Implant Restorations: 5 of Our Most Asked Questions
The Growing Demand for Dental Implants
Implant restorations are one of the biggest dental advancements in the past 40 years. They’ve become one of the most popular ways to repair your teeth thanks to their incredible durability and lifespan.
Before implants were around, full and partial dentures were common options for people looking to take care of severely damaged or missing teeth. And because implants are relatively new compared to dentures, many patients still have questions about them.
Why are implant restorations a good option to begin with? How much are they? How complicated is the process? We’ve answered 5 of the most common implant-related questions to help you figure it all out.
1. Why do I need implant restorations?
Did you know that most adults have at least three missing teeth? Lots of things can cause tooth loss, such as decay, trauma, injury, or gum disease just to name a few. Regardless, replacing those teeth is in the best interest of your oral health. Dental implants specifically can help prevent shifting and bone loss, support your facial structure, and improve chewing function and speech.
2. How common are dental implants?
It is said that about 3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and this number is projected to grow by about 500,000 per year.
Why have implant restorations become so popular? Traditional methods like dentures and bridges still work well, but for one, implants last a whole lot longer. Implants are made out of titanium and other materials compatible with the human body. This compatibility makes them the perfect anchor for replacement teeth. They offer a strong foundation that fuses with your existing bone. This has made dental implant restorations more popular because they actually help maintain your natural jaw structure.
3. How much are dental implants?
The cost of implant restorations varies from case to case. Thankfully there are three key resources available that ensure your implant treatment is affordable no matter what.
Insurance plans through your job (or through your spouse’s job) often include dental insurance coverage. However, not every dental insurance plan covers the entire implant procedure. Some cover implants at 50%, some cover a portion of the implant crown only, and others don’t cover implant restorations at all. Every insurance plan is different, of course, so make sure to check with your provider to find out the ins and outs of your specific plan.
Financing is available to help with any costs left after insurance pays their portion. This is like taking out a small loan, allowing you to pay for your implant restorations while keeping control over your cash flow. These financing options are based on your current income and financial situation.
If you’re looking for a financing alternative, then customized payment plans are a great option. These plans break down your out-of-pocket costs into weekly or monthly payments depending on your situation. Paying for your implants in smaller increments means you can easily fit needed treatment into your budget.
4. How complicated is the process?
The process to get dental implants is not complicated. It’s typically a two- to three-step process depending on what exactly you’re having done. Here’s a quick overview of those three steps.
The first step is for your dentist to surgically place the implant or implants into the jawbone. Sedation dentistry is generally used for this step to make the patient comfortable during the procedure. You’ll have a short time frame afterward of sticking to soft foods as your gum tissue heals.
The second step is called osseointegration. This is the part of the healing process that makes the implant so strong. Osseointegration means that, while healing, the bone grows tightly around the implant. This creates a foundational connection between living bone and implant. Once fully healed, it will feel as if the implant and the bone are one and the same.
This process could take several months but is well worth the result. Once the bone has completely fused with the implant, you’re ready for the final step.
The last step is making your dental crown(s), bridge, or implant-supported denture (depending on how many teeth you are replacing). So once you’re healed, your dentist creates your customized replacement to fit snugly over the implant or implants.
As long as you take care of your teeth with proper brushing, flossing, and regular, preventive trips to the dentist, your implants can last a lifetime!
5. Don’t traditional dentures work as well as implants?
It’s true that you can chew well with either implants or dentures. But implants have the advantage here because they are fixed in place and never require adhesive for stability like dentures sometimes do. Here are even more benefits of implants:
Because implants are inserted directly into your jawbone, they help retain your natural facial structure. For all intents and purposes, the final implant product looks just like your natural teeth.
Dentures cannot uphold your facial structure in that way because they don’t have that fixed foundation.
Implants are also great for your speech. Dentures, because they are removable, can sometimes shift and impair your speech. Because implant restorations are anchored into the bone, there is no possibility of shifting or sliding while you talk.
Because implants restore optimal function and improve your smile from a cosmetic standpoint, they are a huge self-confidence booster. There’s nothing quite like having a beautiful smile to make you feel good about yourself.
Reach out to our Farless Dental Group team for more information on implants.
Overall, dental implants are a great alternative to conventional dentures for numerous reasons. All it takes is a simple procedure to make your smile look brand new. If you’re looking for more information about dental implants, Farless Dental Group is here to help. We are here for you and all your implant restoration needs. Be sure to contact us today to schedule your evaluation.