant placement.
Chronic IllnessesConditions such as uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune diseases that impair healing. [13]
Heavy SmokingSmoking significantly affects healing and increases the risk of implant failure. [14]
PregnancyElective procedures are generally postponed until after pregnancy.
Certain MedicationsMedications that weaken or suppress the immune system or cause excessive bleeding can complicate surgery and recovery. [15]
Radiation Therapy to the JawHistory of radiation treatment in the jaw area may affect bone healing.

Cons of Dental Implants: What to Consider Before Implantation

Despite the numerous advantages, it’s equally vital to consider the potential downsides associated with the use of implants. Some of these include:

  • Surgical complications: Similar to any medical procedure, issues like infection, nerve damage, or complications related to anesthesia can occur.
  • Implant failure: A small percentage of dental implants do fail. The reasons can be varied, from poor bone quality and quantity to incorrect positioning.
  • High cost: The biggest potential drawback could be the cost associated with the placement procedure. They tend to be more expensive than other more traditional forms of restoration, such as bridges or dentures. However, considering the longevity, the cost-effectiveness over time is higher.

Conclusion: Why Choose Dental Implants?

Dental implants mark a significant advancement in restoring oral function and aesthetics. They offer stability, a natural look, and help maintain jaw health, setting them apart from other traditional methods. While not ideal for everyone, those who qualify can enjoy a drastic improvement in their quality of life. 

Importantly, consulting with a dental expert is key to determining if the benefits of dental implants work for your case. Embracing artificial dentition could mean moving towards a future where your smile is as strong and vibrant as the care behind it.

Book a Free Consultation

Denver Dentures and Implants logo.

Considering the leap to dental implants? Turn to Denver Dentures and Implants for experienced guidance. Jump on our offer for a free consultation, and our diligent team will be ready to guide you toward an everlasting smile.It’s time to make a move. Schedule your free consultation today and take the first stride toward an enhanced look and feel!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros and cons of dental implants?

The advantages of dental implants include a high success rate, improved comfort and chewing capability, preservation of facial structure, and a natural appearance. However, potential downsides include surgical complications and the high upfront cost associated with the procedure.

Is it a good idea to have tooth implant?

Opting for a tooth implant can be beneficial due to its durability and functionality, closely mirroring a natural smile. However, it’s important to evaluate individual circumstances such as oral health, bone density, and budget before proceeding.

Why dental implants are worth it?

Dental implants are worth considering because of their durability, ability to retain facial structure, and lifestyle benefits like improved speech and eating. Although the initial cost might be high, their longevity and positive effects on oral health make them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Is it better to keep your teeth or get implants?

Preserving one’s natural dental appearance is generally preferred due to the inherent benefits of maintaining your original oral structure and the less invasive nature of conservative treatments. Implants, however, offer a viable alternative if teeth are no longer salvageable, providing a functional and aesthetic solution.

What are the negatives of dental implants?

Drawbacks of implants include potential surgical complications such as infection or nerve damage, a small chance of failure, and the high initial cost of the procedure. They also require a robust bone structure for successful installation, which may not suit all individuals.

References

  1. Pandey, C., Rokaya, D., & Bhattarai, B. P. (2022). Contemporary concepts in osseointegration of dental implants: A Review. BioMed Research International, 2022, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/6170452
  2.  Qian, S., Liu, B., Shi, J., Zhang, X., Deng, K., Shen, J., Tao, Y., Qiao, S., Lai, H., Yuan, C., & Tonetti, M. S. (2022). Effects of Dental Implants and Nutrition on Elderly Edentulous Subjects: Protocol for a Factorial Randomized Clinical Trial. Frontiers in Nutrition, 9, 930023. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2022.930023
  3. Abbott, P. V., & Lin, S. (2022). Tooth resorption—Part 2: A clinical classification. Dental Traumatology, 38(4), 267-285. https://doi.org/10.1111/edt.12762
  4. Aizcorbe-Vicente, J., Peñarrocha-Oltra, D., Canullo, L., Soto-Peñaloza, D., & Peñarrocha-Diago, M. (2020). Influence of facial bone thickness after implant placement into the healed ridges on the remodeled facial bone and considering soft tissue recession: A systematic review. The International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants, 35(1), 107–119. https://doi.org/10.11607/jomi.7259
  5. Sanz-Sánchez, I., Sanz-Martín, I., Ortiz-Vigón, A., Molina, A., & Sanz, M. (2022). Complications in bone-grafting procedures: Classification and management. Periodontology 2000, 88(1), 86-102. https://doi.org/10.1111/prd.12413
  6. Cherian, J. M., Samuel, S., Sabu, A. M., Thomas, A. M., & Injety, R. J. (2023). Dental implants in growing patients: A quality assessment of systematic reviews. Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research, 13(5), 610-615. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobcr.2023.07.004
  7. Kandhari, S., Khalid, S., James, A., & Laverty, D. P. (2023). Bone grafting techniques and materials for implant dentistry. British Dental Journal, 235(3), 180-189. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-023-6113-1
  8. Wang, Y., Bäumer, D., Ozga, A.-K., Körner, G., & Bäumer, A. (2021). Patient satisfaction and oral health-related quality of life 10 years after implant placement. BMC Oral Health, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-020-01381-3
  9. Goiato, M., Dos Santos, D., Jr. Santiago, J., Moreno, A., & Pellizzer, E. (2014). Longevity of dental implants in type IV bone: A systematic review. International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 43(9), 1108-1116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijom.2014.02.016
  10. Gallucci, G. O., Hamilton, A., Zhou, W., Buser, D., & Chen, S. Implant placement and loading protocols in partially edentulous patients: A systematic review. Clinical Oral Implants Research, 29, 106-134. https://doi.org/10.1111/clr.13276
  11. Yoshida, T., Kurosaki, Y., Mine, A., Kimura-Ono, A., Mino, T., Osaka, S., Nakagawa, S., Maekawa, K., Kuboki, T., Yatani, H., & Yamashita, A. (2019). Fifteen-year survival of resin-bonded vs full-coverage fixed dental prostheses. Journal of Prosthodontic Research, 63(3), 374–382. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpor.2019.02.004
  12.  Taylor, M., Masood, M., & Mnatzaganian, G. (2021). Longevity of complete dentures: A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, 125(4), 611-619. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prosdent.2020.02.019