Dental implants are metal screws that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. The metal implant then fuses with the bone, creating a strong bond. As a result, the implant becomes a new tooth root, and the crown is attached. With proper care, implants can last for many years, sometimes a lifetime. This makes them an excellent solution for repairing damaged or missing teeth.
Many factors can contribute to damaged teeth, including tooth decay, trauma or injury, and poor oral hygiene. Some patients also develop gum disease or have a condition known as bruxism, which causes them to grind their teeth while sleeping. These problems can lead to tooth loss or gaps between remaining teeth. When left untreated, missing teeth can cause other problems, such as difficulty chewing food properly, problems with speech, or embarrassment about your smile. A dental implant can restore the appearance and functionality of your teeth and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Reasons to Get a Dental Implant
There are many reasons to get an implant to replace missing or damaged teeth. Here are some of the reasons:
- Restore Your Smile – Replacing missing teeth can help you improve your appearance and restore confidence. This can help you smile more openly and enjoy a better quality of life. In addition, dental implants can also be used to replace removable dentures if you have lost all of your natural teeth.
- Improve Your Oral Health – Missing teeth can affect your ability to chew properly and cause other oral health problems. Replacing missing teeth with an implant can prevent further damage to your mouth and improve your overall dental health.
- Protect Your Jawbone – A missing tooth can lead to bone loss in the jaw. Over time, this can lead to facial sagging or unevenness of the jaw. An implant can help prevent this by stimulating your jawbone and preventing it from deteriorating.
- Prevent Adjacent Teeth from Shifting – When a missing tooth is not replaced, the surrounding teeth may shift to fill empty spaces. This can cause problems with your bite and lead to further tooth loss. An implant can prevent these adjacent teeth from shifting and help you maintain a healthy, stable bite for years.
- Preserve Natural Tooth Structure – When you miss teeth, the surrounding teeth can sometimes become damaged. This can be due to pressure from the missing tooth or adjacent teeth that have shifted to fill the space. As a result, it is important to replace missing teeth to preserve the remaining teeth' health and prevent damage from occurring.
Dental Implant Procedure
First, your dentist will place the implant into the empty socket where the missing tooth or teeth were located. After the dentist has prepared your jaw for the implant placement procedure, a small incision is made in your gums so the implant can be placed. The surgeon will insert the implant through the incision and secure it using a temporary covering. This will protect the exposed implant while the gums heal around it. Once the gums have healed, your permanent crown or bridge will be attached to the implant. The entire process takes several months to complete but is completely worth it.
You'll have to avoid chewing hard foods, brushing or flossing near the implant site, and drinking through a straw during the healing process. However, this should be brief, and you'll soon be able to resume your normal lifestyle. To ensure that your dental implant lasts a lifetime, it's important to take good care of it daily. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist for cleanings and check-ups.
Likely Costs of a Dental Implant
The cost depends on the type of implant used, the number of implants required, and other factors, such as the complexity of the treatment. The price can range from $1,000 to $10,000 per implant.
In most cases, dental insurance does not cover the cost of dental implants, so you'll have to pay for them out-of-pocket. Talk to your dentist about the available payment options and find out if you need to arrange any financing for your treatment.
Financial planners offer financing options to help you pay for your surgery over time without worrying about high-interest rates or additional charges. Your dentist will discuss your options and help you devise a plan that will work within your budget.
Dental implants are an excellent option for individuals who have lost teeth due to trauma, gum disease, or any other reason. As long as they are properly cared for and maintained, dental implants can improve the appearance of your smile, your ability to chew and speak properly, your self-esteem and confidence, and even help preserve the jawbone. It would be best if you decided on receiving a dental implant in consultation with a dentist to make sure it’s the ideal solution for you.