Missing teeth? You definitely will benefit from getting dental implants. This said, you also should know what dental implants cost, as your decision may depend on this. However, dental implants are a long-term solution to missing teeth, but the fact remains they do not come cheap.
Here are 4 things you should definitely know about dental implants before you head to your dentist.
1. Implants are definitely much better alternative than dentures and bridges
Bridges, dentures and implants are used for the same purpose – replacing missing teeth. However, there are differences between them.
A bridge is used when there is a missing tooth between two healthy teeth. However, to fit in the bridge into your mouth, the dentist files the adjacent two teeth and this makes these teeth weak and more susceptible to decay.
Dentures can be partial or for the entire arch, but usually have problems regarding fit. They also tend to interfere with a person’s ability to taste food properly, as dentures cover the palate of the mouth.
For implants, the dentist first places a screw into your jawbone and then a prosthetic tooth is attached to the tooth. This tooth functions like a normal, healthy tooth and also looks and feels like a real tooth.
2. Dental implants tend to cost more than bridges and dentures
The downside of dental implants definitely is the cost. Usually, dental insurance does not cover implants and a single implant can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500. However, the cost of an implant depends treatment plan and the number of appointments. There also are generic implants, which are relatively cheaper compared to the implants used by majority of dentists in the United States. The problem with these generic implants is they have not been studied as yet, so there isn’t sufficient information available about their success rate.
3. Can any person get dental implants?
You would have to consult your dentist to find out whether you are a good candidate for dental implant. If you have healthy gums, good jawbone structure and overall good health, there is no reason why you cannot go in for dental implants. Furthermore, if you cannot wear dentures, you can still be considered for implants.
If you suffer from bruxism or grinding and clenching of teeth and diabetes, you may not be the best candidate for implants. Also, if you are a habitual smoker and drinker, your dentist will think twice about putting an implant.
4. What happens during the dental implant procedure?
You will have to undergo a surgical procedure during which the titanium screw is anchored into your jawbone. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and in the dentist’s office. After the implant is placed into your jawbone, the gum is placed securely over the implant and it will stay like that until the screw fuses with your jawbone. Once this happens, the implant is uncovered and a post is attached to the implant. Thereafter, the artificial tooth, also known as a crown, is made and attached to the post.
5. How long does the entire process take?
You would need to have patience with dental implants. Usually, a procedure can take up to nine months, based on how quickly your body heals. This is the reason it is difficult to give an actual time frame. Typically, after the implant and posts are surgically placed into your jawbone, it will take about six months to heal and fuse with your bone structure and then another two months for the fitting and attachment of the crown.
6. How does a person care for implants?
If you get a dental implant, make sure you brush and floss around it twice a day. Usually, your dentist will inform you about implant care. In addition, you would need to get the implant cleaned professionally about four times a year. This is necessary to maintain the health of your gums.
Considering the benefits of implants, do not let dental implants cost scare you. Once you get an implant, you will have full function of the tooth that was previously missing and affecting your ability to chew food and/or speak clearly.