According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), in the U.S. about 90% of the people belonging to the age group 20 and above have had cavities at some point in their life. As per American Academy of Implant Dentistry, in the U.S. around 3 million individuals have dental implants and this figure is growing by 500,000 a year.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants act as a replacement for natural teeth. The difference between them and dentures is that they are replaced from right within the root. A small titanium column is placed in the location of the missing tooth, on which a crown is mounted. As the jawbone heals around it, the titanium post is securely anchored to the jaw.
What are the benefits of having dental implants?
- Appearance: They are very useful to improve your appearance, they look and feel like your own teeth and since they are replaced right from the roots, they are permanent. They allow you to maintain the contour of your face and your jawline since no adjacent teeth need to be extracted.
- Comfort: they’re super comfortable as they’re permanent and tailor made to fit you.
- Speech: They allow you to speak freely and without slurring or stammering due to ill-fitting dentures.
- Easy to eat: Dentures, even when they fit right, can sometimes make eating painful and super arduous. Dental implants aren’t a bother and you can enjoy eating what you love.
- Self-esteem: Bad teeth ruining your smile? That won’t happen anymore with dental implants.
- Oral health: As dental Implants don’t need you to extract other teeth since any nearby teeth are not affected by this procedure. You can preserve your natural teeth and replace the bad ones without a hassle.
- Convenient: Dentures are removable for sure, but need to be stored in the solvent. Also not to mention how embarrassing it is.
- Durable: Being permanent, with basic dental care, these implants will last for a long time.
Is the procedure dangerous?
Dental implants have a 98% success rate and not dangerous in the least. As mentioned earlier, with good dental care, they can last for a lifetime.
Who can get them?
Anyone with healthy gums and enough bone can undergo the procedure. Persons who are fit to undertake a standard dental procedure can get dental implants without too much of a hassle. Your dentist will be the best guide on whether the procedure is suitable for you based on your dental history and overall health.
Does my insurance cover the cost?
Most insurance policies do not cover dental implants presently, however your medical insurance may be able to cover it based on your plan and why the procedure is required. Your insurance provider can help you figure it out. Or you can look for affordable dental implants here.
How do I do it?
It begins with deciding which implant option best suits your needs. Based on your dental health and requirement for implants, a team of specialized professionals can help you identify the best choice.
Once the procedure is complete, healing takes between 8-12 weeks. After the implant has fused to the jawbone, a small connector post – known as an abutment — is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. The new tooth or set of teeth is modeled on the impressions of your teeth, which is created based on a model of your bite (all your teeth, their type, and arrangement). A crown is then attached to the abutment.
Your dentist also will match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured within the jawbone, the replacement teeth shall look, feel, and function just like your own natural teeth.
Does it hurt?
Local anesthesia is used during the procedure, the entire process is almost painless. Patients who’ve implants have reported the pain to be much lesser than having teeth extracted.
Is it tedious to maintain?
Not at all, since its permanent, there is not much maintenance involved. Basic dental care is sufficient to make sure that the implants stay healthy for a long time. Regular flossing and regular visits to the dentist should help your implants stay in top shape. It is advised to avoid smoking since that could potentially damage your implants and crowns as well as your natural teeth.
Need more info? Visit the American Dental Association’s website now.