Teeth are one of the anatomical structures that visibly display a person’s health. Their condition can also affect your self-esteem and willingness to socialize with other people.
If they are yellowed, for example, it could be a sign that the person enjoyed drinking large amounts of coffee, soft drinks, or wine over time. If they are white, it means that he/she is meticulous about cleaning and maintaining them. On the other hand, if some teeth are missing, it is possible that there have been lapses in personal dental care or, possibly, pre-existing conditions such as periodontal disease or a lack of calcium intake.
Nevertheless, a loss of a tooth or several teeth, especially if they are placed in front of the palate, can be embarrassing to a lot of people. They may become hesitant to smile or speak, since gaps may cause slurring or other speech problems. But, over time, the medical profession has given them options – bridges and dentures.
These tooth replacement strategies are cheap, do not require surgery, but need to be replaced often, depending on how you take care of them since they have to be taken care of like real teeth.
The installation, however, of bridges or dentures can possibly cause damage to adjacent teeth. Bridges, for example, have to be anchored to the teeth beside them, thus causing lesser stability for the anchor.
Bridges and dentures also tend to slip if the fit is not particularly set for the person.
In recent years, another tooth replacement option has emerged. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone and act as replacement tooth roots. They are also designed to fuse with bone so, over time, they will become permanent teeth.
Dental implant surgery has also been enjoying 90% success rates, both short- and long-term. If a patient makes sure to follow their dentist’s orders and attends follow-up visits, there are practically no harmful side effects.
But dental implants are not for everybody, and there are several things you must know before asking your dentist for them. There are processes and fees that must be done first. Below is a list of some of the things you ought to keep in mind before seeing your dentist.
It can be expensive.
Dental implants are estimated to cost anywhere between $3,000 and $4,500 for one tooth. They are also not usually covered by medical insurance because of the surgical expense.
Compared to this, dental bridges range from $700 to $1,500 for a single tooth. Removal dentures, on the other hand, are priced at $300 to $400, and both of these replacement options are often covered by medical insurance.
There are, however, options if you absolutely prefer implants to bridges or dentures. Websites like DentalPlans.com and Brighter.com offer discounts for dental procedures. You will only have to pay a membership fee to avail of these.
Dentistry schools that offer oral surgery programs also often conduct dental implant surgeries for less. Contact the American Dental Association for schools near your area.
It requires other medical check-ups.
A clean bill of health is needed before a person can have dental implants. Gum disease like gingivitis may be aggravated by the surgery. The performance of the implants might also be affected by pre-existing conditions like cancer and diabetes.
The medications that you are currently taking may also have an impact on your dental implants, so it is important to relay this information to your dentist.
Additionally, since it is a surgical procedure, you will have to shell out additional expenses for X-rays and/or CT scans. These scans will help your oral surgeon map out how and where to place the implants.
Through all of this, always make sure to consult your other doctors before going under your dentist’s knife.
It will usually take three separate surgical procedures to complete the implant process.
While it may be possible to complete the surgery in one session, it usually stretches to at least three surgeries. The time frame could range from three months to nine months, even more. Take this into consideration, especially if you are working a full-time job.
The first surgery involves the cylinder being placed inside the jawbone. The healing process for this could last as long as seven months, depending on the patient’s condition. A supporting tool called an abutment will be placed on the second surgery to support the tooth implant.
Finally, a prosthesis or crown is installed.
The surgery will also require anesthesia. Make sure to have someone drive you home on the day of your procedure.
Additionally, after the surgery, you might need to follow certain rules put forth by your dentist regarding care for your new replacement teeth. Be sure to follow them, in order to ensure long-lasting implants, and don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups.