The Truth About Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

older couple on the beach with the wife in a yellow sweater piggybacking on her husband


The good news or the bad news—what do you want first? The good news about dental implants is that there’s very little bad news. In other words, the good news severely outweighs what little bit of bad news exists. The bad news is, like everything, there’s the possibility that implants could not be the right choice for you. Read on for details on the pros and cons of dental implants.

What is implant placement?

Implant placement is the process by which we surgically place the implant in your jawbone underneath the gum tissue. Flush with bone, the implant is safe from any force and able to begin osseointegration, the fusion of metal with bone.

Once the healing period has been completed, we remove some overlying gum to expose the implant and attach a post around which the gum heals next. Finally, we place the prosthetic tooth, the restoration crown, on the post.

The Pros of Dental Implants

The benefits that implant teeth provide are wide and far-reaching, a long-term solution to the devastating effects of missing teeth.

    • Dental implants look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
    • Dental implants promote jaw health.
    • Dental implants allow you to eat whatever you want.
    • Dental implants require little care—just that which you provide your natural teeth.
    • Dental implants are cost-effective.
    • Dental implants can last a lifetime.

diagram showing the parts of a dental implant

How safe are dental implants?

When implant surgery is performed by an oral surgeon, periodontist, or implant dentist, like our expert implantologist Dr. Phillips, risk is minimal, much like any dental procedure. The biocompatible, titanium implant post that is placed in your jaw forms a strong bond with the bone during a process called osseointegration.

This bond is what makes dental implants so reliable and what allows them to function like natural teeth for years to come. After your bone has formed a solid foundation, you’ll be able to receive your final restoration, a custom and natural-looking crown designed to blend seamlessly with your smile.

Dental Implants—Can they be removed?

Since dental implants are inserted into the jawbone to fuse permanently, they are not intended to be removed, but to last a lifetime. The implant is a screw that acts like a tooth root and serves as a base for dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and implant-supported dentures. Even though implants are designed to be permanent, they can, like natural teeth that are secured firmly in the jaw, be carefully and skillfully removed when necessary.

Why Dental Implants Can Fail

While dental implants are traditionally very successful tooth-replacement procedures with a success rate of over 98%, failure is possible. Some of the causes for dental implant failure include:

  • Infection
  • Bone loss
  • Dental trauma
  • Lack integration with jawbone

The Cons of Dental Implants

At this point, you may be thinking that dental implants seem too good to be true. What are the strings? Is there any reason NOT to get dental implants?  Here are some factors to keep in mind as you consider this life-changing procedure:

  • Dental implants are a lengthy process that can take up to 18 months to complete.
  • Dental implants cost a lot upfront even though they are the most cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Dental implants may require additional procedures, such as bone grafting and sinus lifts, to be successful.
  • Dental implants, in very rare cases, can lead to gum infections or complete implant failure.

There may be a few disadvantages and the small potential for complications, but when you consider their durability, functionality, and appearance, dental implants can’t be beat. Don’t wait. Make an appointment with us today so we can see if you’re a suitable candidate.