Dental Implants: Pros and Cons | Robina Town Dental
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Dental Implants: Pros and Cons for Replacing Teeth

Dental implants are considered the gold standard for teeth replacement, whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all of your teeth. However, they may not be the best choice for everyone.

When you book a consultation to discuss dental implants with our Gold Coast dentists, we'll explain what the procedure involves and make sure you know all your options so you can decide what's right for you.

Call our friendly team today on 07 5575 9100 to schedule a consultation with our dentists at Robina Town Dental.

Who is suitable for dental implants?

Dental implants are a versatile treatment that can replace individual teeth, several teeth, or support a whole arch of replacement teeth on just a few implants. There is no age limit for dental implants, but not everyone is eligible for the treatment. You'll generally be a candidate for dental implants if you:

  • have good oral health and general health
  • don't have certain medical conditions that can affect healing
  • have enough bone density in your jaw to support an implant
  • don’t smoke, or are prepared to cut down
  • can comfortably afford the treatment

If you're considering dental implants at Robina Town Dental, our dentists will explain the pros and cons of the procedure and how it compares to other teeth replacement options so you can make a fully informed decision.

Benefits of dental implants

Dental implants have many advantages over the alternatives of an unsupported bridge or dentures, including looking and feeling more natural, preventing bone loss, and being a permanent solution for teeth replacement. Here are five of their main benefits.

1. Long-lasting tooth replacement

Dental implants are made of strong titanium that bonds naturally with the jawbone over several months. Once bonded, the implant will generally last a lifetime, provided you take good care of your oral health. Studies have found that implants have a 97% success rate after 10 years.

The crown, bridge, or denture attached to the implant will usually need to be replaced after a number of years, but replacement teeth can last for longer when they are supported by implants, rather than by the neighbouring teeth.

2. Look and feel like natural teeth

Dental implants function like tooth roots, providing a strong and stable foundation for new teeth. This can make them feel more comfortable in the mouth than dentures, with similar biting forces to natural teeth when chewing and grinding food.

The teeth attached to implants are designed by skilled dental technicians to look as close to natural teeth enamel as possible. If you're only replacing a few teeth, the new teeth filling the gaps should be indistinguishable to the naked eye.

3. Low maintenance

Dental implants, crowns and bridges don't have any special care requirements, beyond taking good care of your oral hygiene like normal. They don't need special cleaning like dentures, which need to be thoroughly cleaned at least once a day and kept moist overnight.

Twice-daily toothbrushing, daily flossing and a healthy diet will help to keep your replacement teeth clean and your gums healthy. We also recommend visiting our dentists twice a year for a check-up and professional cleaning to remove more plaque and help you to lower your risks.

4. Don't restrict your diet

Stronger biting forces mean you won't normally have to give up some favourite foods when replacing teeth with implants, like you might need to with an unsupported bridge or dentures. Hard, chewy and sticky foods aren't usually a problem with implants, although your dentist may still advise that you avoid some types of food if your replacement teeth are made from a less durable material.

It's also important to limit sugar in your diet to avoid feeding bacteria, which may increase your risk of oral health problems and implant failure.

5. Support the jaw and face

A dental implant is the only tooth replacement option that replaces a whole tooth, including the root that connected the tooth to the jawbone. By bonding with the jaw, an implant helps to stimulate the regeneration of bone tissue. This can reduce bone loss and the shrinking of the jaw that often follows tooth loss.

Implants can also help to prevent facial changes that can be noticeable when missing a number of teeth, such as sunken cheeks. As most bone loss happens in the first six months, it's recommended to replace a tooth as early as possible to avoid problems and maintain your bite and smile.

Considerations for dental implants

While dental implants can be ideal for many people, there are some reasons why you may not be suitable for the treatment, or may prefer an alternative.

1. Not everyone is suitable

You may be told you're not eligible for dental implants if you have:

  • poor oral or general health
  • certain medical conditions, including diabetes, metabolic bone disease or blood clotting disorders
  • a small or weak jaw

If you do have a small jaw, implants may still be an option following a bone grafting procedure, though this involves additional surgery and healing time. Additionally, some types of implant systems don't need as much support from the jaw, particularly if you're replacing a full arch of teeth.

Although you are never too old for dental implants, the risk of implant failure tends to increase with age, due to the accumulation of age-related risk factors.

2. May involve lifestyle changes

Lifestyle factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of dental implants failing, as they affect the mouth's ability to heal. Studies have found that implant failure rates are more than double for smokers compared to non-smokers.

You will need to be prepared to avoid smoking and other preventable risk factors to be considered a candidate for dental implants, particularly while the implant is bonding with the jaw.

3. Long treatment time

Getting dental implants generally involves more appointments over a longer span of time compared to a bridge or dentures. This is because standard implants need time to fuse with your jaw before your permanent teeth can be fitted, which can take up to 6 months.

However, some types of implant treatments can be completed in a much shorter time frame. For example, some full mouth implant systems may be completed in less than a week.

4. Surgery and associated risks

Placing a dental implant in the jaw is a minor surgical procedure, and as with any surgical procedure, it involves certain risks. The risks are considered minor, but may involve:

  • Exposing the gum to infection
  • Accidental damage to other teeth, nerves or other tissues
  • Sinus problems for upper jaw implants
  • Allergic reaction to sedatives

Dental implant risks will be reduced if the procedure is carried out by a fully qualified and experienced dentist using high-quality materials, and when you follow their guidance during your recovery. If you do experience any unexpected side effects after the procedure, you should make an emergency appointment with your dental clinic.

Dental implant risks can increase if the treatment is provided overseas, as dentists and clinics in other countries may not be held to the same stringent standards as Australian dentists.

5. Dental implant costs

Last but not least, some people may not consider dental implants an option because of their cost, which is generally more expensive than dentures or a bridge. However, as the implants themselves can normally last a lifetime, they can be thought of as a one-time investment.

Dental implant costs are not generally covered by health insurance, but finance options are available. At Robina Town Dental, we offer payment plans through trusted providers that could allow you to break down your implant cost into more flexible instalments with no interest to pay.

We'll give you a breakdown of costs when we develop your treatment plan, so you can decide whether dental implants are affordable for you.

What are the alternatives to dental implants?

If you're thinking about replacing teeth, it's important to know all of your options. During your consultation with our Gold Coast dentists, we'll explain what teeth replacement treatments may be suitable for your needs and price range. These could include:

  • Dental bridge – One or more prosthetic teeth fixed in your mouth to fill gaps between healthy teeth. Crowns are usually placed over the teeth on either side to support the bridge, which involves reducing those teeth in size.
  • Dentures – Removable teeth for single, multiple or complete teeth replacement. Dentures attach to the mouth by suction or clasps, and need to be cleaned every day to keep them hygienic.

Both bridges and dentures can be attached to dental implants to give your new teeth additional support and stability.

Book a consultation for dental implants in the Gold Coast

To find out more about dental implants at Robina Town Dental and whether you're suitable, call us now on 07 5575 9100 to arrange your initial consultation with our experienced dentist. You can also get in touch online and we'll reply as quickly as we can.

We're conveniently located in Robina Town Centre and we welcome patients from all nearby suburbs, including Burleigh Heads, Burleigh Waters, Clear Island Waters, Mermaid Waters, Merrimac, Miami, Mudgeeraba, Varsity Lakes and Worongary.

Call Now: 07 5575 9100