It’s no laughing matter when you lose a tooth. Replacing a lost tooth or even several missing teeth with false teeth or partials that don’t fit right could be enough to make you never want to smile again. Dental implants however can fill those gaps in your smile naturally and comfortably. If you are thinking of seeing a cosmetic dentist to ask if you’re a candidate for a dental implant or several implants, here are a few facts about these permanent, artificial teeth you should know before you book that appointment.
Not Everyone is a Candidate for Dental Implants
Many people believe that anyone with missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants. However, the truth is that people with gum disease are not good candidates. The only way a person with gum disease can have implants put in is if a periodontist says that it’s alright to undergo the dental implant process once the gum disease is treated. You have to have healthy gums in order to have implants placed as the implants need a lot of support which only is available if the surrounding gum tissue is healthy.
It Takes Several Months to Complete Treatment
Getting a dental implant is not a one-time deal. The entire process of having the implant put in completely can take anywhere from three to nine months or even more. This is because once the titanium rod is placed in the jawbone, the bone needs several weeks to heal so that it correctly fuses with the post. It is only after this healing process is completed can the artificial tooth top or crown be placed on the post to finish the treatment.
Complete Sets of Implants Can Cost Tens of Thousands of Dollars
One of the main drawbacks to dental implants is the cost. Filling just one space with a single implant can cost up to $4000. If you happen to need a full upper and full lower set of dental implants, you can expect your total bill to skyrocket into the tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, the cost of implants does vary from one cosmetic dentist to another and there are certain parts of the country that cost more for cosmetic dentistry in general.
Dental Implants are Not Good For Kids or Teens
If you have a young child or teenager with missing permanent teeth, don’t expect your dentist to talk to you about dental implants. Dental implants are not used to replace missing teeth in youngsters because kids are still growing. A growing child’s jaw will naturally shift as he or she ages which would not be conducive to a permanently placed dental implant. However, there are some situations in which implants and orthodontics can work together in young people.
The Procedure is Invasive
Do not expect to breeze through a dental implant procedure with just a local anesthesia. Having implants placed in your jawbone is invasive wherein your dentist will need to cut into both the gums and bone. Most often, general or sedation anesthesia is used for the placement of the titanium rod. However, local anesthesia could be enough for some of the later stage restoration work.
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Becki Olsen is a dental hygienist. She loves to write about dental health and dental cares.
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