I had a dental implant about two years ago, and I would recommend this procedure to anyone who is considered a candidate by a dentist. Dental implants can be as strong as a natural tooth, and the reason for this is that the titanium implant material actually makes a chemical bond with the bone in one’s jaw. This is a huge advantage for a replacement tooth.
There are a couple of downsides to the procedure, however. One of these is that not all implant procedures work. I recently read an article which cited some statistics. It said that 95% of all implants on lower teeth are successful, as are 90% of those on upper teeth. The article did not specify the reasons for the failed attempts, but I suspect they have to do with the skill of the dentist or periodontist, and the condition of the bone into which the implant is placed.
Another issue is the length of time it takes to complete the procedure from beginning to end. In my case this was about ten months, and this included time to wait for an appointment with the periodontist, a specialist, and the time he took to let the extraction heal thoroughly. He also waited several months for the implant to bind with the bones in my lower right jaw after it was finally inserted. Immediately after the tooth extraction I also had a small bone graft added to my jaw to add more support for the implant once it was inserted. Of course during most of this time I needed to chew all my food on one side of my mouth only. At first this was bothersome, but after a while I got used to it.
My periodontist seemed to take a conservative approach to letting my mouth adjust after extracting my bad tooth and also after inserting the implant. He waited about five months after the extraction and bone graft to put the implant into my mouth, and then we waited another four months before putting a stud onto the implant and having a permanent crown made. I think his experience told him that the length of time the procedure took from beginning to end was not important. What was important is that the implant was a success. I have seen advertisements lately from dentists who claim to do an implant in one day. I have no idea what they are talking about, perhaps it is some other kind of implant.
As mentioned, I’ve had the implant for two years now, and it feels like a normal tooth. In fact I don’t notice it at all. If you are a candidate, a dental implant is definitely worth considering.