Dental Implants are Quickly Replacing Dentures and Bridges as a Permanent Solution to Missing Teeth

posted by Chris Valentine

Dental implants are becoming much more common now as a way to replace missing or damaged teeth. Many years ago, when teeth were removed, the only real solutions were to have a dental bridge which had false teeth attached, or dentures. A bridge required that the surrounding teeth be prepared by grinding down, or other procedures, while dentures could slip out and cause slurred speech and other issues. Dental implants have changed all this now and are more readily available and a much better option for natural results in the replacement of missing, damaged, or removed teeth. The benefits of having dental implants are numerous!

With dental implants oral health and hygiene improves. General health can also improve as individuals can chew food and digest better. The implants can last for years or even a lifetime. Dental implants can also often boost self-esteem. They are permanent so look and feel just like actual teeth. They also do not require much upkeep and can replace even unwanted metal fillings that are either bad looking or are constantly falling out. The benefits are many. Of course, success rates of the implants can vary depending upon where the implant is placed. However, dental implants do boast an almost 99% success rate.

Over three million individuals in the United States alone select dental implants with a staggering 500,000 each year choosing these replacements over other options. Dental implants have a simple three-process procedure:
A. A titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone.
B. A crown that looks like the missing or replacement tooth.
C. A connection piece called an abutment that joins everything together.

While dental implants remain popular because they don’t decay, the time for the procedure does take more than one trip to a dentist or oral surgeon, with a partial plate used in the meantime sometimes. Costs can also be somewhat prohibitive, as these implants can cost as much as $4,000.00 for one tooth. More individuals might choose them if they could, but insurance companies generally don’t pay towards the costs of dental implants.

Specialists in the procedure, called prosthodontists may sometimes be recommended for patients with uncontrolled diabetes, those who smoke, or others that have certain health problems, as although simple checkups on the implants will maintain them, complex health or lifestyle issues can many times make the procedure more difficult to perform. Accreditations do exist for dentists who perform the procedure. A prosthodontist is a specialist in dental procedures that requires extra training and extra certifications and will indeed drive up the cost of a dental implant if they need to be used. However, if a prosthodontist is needed in a difficult case, the outcome may very well ensure more success of the implant overall. Prosthodontists are recognized by the American Dental Association in the United States, as well as several international organizations because of the extra trainings and certifications needed to perform complex dental implantations.

If someone chooses to have dental implants, it is always wise to do a lot of research beforehand. A dentist’s credentials should be checked and if possible, others that have had the procedure should be spoken to. While most dentists that do the procedure might be reliable, there can be some, as in any profession that do not get as good a result as others might. Since it’s a costly procedure, doing the research is the best avenue to having it done successfully by any dentist or prosthodontist.

The need to have dental implants or other restorations usually occurs because of gum disease, slips and falls that break a tooth, grinding or clenching of teeth or other types of health issues, including adult aging. Although the costs can be prohibitive for the dental implants, many dentists and prosthodontists now offer financing options after aligning themselves with companies that provide financial loans and services. This extra affiliation can make a big difference for individuals that want the dental implants but could not otherwise afford them. Some financial companies have been doing this for quite some time and are nationwide with thousands of dentists and prosthodontists offering their services to their own patients.

The United States Institute of Health suggests also researching what type of materials will be used in a dental implant as costs and overall success rate can also hinge on this factor. Older materials, whether composite or not can sometimes suffice, but newer biomedical materials that are constantly evolving can many times be suggested for difficult cases and have a better result and success rate.

A balance is struck in each dental implant case between complexity, medical history, location of the dental implant and of course, the skill of the dentist or prosthodontist. Research and careful thought by patients is always, always necessary before proceeding!

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