Dental Implants: Do or Don't

Dental Health
By: Spirit Dental
June 28, 2017

Implants being modeled

Updated July 2021

When confronted with the option of getting a dental implant, you might wonder if it’s worth going through with this procedure. After all, getting an implant will take time, and it could be expensive if you don’t have the right insurance plan in place.

To help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled some information on the benefits, as well as the risks, that are associated with dental implants.

Here’s Why You Should Go for a Dental Implant

The biggest reason why you should get a dental implant: everything that could happen if you don’t get one.

Basically, after you lose a tooth, bone loss within the jaw where the tooth once was could develop in as little as one year. The longer you wait to get an implant, the more bone loss could occur, and you might even need to get a bone graft to replace the missing bone if you do decide to finally get an implant later on. So if you are missing a tooth, getting a dental implant sooner rather than later is recommended. Plus, if you thought a dental implant was bad, a bone graft is more expensive and more painful.  

Failing to replace a tooth that’s missing could even cause the adjacent teeth to become damaged or move out of alignment. The more time that passes, the more you increase your risk of the teeth shifting so much that there may not be enough space for the implant. Or you might end up experiencing problems with your bite as the adjacent teeth shift, and you might develop temporomandibular joint pain, also known as TMD. What a difference one tooth can make! But it doesn’t even end there. You might also need to get orthodontics, such as braces, to realign your teeth. And who wants braces as an adult? Especially if you don't have orthodontic dental insurance!

Ultimately, the more you postpone getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, the greater the odds will be of additional problems and the need for costly, painful, and time-consuming procedures to fix those problems.

A Few of the Benefits Associated with Dental Implants

Still not sure whether or not a dental implant is the way to go for the health of your teeth and gums? Here are a few of the main benefits that an implant could provide:

  • Dental implants look, feel, and act just like your natural teeth, giving you a complete and beautiful smile, and making chewing easy. You won’t even know the implant is there!
  • Unlike dentures, which could be uncomfortable and inconvenient, a dental implant becomes a permanent fixture in your mouth.
  • A dental implant replaces the tooth above and below the gum line, protecting the jaw.
  • Unlike dental bridges, your other teeth don’t need to be altered when a dental implant is set into place.
  • You can take care of a dental implant just like the rest of your teeth: brush, floss, rinse, and see your dentist for checkups and cleanings. Easy!
  • Generally, there is a 98% success rate associated with dental implants, according to WebMD. Pretty great, right?

But Here Are Some Risks to Consider

As is the case with any other dental surgery, there are some risks involved with getting an implant, even though complications are rare. Also, if problems arise from a dental implant, they are typically easy to treat and minor in severity.

Some of the potential risks of getting a dental implant include:

  • Infection at the site of the implant
  • Nerve damage
  • Sinus problems
  • Damage to nearby structures, such as blood vessels or other teeth

Working with a dental professional who is experienced in placing implants will help reduce these risks.

The Verdict?

Oral health professionals highly recommend dental implants for one or more missing teeth. And if you are concerned about the cost, you can rest assured that, with the right dental plan from Spirit, your implant will be covered.* Want to learn more about your dental implant insurance? Get a quote from Spirit Dental & Vision.

So if your dentist has suggested getting an implant, consider the benefits that this one procedure can provide for the long-term health of your smile.

*Missing teeth prior to coverage are not covered by Spirit plans.


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