Reasons Not to Get Dental Implants

Unveiling the drawbacks of dental implants: Discover why some individuals, including children, smokers, and neglectful oral hygiene enthusiasts, should reconsider this procedure

Joel Wissen

7/20/202311 min read

The Unspoken Disadvantages of Dental Implants

When it comes to dental implants, there are a few disadvantages that you should consider. First and foremost, let's address the question that's probably weighing on your mind: do dental implants hurt? Well, like any surgical procedure, there may be some discomfort during and after the placement of the implant.

However, with the use of local anesthesia and sedation techniques, most patients report minimal pain during the process. Another disadvantage is the need for bone grafting in some cases.

Dental implants require a strong and healthy jawbone to support them. However, if you have suffered from tooth loss or gum disease for an extended period, your jawbone may have deteriorated.

In these instances, bone grafting may be necessary before implant placement. This involves taking bone from another part of your body or using synthetic materials to strengthen and build up your jawbone.

It can be an additional procedure that adds time and cost to your overall treatment. Now let's talk about longevity.

Dental implants are known for their durability and longevity compared to other tooth replacement options like bridges or dentures. On average, dental implants can last up to 25 years or more with proper care and maintenance.

However, it's important to note that this lifespan can vary depending on factors such as oral hygiene habits, overall health, and lifestyle choices. While dental implants offer numerous benefits in terms of aesthetics and functionality for those with missing teeth, it is essential to consider the potential disadvantages.

Discomfort during placement can be managed through anesthesia and sedation techniques; however, bone grafting might be required in cases where the jawbone is weakened due to tooth loss or gum disease. Additionally, while dental implants have an impressive lifespan compared to other options like bridges or dentures when properly cared for – factors such as oral hygiene practices must be considered as they affect longevity.

Four Groups of People Who Shouldn't Get Dental Implants

There are four groups of people who may want to think twice before getting dental implants. These groups include children and teens, smokers and chewers, people who don't take proper care of their teeth, and the elderly (with a few exceptions).

First, let's talk about children and teens. Their jaws are still developing, so placing dental implants at such a young age could hinder the natural growth of their jawbones.

It's best to wait until they reach adulthood when their jawbones have fully matured. Instead of implants, dentists may suggest alternative options like removable dentures or bridges that can be replaced as their mouths grow.

Now onto smokers and chewers. Smoking poses several risks for dental implant surgery as it can negatively affect the healing process.

Nicotine restricts blood flow, which is essential for proper healing after implant placement. Chewing tobacco also leads to complications because it puts excessive pressure on the implants during the healing phase.

Overall, quitting smoking or chewing tobacco is highly recommended before considering dental implants. Next up are those individuals who don't prioritize oral hygiene or fail to take care of their teeth properly.

Dental implants require regular maintenance and impeccable oral hygiene practices to ensure their longevity and success. If someone neglects brushing and flossing regularly or fails to visit the dentist for routine check-ups, they may not be suitable candidates for dental implants.

Let's discuss the elderly population with some exceptions considered. Age itself is not a determining factor in whether someone can get dental implants; rather, it depends on an individual's overall health condition.

If an older person has good bone density and healthy gums without any chronic illnesses that could complicate surgery or hinder proper healing, then they might still be eligible candidates for dental implants. Remember that these four groups serve as general guidelines rather than strict rules – every individual's situation differs depending on various factors such as overall health condition and professional recommendations from dentists.

It's crucial to consult with a dental professional who can assess your unique circumstances and provide personalized guidance.

Children and Teens

When it comes to dental implants, it's important to consider the age factor. , in particular, children and teens may not be suitable candidates for dental implants due to their ongoing growth and development.

The jawbone structure of young individuals is still changing and maturing, making it difficult for the implants to integrate properly and securely. Additionally, children often lack the necessary oral hygiene habits and discipline required for successful implant maintenance.

One concern with dental implants in children and teens is bone grafting. This procedure involves taking bone from another part of the body or using synthetic material to support the implant.

Bone grafting can be a complex process that may not be recommended for younger individuals, as their bones are still growing. Not only can this potentially affect their facial development, but it also increases the risk of complications during or after the surgery.

Another consideration is that dental implants are a long-term solution that requires commitment and responsibility. For children and teenagers who may not have developed consistent oral healthcare routines or have yet to fully understand the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene practices, there is a risk that they may neglect proper care for their implants.

Without diligent cleaning and regular visits to the dentist, issues such as infection or gum disease can arise around the implant site. In some cases where dental restoration is necessary for younger individuals who have lost teeth due to trauma or congenital conditions, alternative options like removable partial dentures or orthodontic treatment might be more appropriate until they reach adulthood when dental implants can be considered.

It's essential for parents to consult with an experienced dentist who specializes in pediatric dentistry before making any decisions regarding dental implants for their children or teens. The dentist will assess various factors including jawbone development, overall oral health status, maturity level of the patient, and potential risks associated with implant placement at a young age.

While dental implants offer numerous advantages in restoring missing teeth in adults, it's vital to understand that their suitability varies depending on the age group. Considering the continually changing dental and skeletal structures of children and teens, along with their developing oral hygiene practices, it is often wise to explore alternative dental restoration options until they reach a more appropriate age for implant placement.

Smokers and Chewers

While dental implants can be a great solution for many people with missing teeth, it's important to consider the impact of your smoking or chewing habits on the success of these implants. Smoking and chewing tobacco not only have detrimental effects on your overall health but can also significantly compromise the outcome of dental implant procedures.

Firstly, let's talk about smoking. It's no secret that smoking is harmful to your oral health.

The chemicals in cigarettes can hinder the healing process after implant surgery, increasing the risk of complications such as infections or implant failure. Additionally, smoking reduces blood flow to the gums and bone tissue, which are crucial for successful osseointegration - the process by which dental implants fuse with the jawbone.

As a result, smokers may experience delayed healing times or even complete implant failure. Chewing tobacco presents similar concerns when it comes to dental implants.

The constant irritation caused by placing chewing tobacco in your mouth can impair proper healing after surgery. Moreover, the nicotine and other harmful substances found in these products can have negative effects on bone density and overall oral health.

When considering dental implants as a tooth replacement option, it is essential that you disclose any tobacco use to your dentist so they can evaluate if you are a suitable candidate. It's worth noting that quitting smoking or chewing tobacco before getting dental implants greatly improves your chances of a successful outcome.

Your dentist may recommend a waiting period before proceeding with implant placement to allow time for your mouth to heal from any damage caused by these habits. Remember, investing in your oral health is just as important as quitting unhealthy habits; after all, how long do dental implants last?

With proper care and maintenance - which includes saying goodbye to smoking or chewing tobacco - they can last a lifetime. So, if you're considering dental implants but are an avid smoker or chewer, take some time to seriously think about making positive changes for both your oral health and the success of your implant procedure.

Talk to your dentist about cessation options and develop a plan to quit before moving forward with implant surgery. Your smile and overall well-being will thank you in the long run!

People Who Don't Take Care of Their Teeth

One significant group of people who should think twice before getting dental implants are those who don't take proper care of their teeth. Dental implants require a high level of dental hygiene to ensure their longevity and success. If you neglect your oral hygiene routine, such as brushing and flossing regularly, your natural teeth are probably already suffering the consequences.

In such cases, it's essential to address these issues before considering any major dental procedures like implants. Firstly, let's talk about the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene when it comes to dental implants.

Plaque buildup can lead to gum disease or peri-implantitis, which is an infection around the implant site that can cause inflammation and bone loss. If you're someone who frequently skips brushing or flossing, it's highly likely that you may struggle with plaque buildup even with dental implants in place.

Moreover, dental maintenance becomes even more crucial after getting implant surgery since the cleaning process can be different compared to natural teeth. For instance, using metal instruments or abrasive toothpaste on implants can damage their surface and compromise their longevity.

Therefore, individuals who are not committed to adopting a meticulous oral hygiene routine may find it challenging to maintain the cleanliness required for successful implant integration. Furthermore, neglecting oral care also indicates a lack of responsibility towards overall health.

Dental implants involve invasive procedures like bone grafting for dental implants if there isn't enough bone present at the implant site. However, if an individual doesn't prioritize taking care of their natural teeth properly—leading to decay or tooth loss—this raises questions about whether they will commit to post-operative care for a complex treatment like dental implants.

People who do not take adequate care of their teeth should carefully consider whether they are ready for the commitment that comes with receiving dental implants. The success and longevity of these prosthetics depend heavily on maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices consistently throughout one's life.

Therefore, individuals who struggle to prioritize oral health or neglect their teeth may face challenges in achieving the desired outcome with dental implants. It is crucial to address any existing dental concerns and establish a solid oral hygiene routine before considering this extensive dental procedure.

The Very Eldery (with some exceptions)

The very elderly, while often able to enjoy the benefits of dental implants, may face certain considerations before opting for this procedure. Age itself is not a deterrent when it comes to dental implants, if the individual is healthy overall and has sufficient bone density in their jaw. However, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind.

One important consideration for the elderly is their ability to undergo surgery comfortably. General health conditions, such as heart problems or compromised immune systems, can increase the risks associated with any surgical procedure.

Additionally, some elderly individuals may be taking medications that can interfere with the healing process or increase the chances of complications. These factors need to be evaluated carefully by a qualified dentist or oral surgeon before proceeding with dental implant surgery.

Another aspect to consider is the maintenance and care required for dental implants. Although dental implants are designed to be long-lasting solutions for tooth loss, they still require proper oral hygiene practices and regular visits to the dentist.

The very elderly might have difficulty maintaining good oral hygiene due to physical limitations or cognitive decline. If an individual cannot adequately care for their dental implants, there is a higher risk of implant failure or infection.

In such cases, alternative options like dentures or bridges may be more suitable. It's essential for elderly individuals considering dental implants to have a thorough discussion with their dentist about their overall health condition and ability to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Dentists will assess bone density through X-rays and evaluate general health before recommending any treatment plan. With careful evaluation and consideration of individual circumstances, many older adults can still enjoy the benefits of dental implants if deemed appropriate by their healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do dental implants hurt?

One of the most common concerns people have about dental implants is the level of pain involved in the procedure.

It's natural to worry about any potential discomfort, but rest assured that modern advancements in dentistry have made the process relatively painless. Before the surgery, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area, ensuring that you won't feel any pain during the procedure.

Additionally, if you're particularly anxious or have a low pain tolerance, your dentist can discuss sedation options with you to help you relax throughout the process. After the surgery, it is normal to experience some mild discomfort and swelling for a few days, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief medication prescribed by your dentist.

2. How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution for missing teeth, providing durability and stability comparable to natural teeth.

With proper care and maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime. The success rate of dental implant procedures depends on various factors such as oral hygiene habits, overall health condition, and lifestyle choices.

Regular brushing and flossing along with routine visits to your dentist for professional cleanings are crucial for maintaining oral health around dental implants. Additionally, avoiding habits like smoking or chewing hard objects will contribute significantly to their longevity.

3. Dental implants vs bridge: Which one should I choose?

Deciding between dental bridges and implants as solutions for missing teeth, several factors come into play.

Dental bridges are typically recommended when adjacent teeth also require restoration or when there is inadequate bone structure for an implant placement procedure without bone grafting (a process where synthetic or donor bone material is used to augment existing bone). On the other hand, dental implants offer numerous advantages such as preserving jawbone density and providing better functional results by replicating natural tooth roots more effectively than bridges.

It's essential to consult with your dentist to determine the most suitable treatment option for your specific case. They will thoroughly evaluate your oral health, discuss the pros and cons of each option, and guide you in making an informed decision that aligns with your needs and preferences.


While dental implants may seem like an attractive option for replacing missing teeth, it's important to consider the disadvantages that come along with them. For starters, if you're a child or teenager, it's best to wait until your jawbone has fully developed before considering dental implants. Similarly, if you're a smoker or have a habit of chewing tobacco, it's crucial to know that these habits can significantly impact the success rate of dental implants.

The same goes for individuals who neglect their oral hygiene – poor oral health can lead to infections and complications during the implant procedure. Additionally, there are certain cases where dental implants may not be suitable for the very elderly population.

While age alone is not a determining factor, factors such as overall health and bone density play a vital role in deciding whether dental implants are the right choice. It's essential to consult with your dentist and explore alternative treatment options such as dentures or bridges that might be more appropriate for your specific situation.

It is important to address common questions that arise when discussing dental implants. Firstly, many wonder if getting dental implants will hurt.

While some discomfort during and after the procedure is expected, dentists take measures to minimize pain by using local anesthesia and prescribing pain medications when necessary. Secondly, some patients may require bone grafting for dental implants if they lack sufficient bone density in their jaw.

This additional procedure ensures stable implant placement but does add an extra step to the process. When comparing dental implants against bridges or dentures, it's important to weigh factors such as longevity and functionality.

Dental implants are known for their durability and can last upwards of 25 years with proper care, far surpassing alternatives like bridges which typically have a shorter lifespan. While there are certain groups of people who may not be suitable candidates for dental implants due to various concerns like age or lifestyle choices – such as smoking or poor oral hygiene – it's essential to remember that this does not diminish the effectiveness and success of dental implants for suitable individuals.

Consulting with a qualified dentist who can assess your specific circumstances is crucial to determine the best treatment plan for you. So, even if dental implants may not be the right option for everyone, there are still alternative solutions available to restore your smile and improve your oral health.