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Restorative dental treatments such as gold wire implants have been around back since the time when Egypt was ruled by the Pharaohs. Move aside the $2 tooth fairies- dental implants have always been expensive!
These days, implants aren’t gold – but they are still expensive. In the US, they cost $2,000 to $4,000 for a single tooth, excluding the crown. It’s rare that this is covered by insurance, meaning this entire cost is going straight from your bank account. And this cost is for a single tooth; full upper or lower jaw implants can cost $25,000 to $50,000 or more. There are even treatments like the Zygoma implant, a solution for full teeth replacement that need no bone graft, designed for people who don’t have enough bone in their jaw for a successful standard dental implant.
The high cost could be a deterrent for treatment, with many people unable to afford such an expensive procedure. Currently, one-quarter of U.S. adults over 65 are completely toothless. Despite the cost, dental implants provide a solution for people who want to make a good impression, or just enjoy a good meal without pain or irritation.
What is a Dental Implant?
First, you have to understand what a dental implant is. An implant now abandons the Egyptian’s preference for gold and instead uses a titanium implant. This is then surgically embedded into the jawbone. This is then used as an anchor for the finished implant. Its role is to replace the roots of the extracted tooth.
The first step for getting an implant is to get a consultation from a regular dentist. If recommended then the implant is implemented by a prosthodontist, oral surgeon, or periodontist.
Not choosing the right company for dental implants can be a debacle, so choose wisely. Make sure you find someone who is highly qualified, can explain all the options to you, and who you feel comfortable with.
Why Would You Get Dental Implants?
There are a couple of reasons why someone with dental issues can consider this kind of expensive treatment.
A Better Set of Teeth
Your teeth are subject to a huge amount of wear and tear. Age doesn’t help, and poor oral health can contribute to loss of teeth. Instead of wearing a set of dentures which causes a lot of wear and tear of tissue and has the potential to slide, implants look natural and improve chewing efficiency so that an older person does not have to sacrifice eating his or her favourite foods. Dental implants are extremely durable and could last for life if they are maintained well.
Age Appropriate Treatment
Implants offer the older generation many benefits that bridges and dentures don’t. The older generation may not have had the benefits of great dental care when young or fluoridated water, and as a result, their oral health could be poor. This is when implants are a good option.
Despite a majority of people with implants being older, there is no age barrier. Even young people with tooth issues can opt for this kind of dental treatment provided the patient has healthy gums and bone support in the jaw area. A denture for young people might be to replace a broken tooth, rather than general degradation of the whole set of teeth as in older people.
Smokers and diabetics may not be ideal candidates for implants or someone in poor health in general.
Implants Are a Long-Term Process
The implant is done in several sittings. Firstly, the problematic tooth is extracted. Then, the titanium root-replacement is surgically embedded into the jaw and the wounds around the gum are stitched shut. This is then given time, allowing the flesh to heal and the implant to firmly root into the jaw.
A few months later once the bone in the jaw has fused around the implant, an abutment – a titanium post – is screwed into that previously rooted implant onto which, the permanent crown, bridge or denture is attached.
Implants can be done in one-stage implant procedures though this could be challenging. Your dental specialist will be able to advise if this is an option for you.
Implants usually last a lifetime and failure rates are less than five per cent. Implants in the upper jaw fail more often as the bone there is less dense, which is why often a bone graft or bone regeneration membrane is required.
Once you have an implant, daily brushing and flossing are a must, as are regular professional cleanings and examinations. Tooth grinding and smoking increase the risk that implants will fail.
Bridges cause a lot of damage to the adjacent healthy teeth and this can be avoided while using dental implants. These ensure that the healthy teeth do not suffer because of the dental prosthesis put into place.
Questions to Consider Before Getting Dental Implants
Understand the potential risks of getting dental implants. As with any other surgical procedure, it is important to be aware that dental implants may not always be successful. There are scenarios when the new teeth can pop out of your mouth leaving your mouth with hideous gaps. The surgery can lead to infections or sinus issues, which is why it’s important to choose the right provider.
When making a decision, you want to compare implants with bridges and dentures when it comes to cost, comfort, and durability.
Make sure the practitioner you choose is experienced. Ask about training, how long he or she has been doing implants, and the treatment steps involved.
Be involved with your dentist even after the implant. Regular check-ups and good oral hygiene could make the dental implant worth the money spent.