You’ve had a tooth extraction, or maybe you’re going to have one. Your dentist says your a good candidate for a tooth implant. You like the idea of not having dentures or bridges, but you’re not sure what’s involved.
What a Dental Implant Is
Dental implants are substitutions for your natural teeth. When properly installed, they have the look and feel of the tooth you lost and becomes a permanent part of your mouth. Once successfully done, never have to worry about the implant again. It replaces your tooth’s roots and has a crown attached to it. You can eat and chew on the implant just as you would a normal tooth.
What is a Dental Implant Made of?
Most dental implants are made of titanium. This metal has a special property of being able to bond with bone and thus becomes a permanent fixture in your mouth. You do not see the titanium once the crown is in place. The titanium part lies below your gum line and in your jaw.
Why Should I Get an Implant Over a Bridge or Dentures?
Dentures can be ill fitting and uncomfortable. They can affect your speech and eating. What’s more, they’re inconvenient because they’re removable. You have to worry about denture adhesives and getting them clean. What’s more, both dentures and bridges require that teeth around them be reduced so that they can fit properly. That can cause more problems with your teeth. What’s more, bridges require special flossing to keep your gums healthy. You can avoid the extra hassle by getting an implant.
What’s Involved in Getting an Implant?
Dental implants take a while to do and are done in stages. The first stage after removing your tooth is to install the implant. It’s put under the gum and even with the bone so that it can attach properly. The next step after it heals is to install a post (called an abutment) that will provide a platform for the crown. After that heals, the dentist then adds the crown which will serve as your new tooth. Much of this is done under sedation.
While this process is lengthy and may take several months, according to WebMD, it can have up to a 98 percent success rate. And once it’s done, you don’t have to worry about that tooth again.
Will My Insurance Pay for It?
It’s best to ask your insurance up front if it will pay for implants. Some do not even though it may cost the same as a bridge and is superior to a bridge or dentures. If your insurance does not pay for it, consider asking your dentist to spread out the time between stages or work with you on financing it. Paying upfront for work done, paying cash, or being uninsured may give you a bit of a break. If your dentist is unwilling to work with you, you can always shop around and find a dentist willing to to work with you.