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Dental Implants: What Works Best for Your Budget?

According to the American College of Prosthodontics, 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. If you’ve experienced tooth loss, you might think you’re stuck with a gap in your mouth forever. Luckily, dental implants can help, and they’re a comfortable and secure way to replace your missing tooth or teeth. You might be a candidate for this restorative dentistry procedure if you’re missing one or more teeth, have a full-grown jawbone, and have healthy oral tissues.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implant surgery is one option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants typically comprise three parts:

  • Implant: This piece has a screw that serves as the root for your new tooth and is permanently attached to your jaw.
  • Abutment: This permanent connector holds and supports the tooth or set of teeth. If needed, the dentist can remove this part.
  • Crown: Also known as a prosthetic tooth, the crown is the part of the tooth you can see. It’s usually made from porcelain or zirconium, so it maintains durability and quality of appearance.

Why Would You Need Dental Implants?

The chief function of your jawbone is to support your teeth, so when a tooth is missing, the bone is no longer needed. The bone begins to atrophy and disintegrate, causing reabsorption and resulting in a sunken cheek appearance. Because the bone loss is permanent, you need a dental implant to replace this bone and serve as the new tooth’s roots.

What’s Involved With Dental Implants?

How the dentist performs the dental implant surgery depends on the type of implant you need, as well as your jawbone condition. You might end up with several procedures to ensure your new teeth remain secure. Because the implant supports your new teeth, the bone needs time to heal fully and tightly around the implant. As a result, the process might take several months to complete.

Dental implant surgery involves placing titanium implants into your jawbone to serve as the roots for your missing teeth. The titanium fuses to your jawbone so the implant won’t move, cause damage, or make noise the way dentures or bridgework might.

What’s the Difference Between Dental Implants and Dentures?

Dentures are prosthetic devices that support the surrounding hard and soft tissues left by your missing tooth. Complete dentures are used when you’re missing a majority of your teeth, while partial dentures are available if you still have some healthy natural teeth remaining. Dentures are removable and can be fitted in your mouth regardless of how much of your jawbone you have left.

When thinking about your budget, implants might seem costly, but that’s not necessarily the case. While the pricing for affordable implants depends on how many teeth you’re having replaced, the American Dental Association states you should expect to pay between $1,600 to $2,200 per tooth. A complete set of upper or lower dentures typically starts at around $1,600.

If you believe you’re a candidate for dental implants or want to learn more about the process, reach out to Carolina Family Dentistry. We can help you have confidence in your smile by replacing your missing teeth.

The Pros and Cons of Teeth Implants

Dental implants are one solution for replacing missing teeth — whether they were lost due to disease or were broken in an accident. You might be wondering what goes on when you get dental implants. Implant dentistry has its pros and cons, like almost every other dental procedure, and it is essential to understand the risks and benefits before making your decision.

The Pros:

  • Teeth Implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, unlike bridges. This allows the adjacent teeth to remain untouched versus being shaped down for a bridge. Replacement implant teeth support themselves, and you won’t have to worry about your other teeth being disrupted.
  • Dental implants look and function like real teeth. You won’t hear clicking noises or have issues with chewing or speaking, unlike traditional dentures. Also, the implants will match your natural teeth and you cannot remove them (unless the implants are being used to stabilize dentures).
  • You can care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. Meaning, you won’t have to worry about buying unique products or devices to keep them clean and healthy. Oral health is just as important when you have dental implants, but your dental care budget should stay the same after your mouth has healed. We recommend Waterpik type devices for natural teeth and implants.
  • Dental implants can be as durable and stable as natural teeth but must be cared for properly- they can last up to 20 years and even longer. Dental implants are mostly made of titanium and are safe for your mouth.

The Cons:

  • Getting teeth implants can require multiple steps; it could take about six months just for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. You can read more about the steps by clicking here.
  • You are at risk of infection. Bacteria is the cause of infections in natural teeth as well as dental implants and you could be at risk of Periodontal Disease. Although this is not common, it is still a risk to consider.
  • Dental implant procedures can require additional procedures, including a bone graft and or sinus lift if adequate bone is not present. While these procedures are not always necessary, it is something to take into consideration.
  • You must meet specific requirements to go forward with the procedure. If you don’t have enough jaw bone density and are ineligible for bone grafting, you are a heavy drinker or smoker, or your gums are not healthy enough to support the implant, you are likely unsuitable for the procedure.
  • Even if your dental insurance covers teeth implants, you may still have to pay for a portion of your procedure. Dental implants can be a significant investment, so it is crucial to research what your insurance covers so you know if you can afford to cover the difference. We are happy to discuss missing tooth replacement options including dental implants.

If you are interested in getting dental implants after reading this post, contact us today for a consultation to see if this procedure is right for you and your smile.