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28 February 2017

Disadvantages of Dental Implants

It is widely recognised that dental implants are not only the longest-lasting but also the closest to natural teeth of any form of replacement. Of course, such quality doesn’t come cheap and the cost of even a single implant is prohibitive to some people. Having dental implants fitted, be it a single tooth or a full All-in-Four to replace an entire set of teeth may work out relatively inexpensive when spread over the lifespan of the implants but the initial outlay can be more than some people can afford. Setting the expense of implants aside, are there any other drawbacks or disadvantages associated with this still relatively new dental procedure?

  • Surgery. Dental implants in Manchester are becoming more and more commonplace but still many people are fearful because it is a surgical procedure. Although most simple implants involve just a few hours in the local dental clinic, some patients automatically associate the procedure with a stay in hospital and all the associated fears of being hospitalised can cause anxiety. It must be stated that even the simplest of surgical operations comes with a small risk attached — but this is so small as to be almost negligible.
  • Pain. The procedure is actually quite straightforward and a local anaesthetic is usually enough to numb the gum area surrounding the tooth being worked on. A general anaesthetic will be required for more complex implant fitting. As with any visit to the dentist, there is no pain and only a possible feeling of discomfort to deal with.
  • Bone Grafts. This is the real disadvantage of having dental implants as against dental bridges. In order for the implant to take root successfully, good bone density is required which can be lacking in some people for various reasons. Some have worn dentures or had a tooth missing for a long time. In order to build up the bone, bone grafting or “augmentation” is necessary. Although this procedure is totally painless, it can take months before the underlying bone is ready for implants — and adds considerably to an already large expense.
  • Rejection of Implant. It is extremely rare for an implant to fail to bond with the bone but it can and does happen. In these cases, the crown cannot be attached to an unstable supporting implant and the whole procedure may have to be aborted. After a thorough examination, the site of the implant may be left to heal for a second attempt or the dentist might decide that an implant is not feasible and recommend a bridge instead. It is estimated that rejection of an implant occurs in less than 5% of patients but that is still enough to be a cause for concern to some.

Implant or Bridge?

Although there are some minor disadvantages to having dental implants fitted, they are relatively insignificant when compared to the comfort, freedom and happiness they bring. A minor painless procedure, with some discomfort after the operation, is a small price to pay for a long-lasting and natural looking set of teeth — when compared to the alternative of bridges which will need replacing every few years.

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