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If you have one or more missing teeth that need to be replaced, dental implants can help fill in your smile. This option allows patients to accomplish several goals, including enhancing appearance and restoring function. However, implants can cost patients a lot upfront, leading patients to wonder if this solution is worth the price.
The benefits of dental implants
It is understandable that patients are concerned with the price of dental implants, especially if insurance coverage is limited or nonexistent. However, when considering the options available, there are several reasons why implants are worth the investment.
Both dentures and dental bridges typically have a lifespan of approximately 10 years, but implants are designed to withstand 25 years or more of use. For people who keep up with regular maintenance and dental checkups, implants can even last a lifetime. This potentially saves patients more money down the road.
Dental implants replace the entire tooth, rather than just the top portion, which offers more security when chewing and speaking. Patients do not need to worry about the tooth slipping and likely will not notice the prosthetic is there during everyday activities.
Because implants are inserted into the jaw, they act like tooth roots and stimulate the bone when the person chews. This prevents the process of resorption, which causes the jaw bone to lose density, shrinking and altering its structure.
Dental implants are easy to clean. Patients can continue their normal oral hygiene routine, which should include regular brushing and flossing. The prosthetic is not affected by dental decay as natural teeth are, and the porcelain crown is resistant to chemicals, bacteria, and stains.
Implants have a minimal effect on other natural teeth in the mouth. With a full denture, the entire arch of teeth must be removed for the prosthetic to be attached. Most types of bridges require the teeth adjacent to the gap to be shaved down and covered with dental crowns.
Implants are placed directly into the open space. The only changes that may need to be made prior to surgery is an orthodontic adjustment if there is not enough room to place the implant or a bone graft is there is not adequate jawbone volume to hold the implant.
Dental implants are often indistinguishable from surrounding teeth. The crown portion of the implant is made from porcelain, which has a very similar appearance to tooth enamel. Impressions and shade guides of the patient’s other teeth are used to help the dental lab make the crown a close match in both shape and color.