Everyone wants a beautiful smile, but tooth loss is common. In the past, dental bridges and partial dentures were the go-to solutions for replacing one or two missing teeth. However, dental implants are becoming more affordable for many patients. If you are considering a dental implant for your missing tooth, check out these commonly asked questions.
Who Should Consider Getting a Dental Implant?
If you're missing a tooth, you may be wondering if a dental implant is a possible option. Luckily, most people are good candidates for a dental implant. However, depending on when the tooth was lost, there may be some jawbone loss. Depending on how much bone has been lost, the dentist may need to perform a bone graft first.
There are a few instances in which your dentist will not recommend getting a dental implant. For starters, patients with uncontrolled gum disease are poor candidates. Since gum disease weakens the gums and jawbone, there is a high risk of implant failure if you have gum disease. You may also be a poor choice for a dental implant if you have uncontrolled diabetes, you smoke, or you abuse alcohol.
All these can impact the health of your gums, and they increase the risk of gum disease. In addition, they may hinder your body's natural ability to heal. This increases the risk of bleeding and other complications.
Does Getting a Dental Implant Hurt?
During the procedure, the affected area will be fully numb, so you should feel no pain. Due to the nature of the procedure, however, you may feel pressure, but this can be alleviated with sedation options like nitrous oxide.
After the procedure, you may notice some tenderness around the area, but these are often managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Typically, the recovery process is easy, and most patients can actually return to work and regular daily activities the following day.
Do Dental Implants Last Forever?
How long your dental implant lasts depends on many factors. Ideally, an implant lasts the rest of your life. However, the crown may need to be replaced about every 10 to 15 years. Implants on back teeth wear down faster because they work hard and face a lot of stress to grind up food.
You will, however, have to care for your dental implant if you want it to last. It's particularly important to keep the gums around the tooth clean to avoid any irritation. Irritation can lead to gum disease, and gum disease around an implant is known as peri-implantitis. In mild cases, the dentist may be able to fix the implant with a gum graft, but in many cases, the implant must be removed.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The truth is that dental implants are the most expensive tooth-replacement option, but you get what you pay for. With dental bridges and dentures, you will have to replace them more often, which adds to the overall lifetime cost.
On average, a single dental implant may cost $1,000 to $3,000 per implant. The cost may increase, depending on the cost of the crown, the tooth extraction, post-op care, etc. Dental insurance may help cover some of the cost.
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. Unlike dentures and dental bridges, they actually help to re-strengthen the jawbone. While they may be the most expensive option, they are also the most durable and realistic-looking tooth-replacement option. If you would like to learn more, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to talk about a dental implant, contact a dentist in your area today.