Dental implants are the new standard of care for tooth replacement. They are secured into the bone to provide permanent support for crowns and dentures. Losing one or more of your teeth creates a gap in your smile, affects your ability to chew properly, and can alter your diet and nutrition. While these are all serious issues, did you know that tooth loss also causes bone loss?
When a tooth is lost, the jawbone beneath it begins to shrink (or atrophy) and becomes brittle from lack of exercise. Not only does losing a tooth affect your smile, it also changes the shape of your face causing you to look prematurely aged.
The benefits of dental implants include:
- replaces missing teeth
- stops bone loss
- maintains your youthful appearance
- restores your natural smile
Individual missing teeth can be replaced by dental implants without altering your healthy adjacent teeth. Once dental implants are placed, posts (or abutments) are attached, providing support for your final crowns. This helps maintain the bone, preserves the healthy teeth surrounding the area, helps maintain a healthy smile, and gives patients full chewing capabilities.
If all upper or lower teeth are missing, multiple dental implants may be used to support a denture. Due to bone loss, traditional dentures may become loose and unstable over time. Dental implant supported dentures stops bone loss, so dentures remain stable in your mouth.
The Implant Process
Your dental professional will take x-rays and create a model of your existing teeth to determine implant position. Occasionally, a bone graft or gum tissue graft will be needed to create an adequate site for the dental implants.
Dental implants are placed into the bone in a relatively pain-free procedure. The bone and gums will be given time to heal before an abutment and crown are attached. In some cases, you can receive a temporary crown the same day the implant is placed.
Dental implants can be placed in most adults. Adolescents may be eligible once the facial structure has matured. Certain uncontrolled medical conditions may decrease implant treatment effectiveness, so first discuss your full medical history with your doctor. Patient results may vary. Only a trained clinician can determine the best treatment plan. Please ask your doctor to explain the benefits and risks to see if dental implants are right for you.
Implants & Insurance
The value of dental implants far exceeds conventional treatment options. Insurance policies vary but most cover a portion of the restorative procedure. Financing options are often available with competitive interest rates, and payments can be tailored to your budget.