The mere mention of dental implants can bring on a long list of questions. “What are dental implants? Are they a good option for me? How long do dental implants last? What is the cost of dental implants?”
We’ve done our best to answer all those questions (and more), but the best way to get an answer specific to your situation is to ask your dentist. Your dentist can do a full exam, review your medical history, and give you a clear answer that improves your dental health and—for those self-conscious by missing teeth—your appearance. What are dental implants?
If you have missing teeth, there are a few options for replacing teeth, such as dentures, bridgework, and dental implants. Dental implants are, essentially, fake roots and teeth. The term “implants” refers to titanium posts surgically placed into the jaw bone. Each post acts as a root and fuses to the jaw bone, making it a long-lasting and sturdy solution for people missing teeth. The post is attached to a porcelain crown that looks just like a real tooth.
Why are dental implants a good option?
There are many reasons that dental implants are a good option for patients with missing teeth (or teeth that need to be removed). Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth. For long-term maintenance, dental implants are easy to care for, requiring only a regular brushing and flossing. Because the post fuses to the jaw, dental implants fit securely in the mouth (unlike dentures) and can improve speech.
Patients considering dental implants should consult their dentist at their next appointment. You may be a good match if you have a fully-grown jawbone (not young children), missing teeth, and healthy tissue.
When are dental implants not right for a patient?
Most people are good candidates for dental implants. The dentist may not recommend dental implants for patients with certain uncontrolled medical conditions. Other issues may play a role in deciding whether dental implants are a good fit or not; patients with diseased oral tissue or not enough bone for implants should consult their dentist to determine if dental implants are a good solution.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants do not degrade like bridgework, which needs to be replaced every 10 years. In fact, dental implants only need to be replaced if there is an issue with infection or if the dental implant becomes loose or damaged.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants depends on the procedure. If you are considering dental implants, contact your insurance company to get information.