If you have missing teeth, you may hide your smile and feel dissatisfied with your appearance. Luckily, there are several options for replacing missing teeth. One of the more popular tooth replacement options is a dental implant. If you aren't sure about dental implants, you need to check out these five frequently asked questions regarding dental implants.
What Is an Implant Made From?
The actual implant is made from titanium. This portion of the dental implant is placed in your jawbone exactly where your natural tooth's root sat. Once this implant has healed, the dentist can place the fake tooth on top of the implant, filling in the gap from the missing tooth. The fake tooth is much like the fake tooth of a dental bridge. It is typically made from porcelain, which is durable but can perfectly mimic the translucent look of real teeth.
How Many Teeth Can They Replace?
Dental implants can replace one tooth, a few teeth or all of your teeth. However, depending on how many teeth you have missing, your dentist may suggest a different type of implant. If you only have one missing tooth, a single dental implant is perfect. It sits right where the natural tooth was located. If you have a few missing teeth in a row, the dentist can save you a little money by creating an implant-supported bridge. The difference is that it uses fewer implants. For example, you may have three missing teeth, but only need two implants instead of three. Lastly, if you are missing all your teeth, you can get implant-supported dentures, which are removable, but snap into place to make them firm.
Are They as Good as Dental Bridges?
Dental implants are not as good as dental bridges. They are much better. A dental bridge is durable because it uses your healthy teeth to anchor the bridge in place. However, overtime, this puts extra wear and tear on your healthy teeth. The dental implants, however, are supported by the implant, so it doesn't affect healthy teeth. On top of that, to get a bridge, your dentist must file the enamel off of your healthy anchor teeth. This is so the bridge will fit. Unfortunately, this process permanently affects those healthy teeth, so they will quickly rot if they are not protected with the bridge.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The only disadvantage of dental implants is the price. They are significantly more expensive than dentures and dental bridges, costing up to $4,500 for just one single tooth implant. Naturally, implant-supported bridges and implant-supported dentures are more expensive. In some cases, your dental insurance may cover some of the cost. It typically does not cover a "dental implant," but it may cover the cost of the crown or another portion of the implant process, saving you a little money. Make sure you talk with your dentist about payment plan options, such as medical credit cards, they accept.
How Long Will They Last?
With proper care, your dental implant may last the rest of your life. This is thanks to the titanium implant. Titanium bonds to bone. Therefore, after the implant is placed, your bone grows around the titanium as if it is a part of your body. This creates a strong hold that reduces wear and tear.
Having a missing tooth can be embarrassing, but you don't have to suffer anymore. Dental implants are an amazing way to replace missing teeth. If you would like more information regarding dental implants, other tooth replacement options or cosmetic dentistry in general, contact a dentist in your area today.