Dental implants are a great alternative to dentures. They act similarly to natural teeth, making it easy to go about day-to-day activities without worrying. There are many misconceptions surrounding dental implants; however, they can be an affordable, comfortable option for unsightly teeth.
What are Dental Implants
When most people think of dental implants, they think of the entire piece, including the root replacement and the crown. However, dental implants refer to the screws that are placed into the jawbone, acting as roots for the newly sculpted crowns. Implants are permanent and cannot be removed like dentures or bridges.
Dental implants are permanent fixtures in the mouth while dentures are removable. Dentures must be affixed to the gums using adhesive and removed for regular cleaning. With implants, patients require a certain jawbone density. However, anyone can have dentures formed for their mouth. While dental implants are permanent, dental bridges are removable. Implants are placed using screws in the jawbone. However, bridges connect to surrounding teeth.
Black or broken teeth are embarrassing and can keep people from enjoying social activities. Sometimes, those teeth are beyond repair, making it more plausible to remove them instead of getting root canals. However, having no teeth at all poses its own reservations. Dental implants can help individuals achieve a natural appearance, allowing them to go about their lives more confidently. Unlike dentures, implants won’t fall out or slide around in the mouth, improving speech and eating abilities.
Once the healing process is complete, dental implants are comfortable and feel like natural teeth. There is no nasty adhesive to apply and no removing implants for cleaning or sleeping. Individuals will be able to eat all the foods they love without worrying about their implants falling out.
It can be difficult for a person to hide the fact that they wear dentures. Sooner or later, friends, loved ones and colleagues are sure to find out. With implants, on the other hand, nobody will know they are not real teeth. Dental implants look and feel natural, and individuals care for them in much the same way as real teeth.
It is no secret that dental implants can be quite costly. Dental insurance may or may not cover some of the cost of implants. This will depend completely on the company and the amount of coverage for which each individual is paying. Some insurance companies cover as much as half the cost of implants after individuals have met their plan deductibles. Since implants are considered cosmetic, meaning they are not necessary, some providers will not cover any of the cost. Also, keep in mind that most insurance plans will only pay up to a certain amount each year. Therefore, it may be beneficial to space dental work out over several years to achieve the desired results at an affordable cost. Supplemental dental insurance is an additional option. Supplemental plans bridge the gaps between what regular plans cover and what consumers pay out-of-pocket.
Many people are afraid to undergo dental procedures. However, dentists offer several options to keep patients comfortable and pain-free. Most dentists give patients numbing shots that prevent them from feeling pain. Individuals will likely feel some pressure, but it will not hurt. Another option is numbing gas. Patients will wear a mask and breathe in the gas. The gas will work similar to a shot, numbing the nerves. Some people have major anxiety when it comes to any type of dental procedure. If this is an issue, dentists can put patients under general anesthesia, rendering them unconscious and unaware of the surgery.
The first step is to have the unhealthy teeth removed. Once the gums have healed, the implant process continues. As previously mentioned, individuals must have enough jawbone before undergoing implant surgery. However, if an individual does not have sufficient bone density, dentists may suggest bone grafting, a process in which bone from donors is implanted into the patient’s jaw. If individuals need a large amount of grafting, they will undergo the bone grafting surgery prior to getting the implants, returning for the implant procedure after the grafting has healed. If only a small amount of replacement bone is needed, however, dentists will likely do the grafting at the same time as the dental implants.
The dentist will drill a hole in the jawbone and place the screws. Once this process is over, patients will go home and let their mouths heal. Proper healing is necessary before crowns can be placed onto the screws. The bone must grow and form to the implants. Once that has been achieved, sometimes after several months, it is time to construct the permanent crowns that will be placed on the screws.
Afterward, swelling and discomfort are normal and to be expected. Most dentists prescribe mild pain medications and antibiotics to help ease any soreness and prevent infection. Facial swelling, bruising and minor bleeding may occur but are also normal reactions.
While dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and are easy to keep clean, there are some differences between cleaning teeth and implants. Patients will want to keep implants in good condition; therefore, they will need to use floss specified for implants or containing no wax. A soft-bristle toothbrush is recommended, and patients should make sure to brush underneath the implant crown as well as around it. Patients cannot use regular toothpaste; instead, they should use a paste that is low-abrasive. Regular cleanings are important. If getting cleanings from a dentist or hygienist who did not perform the surgery, it is important for individuals to disclose the fact that they have implants. This is because hygienists will need to use tools specifically made for cleaning dental implants.
Unsightly teeth can be an embarrassment, causing people to hide their smiles and avoid social functions. Getting those teeth pulled can also be embarrassing if the person does not replace them with products such as implants, dentures, or bridges. Dental implants have many benefits and look and feel more natural than other options. Patients should weigh all options before making a decision, taking into consideration that insurance and payment plans can make dental implants more affordable than anticipated.