When you’re missing teeth or have to have teeth removed, their absence can be embarrassing and can make it difficult to eat, speak or even go about your daily activities. Today we’re looking at dental implants and how they can help you with your condition. We’ll look at what makes them so popular, what the procedure to implant them looks like, and how they stack up to bridges and dentures.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a relatively knew dental surgical solution for missing teeth. For years, the main way to address lost teeth has been through dentures or bridges. However, dental implants allow for an artificial root to be implanted in the gum to act as a foundation for either fixed or removable replacement teeth.
As such, they are dental prosthetics, not unlike dentures or bridges. By contract, they are much more in-depth to get: as the name suggests, they have to be implanted directly into your gum. This means that the procedure to get them involves dental surgery, which is daunting for more reasons than just a fear of drills.
Why Would You Need Them?
Generally speaking, you would only get a dental implant if you were missing a tooth, or teeth. Typically, people lose teeth to tooth decay, injury or, occasionally, through periodontal disease. Often, younger patients who lose teeth prefer to not have dentures or bridges, due to those prosthetics’ reputations as being for older people only.
Dental implants offer a number of benefits for patients of any age, though. Firstly, they tend to look better than older prosthetic types. They both look and feel like the patient’s own teeth, since they fuse with the bone and are permanent fixtures.
Dental Implant Benefits
There are other benefits for dental implants than just appearance, though. They also offer better comfort, as they are more closely fitted to your own mouth and fit with the rest of your teeth in a natural way, unlike bridges or dentures. Your speech, likewise, is improved when you’re speaking with implants versus dentures, which can slip or slide and cause you to slur or mumble.
Dental implants are also great for your self-esteem. Since they’re a part of your actual body, there’s no embarrassment about having them. They are more durable, on average, than other prosthetics and can even last an entire lifetime if properly cared for. Finally, dental implants are just more convenient than removable dentures: you don’t have to worry about forgetting them or losing them. They’re just like having your actual teeth.
A drawback to dental implants, as with almost all cosmetic surgeries, is that they are often not covered by insurance. This means you’ll likely have to pay mostly out of pocket to cover the costs of the procedure. As such, you might find dental implants prohibitively expensive compared to other options. However, in some cases, depending on the cause of your tooth loss, insurance may cover the costs of the implants. Your individual case can vary.
In general, however, dental implants are more costly than dentures or bridges. This is because they become a part of your body: they fuse with your bones and act much like your own natural teeth.
Getting a dental implant is a much more in-depth process, of course, than getting fitted for dentures or a bridge. It involves a surgical procedure that implants a synthetic tooth root in your gum, meaning you’ll have to get a personalized treatment plan from the dental team.
After the procedure, it can take up to twelve weeks for the gum to heal around the implant. After that, an abutment is attached to the implant to hold the new tooth. Finally, the new false teeth, called crowns, are attached to the abutments and become part of your bite.