Are Dental Implants Safe?
More people are looking to dental implant surgery to replace missing teeth. It’s natural to have questions before visiting with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (OMS).
Dental implant surgery should be performed by an OMS, the surgical specialist of the dental profession. OMSs are extensively trained in the surgical placement of dental implants, and have extensive knowledge of the face, mouth and jaws. The risks of this outpatient surgery are minimal for a procedure that can greatly improve a patient’s overall oral health, and are usually outweighed by the benefits. Those interested in dental implants should first be evaluated by an oral surgeon to determine if they are good candidates for the procedure, and to discuss their specific needs, benefits and risks. When performed by an OMS, dental implants have an overall success rate of about 95 percent.
Benefits of Dental Implants
For many patients, the primary benefit of dental implants is a cosmetic one: replacing missing teeth. There are a number of health and life benefits as well:
- Dental implants fuse to the jawbone to provide the stability of a natural tooth and reduce the risk of bone loss.
- Implants eliminate the day-to-day frustrations that can accompany dentures.
- Compared to a fixed bridge, there is no need to cut down or shape adjacent teeth.
- Implants allow patients to enjoy a varied diet without worrying about the dietary restrictions dentures bring.
Who is a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a safe and long-lasting solution to missing teeth, whether they replace one, several or all of a person’s teeth. Young, old or middle-aged, most patients are viable candidates – growing children are the only exception, as their teeth and jawbones are still developing.
Even people with health concerns may benefit from dental implants. An OMS has significant training in medical and dental conditions that can affect dental implants. Medical and dental problems (including bone loss) that in the past were barriers for treatment can now be managed with successful results.
Any medical conditions should be thoroughly discussed with an oral surgeon in the planning stages of dental implants.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implants
Every patient is unique, and it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of dental implants with healthcare professionals. As long-lasting replacements for missing teeth, implants can offer health, cosmetic and lifestyle benefits, and their cost can be manageable. Consult an OMS to get started planning for dental implants and to discuss any potential risks.