Three of the most prevalent causes of missing teeth are tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, and injury. The cosmetic implications are evident, but there are many other issues that can arise when one or more teeth are missing. Shifting teeth, speech issues, and even bone loss can occur, and difficulty chewing can lead to even more serious maladies like diabetes and malnutrition. Dental implants may be able to change all of that.
What Are Dental Implants?
Unlike dental veneers, which are applied to the surface of the teeth, dental implants replace the root of the tooth. Through a successful combination of oral surgery and restorative dentistry, a titanium implant is placed in the bone socket of the missing tooth, on which a post and then a crown is attached.
Dental implants are customized to the patient from the very beginning, starting with the treatment plan. In most cases, the crowns or caps can be made right there in the office and can match the surrounding teeth. As part of your oral health care treatment plan, you and your dental professional will decide if fixed or removable dental implants will work best for you.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
There is a plethora of benefits of dental implants, both physical and psychological. Sometimes patients do not realize how great of an impact a single missing tooth is having on their lives and how much a dental implant may improve their quality of life. The potential benefits of dental implants include:
- Brightened smile
- Improved speech
- Easier eating and digesting
- Cleaner mouth
- Increased self-confidence
Should I Get a Dental Implant?
If you are missing even one tooth, you should talk to your dentist about getting a dental implant. You and your restorative dentistry professional will discuss the criteria for a dental implant, which include, but are not limited to:
- Good overall health
- Adequate jawbone support
- Healthy gums
- Commitment to good oral health
- No teeth clenching or grinding
Covering the Costs of a Dental Implant
According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the average cost of a single tooth dental implant is $3,000 to $4,500. Insurance coverage varies by company and plan, so you or your dental office should get verification of what is and is not covered before you proceed. Some dental offices offer financing or payment plans.
If you are one of the more than 120 million people in the United States missing one or more teeth, the answer to “Should I get a dental implant?” is a resounding yes. From the time you walk in through the South Temple Dental door to the time you walk back out with your new smile, our caring and expert staff are there to help every step of the way.