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If you lose a tooth, you now have several options to replace it and restore your smile. You can opt for a fixed bridge, removal dentures, or dental implants. Dental implants have a number of advantages over the other two options. However, there are also some disadvantages to dental implants. It is important to make sure that you have all of the facts before you get dental implants.

Dental Implants Look Natural

Improvements in tooth prosthetics have made it virtually impossible to tell the difference between most dental implants and natural teeth. Dental implants do not shift or click the way that dentures do and they look much more natural than bridges. Dental laboratories have the ability to match prosthetic teeth with the shading and translucence of natural teeth so that the implant looks just the other teeth – or in some cases even better.

Implants are Durable and Non-Abrasive

Bridges must be fixed to healthy teeth and may cause problems with those teeth and any teeth that are opposite the bridges over time. Bridges will deteriorate over time, making repairs and replacements necessary. Dentures also deteriorate as time passes. Dental implants are more durable and typically do not have to be replaced.

Dental Implants Take Time

Placing dental implants is not something that is done the next day after a patient decides to go through with the procedure. Dentists must complete a full examination, make molds or take full scans of the teeth, create a treatment plan, and then perform the procedure in steps. In some cases, it may be necessary to perform bone grafting before implants can be placed, which will further delay the implant placement. The procedure generally takes longer than other tooth replacement options.

The Procedure Can Be Painful

Since implant cylinders are planted into the jawbone, the procedure can be painful. Anesthesia is given during the procedure to place the cylinders, either a local anesthetic or sedation. It is strongly recommended that patients plan to get a ride home after the procedure. The soreness in the mouth can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the number of teeth being replaced and the patient’s health and healing abilities.

Implants Are Strong and Reliable

After dental implants have healed, patients can confidently eat all of their favorite foods. Implants will remain firmly in place and require only the same type of care that natural teeth require. Since implants fit and function the same way that natural teeth do, patients don’t have to focus on pronouncing words or altering regular speech in any way after implants have been placed. Most patients are very happy with their decision to get dental implants after the procedure has been completed.