When it comes to replacing a missing tooth or teeth, dental implants are a common option. But are dental implants safe? Get the details on this below so you know what you’re getting into.
Implants are a more expensive than dentures to replace teeth. But the results will last for a longer period of time, with minimal after-care needed.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Yes, overall dental implants are pretty safe. They are considered to be a low-risk surgery.
Usually, dental implants are made of titanium materials. They are embedded into your jawbone through surgery. Once the implants are in, they will serve as the anchor (or the base) for your new, replacement tooth.
Note that it can take a while for the implant to integrate with your bone. The whole process usually takes up to six months.
Once it has fully integrated with your jaw bone, then the crown, or a synthetic tooth designed to match your natural teeth, is attached. All in all, the process can take up to nine months.
One of the best things about dental implants is that, unlike dentures, they don’t shift or move around. They stay put, just like your natural teeth, even when you eat or talk.
The Risks of Getting Dental Implants
However, as safe as dental implants may go, you should know that there are still risks attached to it. Just like with any medical procedures, there may still be risks. For instance, there is a chance that you can develop an infection at the implant site.
There could also be some nerve damage during the implant surgery, which can lead to pain or numbness. There could also be a risk of injury to your other teeth, to your sinuses, and to the blood vessels.
And it is a surgery that will involve anesthesia which also poses some risks.
These risks should be discussed with your dentist prior to getting your implants. With that said, there are also a lot of benefits when it comes to getting dental implants. Let’s go through them below.
The Benefits of Implants
- Uniform smile
- Makes you look younger
- When implanted properly, it can provide the stability of a natural tooth.
- Reduces the risks of bone loss
- No more daily frustrations that you can get from dentures
- Enjoy different diets without dietary restrictions that you may need to follow with dentures.
A Good Option For Everyone?
Are dental implants safe for everyone? Typically, dental implant are safe for young, old, or middle-aged patients.
However, children who are still in their growing phase are not advised to get dental implants. The reason behind this is that growing children are still expected to develop their teeth, and their jawbones are still developing.
Individual Risks To Discuss With You Dentist
If you have any concerns about any pre-existing health condition, it’s important to discuss this with your dentist, or OMS before getting dental implants. They should be discussed early on in the process so you and your oral surgeon can prepare.
For instance, if you have diabetes, allergies, or any autoimmune disease, you should definitely discuss this with your oral surgeon. This is because those suffering from these health conditions may have a slower heart rate. As a result, the implant may not fully infuse with the jawbone.
If you are taking any medications, you also need to discuss this with your dentist. Some medications may interfere with the fusing of the implant to your jawbone.
You should also discuss if you experience any gum disease, and if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia.
Lastly, cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy, neck, or head radiation should also weigh the pros and cons with their oral surgeon. Radiation treatments can often weaken the body’s bone structure. This can have a direct effect on the lifespan of dental implants.