Dental implants, typically made of titanium, are used to restore teeth that are missing. The implants are placed in the root of the missing tooth and are fused into the actual bone. This is done with an incision in the gums, followed by the actual insertion of the implant. Once the dental implant is inserted, the gums are sewn up and time is given to allow the gums and bone to heal appropriately. The healing process can take several months, but it is essential that the bone and implant are strong enough to hold the prosthetic tooth in place.
Before any procedures can begin, a person must consult with their dentist. During the initial consultation, the dentist, and often times a periodontist, will examine the area that needs the implant. While examining the mouth, they will ensure that there is enough bone to support the procedure. If there is not enough bone, there is always the option of having a bone graft. Other causes for not being a candidate include severe medical conditions, but this varies drastically between patients.
Dental Implant Benefits
Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are much more permanent. While bridges are also permanent, they rely on the surrounding teeth to stay in place. However, implants are seen as the absolute best type of prosthetic teeth. Since they are placed into the root of the missing tooth they replace, they are a much more natural replacement for the real tooth.
Aesthetically speaking, dental implants look and feel exactly like real teeth; without telling another person, there is virtually no way for a person to determine that the implant is not real. Bridges alter the surrounding teeth that they are anchored to. This can cause other teeth to start becoming damaged as a consequence. Since dental implants only replace a single tooth at a time and are placed in the tooth’s root, they do not have any adverse effects on the natural teeth or gums.
The dental implants will act as real teeth. This means that they will need to be brushed frequently and have all of the proper dental care associated with natural teeth. Plaque can build up on the new teeth and must be thoroughly removed or it can lessen the longevity of the prosthetic tooth.
Financing and Cost
Depending on the area of replacement, dentist pricing and insurance, a single tooth replacement can cost from $900 – $3,000. If dental insurance will not cover the procedure, there are often financing options available. Some dentists will accept payments or have a list of third-party companies who will finance the procedure and require monthly payments.
For people with missing teeth, having a dental implant can mean the difference between having a confident smile or one that is hidden from the world. Not only will they allow a person to be confident in their smile, but they will once again be able to chew their food in the replacement area. This, along with general gum health improvements, provides an unmatched benefit of having dental implants done.