Having a missing tooth can be as tough on your self-esteem as it is on your ability to chew and speak. While temporary solutions exist, they may not provide the comfort or secure fit that you expect. With dental implants, you get the benefit of a replacement tooth designed to look, fit, and function just like your natural teeth.
Dental implants replace the roots of your teeth, fusing with your jaw bone over time to provide a permanent fit. This can make them preferable to removable options like dentures and bridges that don’t work as you hoped. While some won’t, the majority of patients will qualify for dental implants. Talk to us and your insurer about cost coverage.
How much are dental implants?
Dental implants are more expensive than other tooth-replacement options. They’re also less likely to be covered by insurance. However, they may be covered by medical insurance depending on your insurer and the reason you need an implant. Be sure to talk to us as well as your insurer to learn more about insurance coverage for dental implants.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants replace the roots of missing or damaged teeth. The roots of your teeth are what holds them in place, but they can become weakened due to problems such as an infection or a damaged tooth. These implants replace the damaged root and hold the replacement tooth in place.
Rather than simply resting on the surface of your gums, dental implants are attached to your jaw, acting as a secure anchor for replacement teeth. This ensures that you can still chew without worrying about the replacement tooth coming loose at unexpected times. It also helps you smile with confidence knowing that you have a natural-looking replacement tooth.
Are dental implants better than bridges and dentures?
Unlike temporary fixes such as bridges and dentures, dental implants offer a permanent solution for tooth loss. They allow for improved:
- Oral health
Dental implants are surgically inserted into your jaw bone. As your jaw heals, it fuses to the implant and essentially makes it a permanent part of your body. This results in a replacement tooth that not only feels natural but looks natural as well. You also don’t have to worry about it coming loose at awkward moments like speaking or eating.
Another benefit of implants essentially becoming part of your body is improved comfort. You may experience pain when you first start using your dentures, similar to an infant experiencing teething. This often goes away over time, but you may experience continual discomfort if your dentures don’t fit properly. Dental implants remove this problem since they’re anchored directly into the jaw.
A study from the American Association of Orthodontists found that over 33% of adults in America aren’t happy with their smile. Missing teeth can also cause more damage to the teeth. Implants provide a secure solution that you can be confident in. For more information on how your teeth can affect your self-esteem, read our recent blog.
Dental implants help preserve the teeth you still have. Removable tooth solutions such as bridges require that your surrounding teeth be altered in order to make room for them. Implant procedures don’t require this, leaving your other teeth in one piece. They’re also spaced apart like your natural teeth, allowing for easier cleaning.
Temporary tooth replacements can be a hassle. Dentures require regular removal, soaking, and adhesives to work properly. Dentures can become loose over time and need to be retightened. You don’t have to worry about any of that with dental implants. They fuse to your jaw bone to ensure that they remain securely in place for the lifespan of your implant.
The lifespan of dentures and bridges can vary depending on the type you have and how well you take care of them. In some cases, you may be able to get 15 years out of them. While this is definitely a long time, it’s no match for dental implants. With proper care, it’s possible that your dental implant will last you for the rest of your life.
Who qualifies for dental implants?
The majority of patients interested in dental implants will qualify for the procedure. Ideal candidates will have:
- A fully developed jaw bone
- Plenty of bone to secure the implant or receive a bone graft
- Healthy gums and other oral tissue
You should also be healthy enough for tooth extraction and oral surgery. Dental implants can be a long process, especially if you’re a smoker who needs to get your mouth healthy enough for the procedure. In cases like these, it helps to be patient and dedicated to ensure the best possible outcome.
There are some factors that need to be judged on an individual basis. This includes health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, or having undergone radiation therapy on your head or neck.
You should also be committed to maintaining good oral health. Prioritizing the basics of good dental hygiene will do more than protect your implant. It will also help prevent you from needing another one by preserving your original teeth. Check out our article on the basics of oral hygiene to learn more about how to keep your oral health in tip-top shape.
Talk to our staff and your insurer about covering the cost of your new tooth. Dental implants provide a permanent tooth-replacement solution by replacing the roots of your teeth. This makes them ideal when compared to dentures and bridges which require special maintenance and even replacement over time. Most interested patients will qualify for the procedure.