As with any surgery, there are benefits and risks that come with getting dental implants. This procedure to replace missing teeth is becoming increasingly popular, so here are some things to know if you are considering this type of treatment.
What are the benefits?
- Appearance – implants blend in with your smile and look very natural.
- Comfort – they function and feel like natural teeth.
- Support – implants support your jaw and avoid a “caved in” look to your face, preserving your youthful appearance.
- Sensitivity – many patients have less tooth and gum sensitivity after getting implants.
- Adjacent teeth – neighboring teeth are not affected.
- Durability – implants are usually there for life, not needing surgical replacement. Even if the artificial tooth needs replacing, it can be done without surgery.
- Speech – dental implants allow you to speak clearly, as you would with your real teeth.
- TMJ – replacing missing teeth helps prevent jaw disorders
- Bone loss – titanium posts implanted into your jaw can help prevent bone loss and gum recession.
What are the risks?
- Infection – gums and tissue may become infected without proper oral hygiene. It’s important to follow all recovery and maintenance instructions carefully.
- Failed integration – sometimes implants do not integrate properly with the bone. If the implants do not fuse, they can be uncomfortable or loose. When this happens, implants must be removed and can be redone after the area has healed.
- Sinus problems – your sinuses can be affected when implants are placed in the very back of your jaw, sometimes requiring sinus augmentation surgery.
- Nerve or tissue damage – rarely, implants damage nerves or blood vessels. This can cause pain, tingling, swelling, or numbness. This typically is not a risk when a qualified dentist or oral surgeon performs your implant procedure.
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