“Are dental implants worth it?”
It’s one of the most common questions people have when they’re thinking about getting dental implants.
And for good reason! For a lot of people, dental implants are a major investment, so they want to be sure that they’re getting enough value for their money.
I can’t tell you whether dental implants are worth it - that’s a personal decision - but what I can tell you is what life after dental implants is really like.
The benefits, the limitations — we’ll take a look at all of it so that you can decide for yourself whether dental implants are worth your money.
As a dentist, I have over 30 years of clinical experience and have spent thousands of hours helping patients achieve reliable, beautiful results through dental implants.
But Poco Comfort Dentistry is about the expertise of not just one dentist, but an entire team. The details here are based on over a century of combined experience and a variety of perspectives on dental implants, helping you clearly understand how the treatment works and what kinds of results to expect.
In some ways, the answer to that depends on what condition your mouth is in before you get dental implants.
A person with a basic dental bridge, a person with a complete set of dentures, and a person who’s just recently lost a tooth will each have different daily experiences leading up to getting dental implants.
The good thing is that, after getting dental implants, many of those differences don’t matter quite so much - you’re able to get much more out of life, regardless of what your smile was like before.
With that being said, not all of the before and after differences are obvious, so I like to split them into two categories: the benefits you’ll notice, and the ones you might not notice but will still appreciate.
Some of the value in getting dental implants will be apparent from the moment you step out of the clinic.
These are the kinds of day-to-day benefits that address problems - like slipping dentures, for instance - that get people interested in dental implants in the first place.
Missing teeth can make you feel self-conscious and reluctant to smile, laugh, or speak in public. This can have a negative impact on your social life, career, and close relationships.
Once you’ve restored your smile with dental implants, you’ll feel a boost in confidence that comes with having a complete smile. I once heard a patient describe the feeling as “liberating”, and I think that’s a very appropriate way to think about it.
With that confidence, many people find that they enjoy a better overall quality of life, especially during the time right after their treatment is complete.
Missing teeth can make it difficult to eat certain foods, especially ones that are hard, sticky, or crunchy. This can lead to a limited diet, which can affect your overall health and well-being.
Dental implants can restore your ability to chew and bite properly, which means that you'll be able to eat a wider variety of foods.
That’s valuable for nutrition and physical health, but I think there’s an underappreciated mental health boost to it too — just think of how satisfying it is to eat the foods you love, and how frustrating it is to not be able to fully enjoy them because of your smile!
Losing even one tooth has a surprisingly large effect on how people speak! That’s especially frustrating for anyone who needs to speak a lot at work or in their personal life.
Sometimes it physically changes the mechanics of the mouth, and other times it’s a matter of a person feeling self-conscious and intentionally changing how they speak to avoid showing gaps in their smile. Even with a solution like dentures, some people find that their speech isn’t quite the same.
With their stability and practically indistinguishable natural look, dental implants resolve all of those issues. So you won’t just look like yourself again, you’ll sound like yourself again, too.
Unlike dentures, which can slip or shift while eating or speaking, dental implants are securely anchored in your jawbone.
That makes them much more comfortable and convenient, letting you eat and speak without worrying about your smile slipping or falling out.
Dental implants are also much simpler to care for compared to bridges, dentures, or even a gap in your smile. You don’t need to take them out or be extra diligent about how you clean them - they’re just like any other part of your natural smile.
Since they’re preventive, some benefits to dental implants won’t be apparent in your day-to-day life after you’ve finished the treatment.
However, these benefits are still important to factor into the “are they worth it?” equation because they’re effectively protecting you from financial and health costs.
When you lose a tooth, the part of your jaw bone that supported it starts to deteriorate.
Over time, this can change your facial structure in a way that isn’t flattering in most cases. (It typically creates a sunken look that makes people look older than they really are - not good!)
A dental implant functions like a replacement tooth root, stimulating the area of the jaw bone so that it maintains its mass and - by extension - your overall facial structure.
Remember the benefit of a simplified routine that I mentioned a few paragraphs ago? That has a hidden benefit - it often results in better oral health.
Compared to strict maintenance of a denture or bridge, a dental implant just needs the same care that a natural tooth requires.
That simplicity lets people do a better job of caring for their teeth, so they never have to worry about tooth decay or gum disease that might have affected them if they hadn’t chosen to get dental implants.
As good as dental implants are, they aren’t completely identical to natural teeth.
The main difference is that they don’t provide 100% of the strength that original, natural teeth do.
So, while you’ll be able to eat many - if not all - of the same foods, you might need to take smaller bites or chew more slowly.
Compared to not being able to enjoy your favourite foods, though? It’s a major upgrade.
If you're interested in learning more about how dental implants can improve your life, I’d encourage you to book a consultation with us!
During your consultation, we'll assess your oral health and discuss your treatment options with you. We'll also provide you with a personalized treatment plan and answer any questions that you may have.
Don’t worry about asking too many questions! The most important thing for us is that you feel comfortable and informed throughout the process.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. The Poco Comfort Dentistry team and I are looking forward to helping you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile!