Have you heard of dental implants, but are unsure of exactly what they are? You’re not alone. Many people are not just unclear as to what an implant is, but also as to who is eligible for this procedure.
Simply put, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root, often in the form of a small man-made titanium screw, that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or decay. Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth and are superior to traditional bridgework, as implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. In fact dental implants are so natural-looking and feeling, you may forget you ever lost a tooth. They look, feel and function like natural teeth.
People of all ages are candidates for implants, as the determining factor is not age, but general health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, so the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease, but usually if you are are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you are probably healthy enough to receive dental implants.
The benefits of implant treatment include the enhanced ability to chew and enjoy your food and often protection of your remaining teeth and jawbone. Implants also help in supporting dentures, give dentures higher stability. Also, not to be ignored, are the esthetic benefits. By supporting the jawbone, implants encourage long-term facial integrity and prevent a “caved-in” appearance, allowing patients to preserve a youthful look. Implants allow you to speak clearly, eat and drink with ease, and smile with confidence. So much do implants look, feel and function like your real teeth, that no one will ever know they are not.
Amazingly, most patients can expect their implants to last for a lifetime. Just as your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits, dental implants will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply, but they take no more effort than you would devote to your own natural teeth.
The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants will depend on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of implants required to support your replacement teeth. It is important to note that you do not necessarily need an implant for each missing root. Additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants, but your dentist will examine your mouth and provide you with a fee estimate prior to the procedure. After a diagnostic examination, your dentist will recommend the treatment that is best for you and tell you what your investment would be for the procedure. Knowing that the implant is very likely to last you the rest of your life though, means that this particular investment will be worth your while.
If the reliable, long-lasting benefits of dental implants appeal to you, why not ask your dentist about them? You’ll be glad you did.