Dental Implants: What You Need to Know
Dental implants have been called the most significant dental innovation of our generation—and for good reason. Here are the top five things to know about dental implants:
1. What a dental implant is: Dental implants are comprised of three parts—a post, a crown, and an abutment—that work together to permanently replace missing teeth. The implants themselves are titanium screws (posts) that are placed in the jaw bone to replace teeth. Titanium is commonly used by medical surgeons to replace joints, fix spinal problems, and even reconstruct bones damaged during injury. The titanium fuses with the bone, so the bone can grow directly to the titanium screws, allowing for a solid attachment to an individual’s new tooth or teeth. Dental implants are permanent, so they are as close to replacing a natural tooth as the dental profession can currently provide.
2. Dental implants can save your jawbone: When a tooth is lost, whether from disease or extraction, the lack of stimulation that tooth provided causes the supporting bone in the jaw to dissolve - a process called resorption. The longer the tooth is missing, the greater the amount of bone loss. Because dental implants, which are made from medical-grade titanium, actually fuse with the jawbone, they stabilize and stimulate it to maintain its dimension and density, and put a permanent end to the worry and pain caused by missing or failing teeth.
3. Almost anyone is a candidate for dental implants: Most people can receive implants without problems. Age, by itself, isn’t a factor in determining whether or not you can get implants. And the presence of certain chronic diseases, or the fact that you may regularly take particular medications, doesn’t rule out implant treatment either. In fact, there are typically only a small number of circumstances that would preclude dental implants.
4. They last longer than dentures and provide benefits that dentures do not: Dental implant supported teeth are the most advanced technology to replace missing or failing teeth. Dental implants maintain jawbone levels and prevent future bone loss, helping to restore and provide proper oral health. Additionally, dental implants help maintain adequate bite force or chewing ability, which can decrease when one wears dentures. Unlike dentures, which sit along the gum line, dental implants are titanium screws that allow for direct attachment to new teeth. This means they won't be dislodged during chewing, sporting activities, or speech, therefore decreasing the likelihood of potentially embarrassing or socially limiting situations. Dental implants have the ability to increase patient confidence, comfort, and overall quality of life.
5. They are an investment: Of course, cost is a concern for many people who are considering dental implants. At ClearChoice, implant treatment procedures range from $4,000 - $8,000 for single implant cases, and full arch restoration procedures range from $20,000–$26,000 per arch. Financing options with leading healthcare lenders are available.