The short answer to the title of this little article is: Maybe. Maybe? “Hey, I was told that dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth and may be even better because they never get a cavity and never need a root canal” you say.
Well, digging deeper into this question we find that while we do have a great track record on the majority of dental implants lasting well over 30 years, we also must come to grips with the reality that implants can get into trouble. We see a condition called “periimplantitis” which means “inflammation of the tissue around the implant”. This can occur from cement left over after the crown is placed on the implant post, from uncontrolled periodontal disease transferring to the implant, and from overloading the implant (meaning too much pressure when biting or chewing), for example, and can actually lead to loss of the implant.
So, if you have dental implants or are considering having them placed into your mouth, it is important that you realize that you have to take care of them like you are supposed to with your teeth, and make sure that your gums around your natural teeth get healthy and remain that way to protect your investment in your dental implants.
While I think that implants are a wonderful addition to dental therapy (having been placing and restoring implants since 1982), I still believe that your natural teeth are still the best. Far too often teeth that can be saved are sacrificed for implants because sometimes saving a tooth requires more thought, planning, diagnostics, and treatment skills.
So, the answer to the title question is: Maybe. Oh… I said that already didn’t I!
Take care of your teeth and your implants and don’t shy away from getting implants should that be the best option for you.
Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry and for good reason. But like any technology, they are not without concerns and need to be evaluated by your dentist to make sure they stay in good health.