Having missing teeth may be common, but that doesn't mean it can't affect your confidence and overall self-esteem. If you hide your smile because you're self-conscious about your missing teeth, consider replacement options such as dental implants. If you are unfamiliar with dental implants, check out these frequently asked questions to determine if dental implants are the right choice for you.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Like natural healthy teeth, dental implants typically work by using the jawbone for support. After the tooth is extracted, a titanium implant is inserted in the gums like an artificial tooth root. The jawbone fuses to the titanium implant as it heals.
Once the artificial root is strong enough, the crown is placed to fill in the missing tooth. Depending on how many teeth you are missing, you may need a single implant, implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported dentures.
Are Other Procedures Necessary?
In some cases, other procedures may be necessary before the implant can be placed (such as having the damaged tooth extracted). These other procedures are designed to boost the success rate of the implant.
If your teeth have been missing for a long time, your jawbone may not be strong enough to support natural teeth or an implant. In this case, a bone graft may be needed to add volume to the jawbone and strengthen it to be able to support the implant.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Dental implants aren't a cheap investment. They may cost you at least $2,400 for a single implant, and that doesn't include the cost of other procedures you may need, such as an extraction or bone graft. With those included, you may end up paying closer to $10,000 for a single implant.
Insurance doesn't usually pay for dental implants, but they may pay for some of the additional services and procedures such as the extraction and sedation. Talk to your insurance company to see how much you can expect to pay out-of-pocket.
Will Dental Implants Last Forever?
Patients love dental implants because they are durable. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that uses the jawbone for support like natural teeth. The jawbone absorbs all the stress and strain from eating, making the implants stronger.
With proper care, your dental implant may last for many years. However, even with great care, dental bridges and dentures will likely need to be replaced eventually, costing you more money in the future.
How Long Does Treatment Take to Complete?
Some patients shy away from dental implants because the treatment can take between five and eight months, but depending on how many other procedures you need, it could take longer.
The first phase of a dental implant is the evaluation and preparation, which is when a bone graft would be placed, if necessary. The second phase is inserting the artificial root, which needs three to six months to heal. Once the area's healed, phase three involves placing the crown on the implant.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
To be a good candidate for dental implants, you must have a healthy mouth. For many people, this may mean seeking treatment for uncontrolled periodontal disease. You should also not have an untreated disease that affects healing, such as diabetes. Finally, you need to be committed to good oral hygiene after the procedure to prevent complications, such as implant failure or peri-implant disease.
Having missing teeth is embarrassing and can affect how people view you, but there are many ways you can replace missing teeth for a more attractive smile. For more information about dental implants or other toothreplacement options, give us a call today to schedule your first appointment with us.