Dr Imran Rangzeb is Prinicpal dentist at Town Hall Dental
Spoiler alert: As a dentist who offers dental implants, I do – of course – advocate the benefits of this treatment, which - by helping to artificially fill in the gaps caused by tooth loss – is one of the most important advances in modern dentistry. Yet before I discuss the very real advantages, it would be remis of me to ignore the potential concerns people have before deciding to go down this route. So, as my patients so often hear me say, let’s get the painful bit over and done with as quickly as possible:
- Not a quick fix. Multiple steps are involved – most notably the long wait of up to six months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone.
- Possible side effects and complications. Despite being considered safe, getting dental implants – as with any surgery – can cause bleeding, infection, swelling, bruising and nerve, sinus or nasal cavity injuries. Because of this, additional dental work may be needed. It is vital, therefore, that only a highly-trained and qualified dentist performs the surgery.
- Not for everyone. Certain health and lifestyle complications, such as diabetes and smoking, can reduce success rates and healing times of implants.
- Cost. There are no two ways about it; it is the most expensive way to replace missing teeth.
Not to say that these concerns should be ignored, but in light of the myriad benefits to getting dental implants, it’s time to sit back, relax and say ‘ahhh’:
- Independent. Unlike bridges, implants don’t rely on neighbouring teeth for support, which can help prevent them suffering their own damage. Similarly, unlike with dentures, bone loss is usually avoided since implants replace both the tooth and its root.
- Natural. Dental implants both look and function like real teeth – unlike their ‘clicking’ counterpart – dentures.
- More comfortable.
- Other benefits. Such as improving chewing, speech and self-confidence, thanks to its solid composition.
- Flexible. You can choose to have dentures, bridges and crowns attached to your dental implants for an improved experience.
- Long-lasting. Unlike bridges and dentures which may need replacing every seven to 10 years.
All of the above – and any other questions you have – should be discussed in detail with your dentist before you make your final decision. But if you want my opinion - you’ll never look back!