Seven Ways Dental Implants Are Worth the Cost
Missing teeth mar your smile and can leave you feeling embarrassed and self-conscious. Fortunately, restorative and cosmetic dentists offer a number of effective tooth replacement options. Dental implants are a comparatively recent development in dentistry, but their aesthetic and practical benefits have made them a popular option.
What Are Implants?
Implants are permanent replacement teeth. To place an implant, your dentist or oral surgeon will surgically embed a biocompatible titanium post in your gums. As your gums heal, the tissue and underlying jaw bone will grow around the post. This process, known as osseointegration, allows the post to replace the natural tooth root. When healing is complete, your dentist will attach an abutment piece and a permanent crown to the top of this post. Implants can replace one or more missing teeth, and implant-supported dentures allow you to replace an entire arch of teeth.
The Benefits of Implants
Insurance does not always cover the cost of tooth replacement treatments, and some patients hesitate to choose implants. Although implants can cost significantly more than other dental restorations, such as bridges and dentures, their many advantages make them an invaluable investment. These benefits include:
1. Durability - Implants typically last longer than any other type of dental restoration. With proper care, implants can last the rest of your life. In comparison, crowns typically must be replaced every 15 years, although their lifetime varies, depending on the material with which they are made.
2. Easy Maintenance - Dental implants are easy to maintain, which makes it even more likely that they will last the rest of your life. You should care for your implants just like you care for your natural teeth: with daily brushing and flossing and with regular visits to your dentist.
3. Lifelike Appearance - Implants are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Because they are surgically placed, they sit naturally against your gums. In addition, dental crowns are custom made to match your surrounding teeth. New developments, such as CEREC® technology, enable dentists to create restorations using digital maps of your natural teeth.
4. Functions Naturally - Because implants are permanent, you will not have to deal with the embarrassment of slipping teeth. Unlike dentures, implants never cause humiliating speech impediments, and with implants, you can continue to enjoy all your favorite foods.
5. Protects Surrounding Teeth - Bridges are a common method of tooth replacement. Because they are held in place by dental crowns on the adjacent teeth, a dentist must reshape these other teeth when placing a bridge. Implants, on the other hand, stand alone, so the dentist will not need to alter the structure of the surrounding teeth.
6. Promotes Healthy Bone - The roots of your teeth play an important role in your dental health. Every time your teeth touch, the contact stimulates the growth and regeneration of jawbone cells. Therefore, when you are missing teeth, your jawbone will begin to shrink. Because implants replace dental roots, as well as the teeth themselves, they are the only method of tooth replacement that actually protects and promotes a healthy jawbone structure.
7. Increases Self-Confidence - Missing teeth can have a huge impact on your appearance. Implants allow you to restore your smile with beautiful, lifelike restorations. With your newly enhanced smile, you will feel more confident than you have in years.
Find a Dentist
Though implants do cost more than other dental restorations, they are an important investment in your health, your appearance, and your future. Find a local cosmetic dentist to learn more about dental implants and to find out how they can benefit you.
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