24 Jan 4 Things to Know When Considering Dental Implants
Restorative dental options have come a long way since the days of George Washington and the mythical wooden teeth. Today there are a number of reasons why a person may lose a tooth. From gum disease to tooth decay, injury, aging, or genetic conditions, over 35 million Americans are missing all or part of their teeth. Left untreated, the gaps in our mouth can cause shifting of the jawline and remaining teeth. Designed and manufactured with the latest technology, dental implants are a long-term and cost-effective way to replace missing teeth. Here are “4 Things to Know When Considering Dental Implants.”
Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures and Bridges
Over 3 million people have dental implants and with very clear advantages, it’s easy to understand why that number is expected to grow by another 500,000 each year.
- Heals with your own body – Dental implants are made of titanium alloy and/or other biocompatible materials that allow your body to naturally heal around it. The implant (post) is inserted below the gum line and once completed with a dental crown, a dental implant is virtually indistinguishable from your own teeth.
- Long lasting – The longevity of dental implants is well-documented. Clinical studies over the past 40 years have shown long-life rates of up to 95-98%. The typical longevity of crowns or bridges is around 10 years or more. Factors such as home care, medical conditions, and smoking can affect the longevity of teeth, as well as dental implants.
- Durable – Enjoy your favorite foods. The material used to build implants is hard and durable. Once integrated with your body, dental implants have the functionality and feel of natural teeth.
- No need to involve other teeth – In cases of bridges, neighboring teeth often need to be grinded in order to create the bridge. Implants are designed to replace only the lost tooth (teeth) and in case of a failure of any of the teeth involved in the bridge, most of the time, the whole bridge construction needs to be removed and replaced, thus increasing the cost of future treatment and complicating the predictability.
- No special care required – Brush teeth twice per day for 2-minutes each time to remove food particles and plaque-causing bacteria. Visit your dentist for twice annual cleaning and checkups. In most of the cases, no special treatment is required for dental implants.
Dental Implants Have a High Success Rate
Dental implants have up to 98% success rate and can last a lifetime. Replacing an open gap in your mouth with an implant also results in easier eating, improved oral health, and stability of your teeth and jaw. As with any dental procedure, implants can fail or need to be replaced. These days, advanced technology, use of CT scans and special software enables virtual planning of the actual implant placement and the use of computer designed guides. This vastly improves the success and predictability of implant placement. Sometimes, implants may fail, either failing to integrate into the body or developing an issue later. Like with natural teeth, patient-related factors like smoking, oral hygiene care, regular visits to the dentist, medical issues and other factors can affect the health and longevity of dental implants.
Financial Considerations Planning for Dental Implants
Dental implants are considered an elective procedure by most insurance carriers but do not dismiss the idea of implants based on this single fact. If the tooth is lost due to an accident or disease, the carrier may pay for certain stages of the implant such as tooth extraction and bone grafting.
Your employer may offer an elective program which enables you to set aside funds each month, making the financial expense of implants less burdensome. And finally, your dentist may offer a financing plan or have financial suggestions to help avoid one big payout.
Implants are lower maintenance, have a potentially longer lifespan, and enable full functionality and aesthetics. The overall cost of dental implants when viewed from the life of the implant, can end up being more cost effective compared to alternative options that do not last as long.
Do Your Research Beforehand
There are a number of businesses who may offer low-cost implant solutions. And while you may feel comfortable with generic toilet paper and ketchup, when it comes to generic dental implants, tread lightly. Ask your dentist about the research behind that particular implant brand, especially long-term outcomes. Choosing a solution based strictly on cost may result in less experienced individuals conducting the procedure. Done incorrectly, the damage to gums, bone, and mouth can be extensive. Sometimes, dental implants may not be the best solution for you and other restorative options should be offered and considered.
Technology has advanced since the days of our first U.S. President. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options for a healthy smile.
Dr. Dragana Angelova
Imperial Dental Center
“We love to see you smile”