How Implants Reduce Dental Costs
Long-term Dental Costs helped by Implants
The first thing to remember about dental implants is that they last much longer than bridges or dentures. Dentures are plastic-based teeth. That means that you’re talking about a more fragile product that’s less able to withstand constant use.
Implants are based on a titanium fixture that’s very firmly attached in the jaw. They use mainly porcelain crowns and that’s the gold standard. They are very hard-wearing and cosmetically very satisfactory.
Dental Implant Success Rates
Once implants are integrated they have a very high success rate, about 97 per cent over a 10-year period. And there’s a strong suggestion that if they’ve been in for 10 years and provided other parametric measures remain the same, they can last much longer—some say up to 20 or 30 years.
Although providing reliable data might be difficult as it is of course challenging to follow up with a patient over such a long period of time. But there’s a definite advantage in the longevity of a dental implant, despite the higher initial costs involved.
The Cost of a Dental Implant.
Costs associated to dental implant are higher than dentures or bridges. The higher initial outlay is the major disadvantage of implants, apart from having the surgical procedure of course. However over such a long period of time the initial high outlay becomes less relevant.
Bear in mind also the quality of the fixture that you have with the dental implant. That’s a pretty good guarantee that your mouth is going to be in good condition. You have the surgical procedure and that causes some discomfort, but that’s quickly forgotten. Once a patient starts to use them, no one thinks about whether they’ve got an implant in their mouth or not. They’ve just gone on with their day-to-day life as normal and they’ve forgotten about the implant, certainly about the short period of discomfort they endured to have the procedure.
Dentures vs Implants
Dental implants are very comfortable. They provide excellent aesthetic outcomes and once integrated a patient doesn’t feel them at all. With older people, we’re probably talking a bit less about the cosmetics. We’re talking more about functionality and comfort with the implant, as opposed to the denture. Dentures can often move around and up and down and can cause social embarrassment. When people socialise and let’s say they’re in the restaurant eating a meal and the denture drops out, that’s something that can be very embarrassing and awkward.
Implants don’t have to be considered as permanent fixtures either. They can be used to house attachments providing very good retention to dentures. If then someone says ‘I want to get rid of my denture, I want to have something fixed’, they can do that. It’s just a matter of grafting and getting a bone where needed. Obviously there is further surgical discomfort and, of course, if you talk about a large number of implants, it becomes a more costly exercise. But as a first measure, and weighed up against the fragility and impermanence of dentures and bridges, dental implants are very cost effective in the long-term.