Article written by Written by Zawn Villines on CareDash.com
Time, gum disease, low access to dental care, and lifestyle habits can destroy teeth and gums. About 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, and 40 million are missing all of their teeth. Missing teeth can make chewing difficult, and they can affect a person’s appearance and self-esteem. They can also change the structure of the jaw.
For centuries, people with missing teeth had to resort to dentures. The advent of bridges offered a more permanent solution. Both strategies left people missing teeth with holes in their gums where the roots of teeth might otherwise be. Dental implants fill these holes with permanent fake teeth that do not decay like real teeth. They boast a 98% success rate, making them a good option for many people who are missing teeth or struggling with jaw issues related to lost teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants replace missing teeth with permanent fake teeth that look just like real teeth. Unlike dentures or bridges, implants are anchored into the gums by a titanium screw. This screw acts like the natural tooth root.
By replacing the missing tooth with a synthetic tooth and root, it may be possible to prevent surrounding bone structures from changing with time. Doing so can preserve the structure of the face, prevent jaw pain, and even help with issues such as grinding teeth. For most people, however, the primary benefit of dental implants is that they replace missing teeth, restoring their appearance and making it easier to chew.
“Dental implants are not susceptible to decay but are susceptible to periodontal disease,” said Dr. Ayad. “They need the same home care as natural teeth, and also professionally maintained at regular dental visits, and checked with x-rays annually.”
The Process of Getting Dental Implants
The process of getting dental implants begins with a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan with your specialized dentist, such as an oral surgeon, periodontist, or prosthodontist.
“Preparation has several steps,” said M. George Ayad, DDS, a Diplomate for the American Board of Periodontology and periodontist in Hackensack, NJ. “First a review of medical history to insure the patients' medical conditions or medications don't create a contraindication to routine dental implant placement.”
Your medical history may also affect the type of anesthesia the doctor uses, so it’s important to disclose everything.
“Next, a CT scan of the jaw bone to determine if there's adequate bone volume or need for augmentation prior to placement,” said Dr. Ayad. “Finally and probably most importantly, a consultation with the restoring dentist to determine the position to place the implant(s) to receive the crown(s) that works best with the patients' bite.”
Your dentist will discuss with you whether any teeth need to be removed and which procedures must be done before the implant surgery. For instance, some people may need to remove old dental crowns, while others may need treatment for chronic gum disease. If you need a bone graft, this procedure will be done before surgery. It can take several months for the bone graft to heal.
On the day of surgery, you’ll need to avoid food and drink. Depending on the method of anesthesia you choose, you’ll either be awake but unaware and in no pain, or totally unconscious. Your surgeon will make a cut into your gums to place the dental implant. When you wake up, there will still be a gap where the tooth was. The doctor can place a temporary denture. You’ll get a permanent implant when bone grows around the screw, which can take several weeks or months. After the bone grows in and the permanent implant is put in place, you’ll have new, permanent teeth.
“Immediate post-op care includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication, antibiotics, and an antimicrobial rinse as outlined by most accepted protocols,” said Dr. Ayad.
After the screw is placed, you may have pain and sensitivity for several days. Some people experience jaw pain or get headaches radiating from the jaw. Medicine provided by your dentist can help control these symptoms.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants make it easier to chew, and they can boost self-esteem by replacing missing teeth.
“Success rates are high,” said Dr. Ayad. “Depending on the area of the mouth they're placed, the long term success rates are 92-98% at 35 years. [They are] slightly lower for smokers and some uncontrolled medical conditions.”
In addition to the benefits of replacing lost teeth, many people prefer dental implants to bridges and dentures because:
Drawbacks of Dental Implants
Dental implants are implanted directly into the bone underneath the gums. The procedure is more invasive than other options for treating tooth loss, which presents several drawbacks, including:
To be eligible for dental implants, a person must have healthy gums. For people with gingivitis, it may be necessary to undergo many months of treatment first, which can mean spending more time with missing teeth. A patient must also have enough bone to support the dental implant. Those without enough bone must either choose another option or have a bone graft.
For many consumers, the most significant drawback of dental implants is the cost. Costs typically range from $3,000 to $6,000 per implant. Insurance plans rarely cover dental care, especially implant dentistry, which is typically classified as a cosmetic procedure. Even people with dental insurance may not have coverage for implants, since most dental insurance programs operate as discount cards, not actual insurance.
Affordable Dental Implants
Affording dental implants can be difficult since most insurance plans won’t cover the implants as this is typically considered an elective procedure. Some providers will, however, cover removal of damaged teeth, x-rays, and other procedures to assess oral health.
“Cost can be a limiting factor especially if dental insurance carriers don't cover some of the cost,” said Dr. Ayad. “That is something that patients may influence by asking their employers to include implants as a covered expense in their dental plans.”
Many dental implant providers offer payment plans, which allows you to pay off the implants over time. For people who can’t afford to make upfront payments, this option may be a good one. Some dental implant providers offer discounts for multiple dental implants at once. So if you have several missing or damaged teeth, it’s often best to get them replaced at the same time.
You may also be eligible to receive dental implants at a lower cost at a dentistry school, where dental specialists in training can perform the procedure under the supervision of professionals in an oral surgery clinic. However, not everyone is eligible to receive lower-cost dental implants from a dentistry school, and there may be a long wait list. Inquire at a dental school near you to find out if you are eligible and how long the wait might be.
If the cost of dental implants is out of reach for you, you may consider cheaper alternatives. Partial dentures and bridges are more affordable and more likely to be covered by dental insurance. It is important to remember that these options are impermanent and tend to require replacement and maintenance. Over time, implants may be the cheaper tooth replacement method depending on what your insurance covers.
Dental implants offer a chance to replace missing or broken teeth, often with a single surgery. They can protect bone health, and they may last a lifetime. But they’re not for everyone. Talk to a dentist, prosthodontist, or oral surgeon about whether this option may be right for you.
1/14/2020 03:55:56 pm
I found it interesting when you explained that one of the benefits of dental implants is that they don't decay over time. My wife had to have a couple of teeth pulled when she was a kid, and now she doesn't feel comfortable when has to smile around other people. It seems she would benefit from getting implants placed where she used to have teeth.
6/29/2020 05:28:55 pm
2/13/2020 06:09:10 pm
I lost my tooth a year ago due to a car accident, and because of this, I lost my self-confidence. Wow, I never knew that an implant will be anchored into my gums by a titanium screw, this seems scary, but I know there'll be anesthesia for it. I just hope to find a great dentist who'll be able to perform a dental implant on me successfully.
6/19/2020 12:59:07 pm
It's great that you point out that dental implants last for a very long time. I lost a tooth while playing rugby recently, so I'm considering having it replaced with a dental implant. I'm going to look for a good dental clinic in my area that does dental implant procedures.
7/28/2020 11:35:35 am
6/24/2020 06:12:11 pm
I have always been insecure about my missing tooth; that's why I'm considering having dental implants instead. I'm glad you shared this by the way because it's great to know that since it will restore my missing tooth's appearance, chewing the food will be easy as well. Although, I never knew that my medical history will affect the type of anesthesia that my doctor will provide me.
7/28/2020 11:38:10 am
7/9/2020 08:43:02 am
I was not aware that dental implants will provide you with a more natural appearance. My husband and I are thinking about replacing a broken tooth, and we are looking for advice. I will let him know about the benefits of dental implants to help him decide.
7/28/2020 11:40:19 am
7/16/2020 01:47:41 pm
It's cool that you elaborate on how dental implants are an effective replacement for missing teeth. I lost a tooth when I fell off of a horse last month, so I'm considering getting a dental implant. I'm going to search in my area for a good dental clinic that does implants.
7/28/2020 11:42:58 am
7/28/2020 09:36:11 am
It's cool that this article mentions that dental implants are a comfortable replacement option for missing teeth. My cousin lost a tooth while playing basketball two weeks ago, so I'm considering recommending that he get a dental implant. I'm going to look for a good dentist that does dental implants in the area to recommend.
7/28/2020 11:44:57 am
8/10/2020 09:22:36 pm
I appreciate that this post stressed that dental implants are better than dentures as they do not break easily and lowers the risk of infection. My brother has his tooth knocked out from a hockey game. I will advice him to get implants.
8/11/2020 12:36:24 pm
It's awesome that you mention that dental implants last for a very long time as a replacement for missing teeth. One of my front teeth got knocked out while I was playing football last weekend, so I'm considering getting a dental implant. I'm going to search in my area for a reputable dental clinic that does implants.
8/13/2020 01:39:16 pm
I like how dental implants look and feel like real teeth. My wife lost one of her two front teeth. I'll talk to her about getting a dental implant so she can have confidence in her smile again.
8/25/2020 10:34:17 am
I loved how you mentioned that it isn't likely for dental implants to break off! My mom was telling me a couple of weeks ago while at my home for dinner about how she recently lost a tooth of hers, and she was wondering what would be the best way to get it replaced. I'll make sure to pass this information along to her so that she can look into getting a dental implant to replace her tooth!
10/29/2020 05:10:03 pm
9/15/2020 08:25:55 am
It's good to know that dental implants are anchored into your gums with screws. I am always afraid that if I get fake teeth they will fall out easily. If I decide to get some to replace my back bottom right tooth then I'll make sure it is an implant so it feels like normal.
10/29/2020 05:12:34 pm
9/30/2020 11:14:25 am
I like that this post underlined dental implants are an excellent option for replacing missing teeth. The other day my friend wondered what would be a good option to replace his missing teeth. I will suggest dental implants since it is permanent and a quick procedure.
10/29/2020 05:14:20 pm
10/4/2020 07:52:41 am
I find it interesting that this post shared with us that dental implants have many benefits, such as it is more long-lasting than dentures. My dad has some missing teeth and is bothered by it. I will recommend him to look into dental implants.
10/27/2020 11:04:27 am
Thank you for elaborating on how dental implants are a great replacement for missing teeth. I got one of my teeth knocked out while playing basketball a few weeks ago, so I'm contemplating getting a dental implant. I'm going to see if there's a good dental clinic in my area that does implants.
10/29/2020 05:21:28 pm
10/29/2020 09:14:26 am
Thank you for elaborating on how dental implants are an ideal replacement for missing teeth. I lost two teeth in a skateboarding accident last month, so I'm thinking about getting dental implants. I'm going to look for a good oral surgery center in my area that offers dental implant procedures.
10/29/2020 05:24:35 pm
11/4/2020 07:40:08 am
My friend is probably part of the 178 million Americans you mentioned who are missing at least one tooth. She lost hers two years ago and have never tried replacing it since. Maybe she can have herself checked by a dentist to see if dental implants are right for her.
11/10/2020 09:44:02 pm
Thank you for sharing views on how dental implants are a great replacement for missing teeth. Keep posting such astonishing blogs.
11/18/2020 05:54:52 am
A friend of mine lost a couple of his front tooth due to an accident. I like what you said about how a dental implant is a lifetime tooth replacement option. We should look for a dentist that can give him a diagnosis regarding his oral health and what could be done about it.
12/30/2020 10:07:23 am
11/20/2020 01:30:02 pm
My dad has been thinking about getting some dental implants to replace the two front teeth that he lost while playing football. He would really like to get some help from a professional in order to make sure that they work safer. It was interesting to learn about how they won't decay with time, break off, be removed, and can reduce costs over time.
12/30/2020 10:08:35 am
2/20/2021 07:55:52 am
Thank you for sharing this useful information. Many of patients search these types of article. How a dental implant process and what is cost. I thank you for providing this article.
3/1/2021 12:59:09 pm
I'm glad you explained that we should avoid eating on drinking on the day of our dental implant surgery. My sister wants to get dental implants since two of her teeth were knocked out in a car accident last month. Your article should give her a better idea of what to expect after seeing a dentist for treatment!
1/6/2022 09:15:51 am
Hello Rebecca, I am happy this information helped you. I hope your sister is doing well. ~ Warmest Regards- Dr. M. George Ayad
3/19/2021 06:54:46 am
You made a good point when you shared that dental implants can help to replace missing or broken teeth with a single surgery. My friend just mentioned the other day that she is concerned about her teeth since some of them are no longer in good condition. I will suggest to her doing dental implants so she can feel confident again.
1/6/2022 09:18:56 am
Hello Taylor, I am happy that you found this information helpful.
3/22/2021 09:45:32 pm
Interested in receiving dental implants near you? Implants are a successful and long-lasting solution for missing teeth. They take a few months to complete but will feel far more comfortable than a set of dentures. If you have any questions or would like to receive dental implants in Waterloo, please contact us.
3/25/2021 07:39:41 am
I lost one of my teeth, and I'm not sure what to do about it. It makes sense that getting a dental implant put in to replace it would be beneficial! I'll be sure to get a professional to put one in for me.
1/6/2022 09:20:41 am
4/4/2021 09:04:13 pm
I am so happy I found your blog and I absolutely love your information about are dental implants right for you. I liked and it is wonderful to know about so many things that are useful for all of us! Thanks a lot for this amazing blog!!Well, I have visited another site Smileconcepts.co.nz having some wonderful and similar information.
4/29/2021 01:33:34 pm
It was good to learn that dental implants provide long-lasting results. My grandpa wants to find a way to strengthen his jaw. I will suggest that he invest in dental implants.
5/28/2021 11:37:46 am
Thank you for mentioning that there are ways to pay off your dental implants over time. My husband most likely needs implants soon. We will find a great dental implant service in our area.
8/18/2021 12:48:37 pm
Thanks for pointing out that dental implants make it easier to chew, and they can boost self-esteem by replacing missing teeth. This is really helpful because I lost my front teeth last week due to a car accident. With this, I am hoping to find a reliable dentist on Monday who can provide affordable dental implants.
1/6/2022 09:24:54 am
Hello Hailey- Hopefully you found a reliable dentist and doing well. It is a process but where you are young and those are your front teeth, this is the best solution for you. They will be just like your own teeth. Warmest Regards. Dr. M. George Ayad
10/27/2021 11:46:21 pm
It was nice reading this blog post! It's very informative. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of titanium. They can be used to replace missing teeth.
It got me when you said that dental implants would be able to fit well compared to bridges and dentures with minimal discomfort. I guess I should opt for this if I wanted to have the gap between my molar teeth filled. It has been getting food particles stuck in that hole which affects my eating experience everytime that is why I wanted to address it.
5/31/2022 11:38:24 pm
Thanks for pointing out that dental implants would be attached directly to the bone underneath the gums which is an invasive procedure. I will share this information with my husband so that he knows what to expect this year. He plans to get that kind of treatment to fill in the gap between his molar teeth to keep food particles from getting stuck in there.
8/24/2022 06:09:20 am
This has been the best article I have come across related to dental. Dental health is essential for overall health and well-being. Good oral hygiene can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems. While regular brushing and flossing at home are important, it is also necessary to see a dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Everyone should make dental care a priority in their lives. I always search to read the quality content and finally I found this in your post. keep it up!
10/11/2022 03:28:05 am
Great blog! I was thinking if I should be getting dental implants and because of this I really think I should. How many sessions would it take to finish?
10/13/2022 12:43:37 am
Take the time to research dental implants and the many advantages they offer as you evaluate various restoration procedures. This restoration has a tiny post that replaces the tooth's natural root and serves as an anchor for the placement of the replacement tooth or teeth. If you have any missing teeth that were lost as a result of gum disease, an accident, decay, or a facial injury, dental implants are the preferable treatment. Additionally, implants are occasionally required to support dental prosthesis or to correct congenital defects (implant-supported dentures).
10/19/2022 12:43:51 am
Glad I was able to read this! Thank you for sharing. I think I'm a perfect candidate for dental implants because of my missing teeth. One question though, how many visits would it take for the whole process to be finished?
10/19/2022 01:22:25 am
Love how you included the drawbacks of dental implants as well. I'm actually considering to get one. Are dental implants removable like dentures or do they stay in your mouth?
11/23/2022 08:32:31 pm
When it comes to dental implants, the decision of whether or not to get them is a personal one. Implants are a great way to replace missing teeth, but they're not for everyone. Before making the decision to get implants, there are a few things you should consider. First, implants require a surgical procedure. This means that there is some risk involved. Second, implants are more expensive than other methods of tooth replacement, such as bridges or dentures.
12/19/2022 01:10:03 am
Dental implants are a viable and effective solution for replacing lost or damaged teeth. They are a reliable, long-term solution that can last many years with proper care. The cost of dental implants is significant, but the benefits far outweigh the initial expense. If you are considering replacing missing teeth, dental implants may be the right choice for you. Be sure to discuss your options with a qualified dentist before making a decision about how to proceed.
1/1/2023 05:50:50 pm
Dental implants are a great option if you’re looking to replace missing teeth, but it’s important to consider your budget and lifestyle. Dental implants can provide improved stability, comfort, and confidence compared to other treatments. Question though, what are the alternatives for dental implants?
The finest dental-related article I've found is this one. For general health and wellbeing, dental health is crucial. The prevention of tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues can be aided by good oral hygiene. While regular at-home brushing and flossing are crucial, it's also essential to visit the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and checkups. Everyone should prioritize getting their teeth cleaned. I'm constantly looking for good information to read, and I finally found it in your post. keep going!
It's up to each individual patient to decide whether or not to receive dental implants. Although implants are a fantastic option for tooth replacement, not everyone is a good candidate. There are a few things you should think about before deciding to receive implants. Implants first call for a surgical treatment. This indicates that there is a certain amount of danger. Second, compared to bridges or dentures, implants are more expensive than alternative tooth replacement options.
5/23/2023 12:33:35 pm
I'm glad you said that dental implants won't break off. My mom was talking to me on the phone last night about how her teeth have been getting worse due to her old age, so she was wondering what would be the best way to restore them. I'll pass this information along to her so she can know more about the advantages of dental implants!
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