Sometimes we forget to take care of our essential health needs because we tend to put others first. Taking kids to school, taking care of the household and helping others are examples of what responsible heads of households tend to put first, sometimes at the expense of their own needs. But what happens when your children grow up, leave home and start their own families? This is the time when you can finally focus on your own desires and devote time to yourself, your health, your appearance and even your smile.
Did you know that almost one-third of the older adults in America have untreated tooth decay that leads to loss of teeth? Missing teeth can negatively affect your self-confidence. They can also affect your entire oral health and even lead to severe health problems. Luckily, there are several options for replacement, including temporary or permanent dentures and dental implants.
Dental Implants Vs. Dentures
Dental implants are preferable for those who have only one or two teeth missing. Unlike dentures, which don’t permanently attach to your mouth, dental implants secure with surgically implanted metal posts. Once metal posts are placed, your dentist will mount replacement teeth onto them. Replacement teeth are usually made from ceramic or resin and can be brushed and flossed normally after a brief recovery period. They look natural and create the appearance of a healthy smile.
Since dental implants are permanently attached to your jawbone, unlike dentures, they can stay in your mouth all day and night. Even more durable than natural teeth, they can last up to 20 years with proper care.
Dental Implant Cost
It should be no great surprise to you by now – dental implants do require a higher investment than that alternative of dentures. That being said, we suggest looking at the entire picture from a quality of life and maintenance aspect. Typically, an implant can cost several thousand dollars
Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
The real answer lies with your insurance carrier. We’ve seen some insurance programs provide a percentage of coverage for a patients implant. And we’ve seen other insurance that does not cover any of the implant; however, it’s important to note some insurance will cover the extraction of the tooth and bone grafting.
How Do Implants Work?
During the surgical procedure, your dentist will drill a tiny hole in your jaw bone to anchor the screw. He or she will then insert the implant into the bone via an anchor screw to replace the missing tooth. The implant will have a small connector post attached to a prosthetic tooth to match the color of your natural teeth. The surgery usually takes an hour per tooth. Generally, local anesthesia makes it painless for most patients.
Dental implants are usually very stable and won’t slip or shift in your mouth, making your dental experience comfortable and secure. Custom made just for you, they perfectly fit in your mouth and don’t require any grinding of surrounding teeth to keep them in place.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
If you have cracked, damaged or missing teeth, you may consider dental implants. Always speak with your dentist first to help you determine if this procedure is right for you. If your jawbone and gums are in healthy condition, dental implants are right for you! Although artificial implants serve as a permanent replacement for your natural teeth, they still require care for long-term success. Thorough oral hygiene and regular dental visits help ensure the success of implants.
Most people are good candidates for getting dental implants. You must have enough bone in your jaw to accept an implant. You should be free of advanced periodontal disease as it may complicate the outcome – but each case is completely different.
If your mouth and jaws aren’t in their best shape, your dentist will recommend preliminary procedures to get them up to par. For example, if you don’t have enough bone to support an implant, you may need to have the bone built up. A common procedure called bone grafting or augmentation will do this. Once a bone graft is done, you will need to allow four to eight months to heal before having the implants. During that time, you can wear dentures or a bridge.
If you have questions about whether implants are right for you, call us. We offer free consultations where all of your options will be presented to you. If you’d like to bring your spouse, child or caretaker to our office, we are more than happy to have them sit in.
Need a lift? In some cases, we may be able to offer transportation services to and from our office.