A dental bridge or partial denture with a false tooth resting above the gums will certainly replace a missing tooth. But they won't replace it as effectively as an implant. Dental implants are small titanium alloy rods placed in your jaw that function like a tooth's natural root. A natural-looking prosthetic porcelain tooth is then attached to the implant. An implant is an artificial tooth and root, whereas other options are just artificial teeth. But because implantation requires surgery, it's natural to wonder—is it going to be risky?
The benefits of a dental implant far outweigh any risks. And these risks happen to be very minor. Even though having a tooth replaced with an implant is classed as an elective procedure, it has become the standard, default option for replacing a permanent tooth. The implant's ability to replicate the function of both a natural tooth and its root means that the restoration can withstand a lot of bite pressure. This pressure is supported by your jawbone—unlike other dental bridges or dentures where pressure is directed onto your gums. Because the procedure has become the standard treatment for replacing a tooth, there are very few risks associated with it.
Sensitivity and Allergy
One of the possible risks can be quickly eliminated. The implant itself is titanium alloy. This section is permanently embedded in your jaw, with the bone then healing around the metal. There's a small risk of irritation and implant rejection for those who have a titanium allergy. This form of allergy isn't common, but you will be asked about it. For an implant to be effective, it must be biocompatible with its host. However, if you're in the minority of people who are affected by a titanium allergy, your dentist can make other arrangements. It's also possible for an implant to be made from zirconia—a type of ultra-strong porcelain.
Further risks associated with a dental implant are mostly self-inflicted. You need to be sure that you follow your dentist's instructions to the letter. Implant aftercare is crucial, and you must do everything your dentist tells you in terms of keeping your implant clean. An implant is sensitive to bacterial infection as it heals, and a serious infection can even prevent the implant from integrating with your bone—which is essential for it to work. Keep your implant clean as per your dentist's instructions and you won't have much to be concerned about. But should you notice any odd swelling or discomfort, please consult your dentist.
No medical procedure is without risk, but with dental implants, the risk is extremely low and is almost entirely avoidable.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist in your area.