If you’re missing one or more teeth, you’ve likely seen how this seemingly small issue can have far-reaching effects. When you’re missing teeth, chewing becomes harder. The bone structure of your face may change. And if your missing teeth are visible, your self-confidence may be affected. Luckily, implant dentistry has the potential to transform your smile.
1. Implants Are Almost Like Actual Teeth
Unlike dental bridges or dentures, implants mimic the structure of an actual tooth. In most cases, a titanium rod is inserted into your jawbone, much like the root of an actual tooth. An artificial tooth is then attached to the rod.
The tooth is designed to look just like a natural tooth, and it is even matched to the color of the surrounding teeth. There are several different materials a dentist can use for the artificial tooth, but these materials are strong enough to potentially last the rest of your life.
2. It Might Be Covered By Insurance
In the past, almost no dental insurance companies covered implants, instead opting to cover less invasive tooth-replacement options. But gradually, insurance carriers have seen that implants often last for life. As a result, covering an implant usually saves dental costs over time.
Clasps and bridges will typically need to be replaced after a number of years, costing carriers more over time. You’ll need to check your individual policy to be sure, but many insurance companies will cover at least part of a dental implant.
3. New Technology Makes Procedures Faster
Thanks to 3D imaging equipment and computer-guided surgeries, placing dental implants is a lot faster than it used to be. When you work with the best dentist in Cary NC, you’ll be able to benefit from computer-based imaging each step of the way.
In many cases, your dentist will be able to show you a digital image of your planned treatment. Then, a computer-guided surgery helps the dentist place the implant precisely.
4. You Don’t Need An Implant For Every Missing Tooth
Some people shy away from dental implants because they believe they will need an implant for every missing tooth. However, since implants are so strong, they can actually be used to anchor bridges or full dentures.
Doing this minimizes both cost and recovery time. If you do need a denture, anchoring it using implants has some major advantages. Namely, when you have a denture that can snap onto two or more implants, you don’t need to use denture pastes or adhesives.
5. Implants Are Healthy For Your Smile
Clasps and bridges are two other common methods of tooth replacement. However, both of these options can cause damage. When putting a bridge in place, the teeth on either side will usually need to be shaved down and capped with crowns.
Partial dentures usually clasp onto surrounding teeth. While this option doesn’t require teeth to be shaved down, the clasp can rub up against your surrounding teeth and damage them over time. Since dentures attach to your jaw just like a regular tooth, they don’t place any stress on your other teeth or cause damage.
6. They May Not Work For All Patients
While dental implants work well for many dental patients, not every patient is a candidate. To support an implant, your jawbone must have enough density. If you go a long time without a tooth, your jawbone can atrophy and become unable to support an implant. In some cases, a bone graft can help build enough density.
Severe gingivitis or other forms of periodontal disease may also prevent someone from obtaining implants. So can tooth decay. In some cases, these issues can be successfully treated. In earlier stages of gum disease, deep cleaning of the teeth may be enough.
Similarly, if you have cavities, filling them might be all you need in order to make your mouth healthy enough to support one or more implants. Your dentist will do a thorough exam and correct any issues before approving you for an implant.
If you think implants are the right choice for your situation, the right dentist can help you get started. While this method is more involved than some other tooth-replacement options, the fact that it’s long-lasting and looks natural makes it a great choice for many.