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Losing a tooth can have an impact on your smile, confidence, and self-image. However, a missing tooth can be replaced utilizing a variety of ways. Dental implants are a popular and long-lasting treatment option. For many years, implant-based restorations have represented the pinnacle of missing tooth replacement. However, they are not suitable for everyone. As a result, it's critical to understand why dental implants aren't always the best option. Here are eight compelling reasons not to have dental implants and why.

1. Dental implant cost 

Quality dental implants are not inexpensive. The average cost of a finished dental implant in the United States is more than $3000. However, given the amount of work required for a single implant implantation, the hefty fees may be justified. However, while many dentist practices now offer payment plans, they are not affordable for everyone.

2. Non-insurance coverage 

Unlike other treatments, dental implants are typically not covered by health insurance. Insurance companies may cover the crown portion of a treatment, but they are unlikely to cover the full operation. Implants are primarily considered a cosmetic dental procedure. Implants, unlike other dental treatments and services, are not considered 'medically required'.

3. Requires surgery 

Dental implants, unlike other tooth replacement solutions such as bridges and dentures, require surgical installation. As a result, some medical disorders or diseases may preclude you from receiving therapy. So, before deciding on any type of implant-based restoration, consult your doctor. However, oral surgery for dental implants has evolved over the decades and is now safe, fast, and (nearly often) comfortable. So, if you are eligible, being concerned about the surgical element is almost always worse than the event itself.

4. Implants take a lifetime commitment 

Unlike other forms of tooth replacement, dental implants are not a 'set and forget' surgery. While implants can endure for decades, they require a lifetime of proper oral care to remain in good health. Brushing and flossing should be done thoroughly and regularly, as well as dental appointments. So, why is this? Bacteria pose a concern to implants, particularly in their early stages. If bacteria collect around the implant, they will weaken the gum and (in time) the supporting bone, resulting in implant failure. As a result, good dental hygiene is required for the implant's longevity.

5. Dental implants take time 

One of the primary reasons to avoid dental implants is if you desire a rapid cure for lost teeth. As previously stated, tooth implants require time to complete. On average, it takes 4-9 months from the initial consultation to the final fit restoration. Furthermore, if you require additional supportive therapies such as a bone graft, this will lengthen the time required.

6. Quitting smoking 

The National Institute of Health reports that smokers have a 140% higher chance of implant failure than nonsmokers. For these reasons, anyone considering an implant-based repair should be willing to quit smoking, or at least refrain from smoking until the implant has fully fused with the jaw bone. Smoking increases dangerous germs, reduces protective saliva, and slows bone fusion, all of which are important issues for freshly placed implants. As a result, if you are unable to commit to quitting smoking, even for the short term, other options may be more suitable.

7. Underlying issues 

If you grind your teeth regularly or subconsciously, have uncontrolled diabetes, or gum disease, or have had jaw irradiation after a cancer diagnosis, dental implants may not be an option. Essentially, these variables must be addressed or regulated to have the best potential outcome for implant restoration. If it is not possible, your dentist will be happy to explore alternative solutions.

8. Alcohol 

Alcohol, like smoking, can be harmful to newly implanted implants. According to studies, even small amounts of alcohol can trigger implant issues, especially within the first 1-3 days. Alcohol causes blood arteries and capillaries to dilate. As a result, any soreness or pain becomes more acute. Furthermore, alcohol might reduce blood flow to the implant site, which is necessary for healing. If you don't believe you can avoid alcohol for at least 72 hours after surgery or permanently reduce your intake (if you're a heavy drinker), this is a strong reason to avoid dental implants. 

If you want to understand more about the relationship between alcohol and dental implants, we've published an instructive post about it, which you can find here. So there you have it — nine reasons not to have dental implants. Dental implants are a permanent and life-changing solution for replacing missing teeth. Nonetheless, anyone considering the process should have a balanced perspective from which to make a decision. Hopefully, this post has provided you with just that. 

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