Published: Jun 21, 2016 | By: Richard Caven
Dental implants are essentially just fake teeth. Yes, if you were ever to lose an adult tooth, for whatever the reason, your dentist may recommend getting a dental implant to fill the gap left in its space. Specifically, dental implants are usually made from durable metals - such as titanium - and are fused into the jaw bone.
There's a lot more to know about dental implants, however, before deciding if one is right for you. This post will cover everything you need to know about the oral apparatus in a Q&A format so you can be better informed.
There are several benefits to going the dental implant route, but two features really stand out. One is the look of an implant, as they're designed to resemble actual teeth. They're so tooth-like that unless they're carefully examined, nobody should be able to tell the difference between a regular tooth and a dental implant. The other major benefit is their durability. Unlike other ways of replacing missing teeth, dental implants normally never have to be repaired or replaced with time.
The process is a long one that can take anywhere from three to nine months. It usually starts with X-rays and determining whether or not you're a good candidate for implants. Next, a dentist or oral surgeon has to complete the procedure. Because it involves fusing the implant into the jaw bone, there must be time allotted for healing. Healing is usually the timeliest part of the process. After the cylinder is placed into the jaw bone, for instance, the jaw must be left to heal before the implant can be installed. It's not a fast process, but the end result is usually worth the wait.
Anesthesia is typically administered during the process to relieve any pain or discomfort. While the procedure is an outpatient one, most dentists recommend having someone to drive the patient home following it.
Compared to your natural teeth, the answer is "no." It is recommended that you brush and floss your implant teeth to remove debris and control plaque buildup, just as you would with your other teeth.
While the costs can vary based on the particular dental practice and the number of teeth that need to be replaced, generally speaking you can expect to pay anywhere from $4,500 to $6,000 per implant.
The two main alternatives are fixed bridges and dentures, both of which occasionally need to be replaced and usually take more to maintain. What's more is that a bridge relies on healthy teeth surrounding the treated area as anchors, which can put strain on them over time as well.
For more information on dental implants, contact Caven Dental.
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