What are dental implants?

A dental implant replaces a tooth root that either never grew in or was taken out for some reason. The replacement tooth itself that goes on the implanted root is a crown and is placed on the post— usually made of titanium—after the post has had time to adhere to the jawbone. Dental implants are a durable option for replacing missing tooth, and the crown functions just like your natural teeth after the dental implant process is complete.

How do dental implants differ from regular teeth?

A dental implant will feel, look, and function like a natural tool, but there are differences. The main things to remember that differ with a dental implant and a regular tooth are the way each response to dental diseases; the different ways they attach to the bone; the type of maintenance involved with each; and how each is repaired if they become chipped, cracked, or broken in some way.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

The success of a dental implant is dependent on the strength of the bone, how the implant fuses to it, and where it is placed in the jaw. Most dental implants can last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Dental implants come with many benefits, such as:

  • Improved smile – The improved appearance of your teeth can be a great way to feel confident and achieve your desire look
  • Self-esteem boost – Having a complete smile can be a surefire way to feel good about how you look, which can help you want to smile more!
  • Improved speech – When someone has missing teeth, they may have trouble speaking at times. Since dental implants act like regular teeth, they can help you pronounce words you might have had trouble with.
  • Improved oral health – Your oral health plays an important part in your overall health, and having a dental implant can maximize your oral health because it does not trap food like a retainer with a tooth on it (sometimes called a “flipper”) might.
  • Improved comfort – A dental implant acts like your regular teeth, so it feels as comfortable as your natural teeth after the process of getting it ends.
  • Durability – Remember, a dental implant is the root of the missing tooth and the crown attached to it is made of strong material. This means both the implant and the crown are long-lasting and can withstand normal wear and tear teeth are put through every day.  
  • Easier eating – You may have felt self conscious in the past eating with a dentures or with missing teeth. Now you can rest easy with a strong, functional dental implant helping you to eat like you normally would with a full set of teeth!
  • Convenience – No pesky denture material needed or worries about a flipper being too fragile for your needs. With a dental implant, you get the convenience of regular teeth without putting money towards upkeep of dentures and other devices!

Who can get dental implants?

Generally speaking, most anyone with missing teeth can be a good candidate for dental implants. Dentists will ensure you have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant in place during the dental implant process. Some diseases and health conditions can impact a dentist’s decision on whether or not someone should get dental implants. However, if you are healthy enough for routine extractions or oral surgery, you are generally someone who would do well in having a dental implant.

What kind of health conditions affect the chances I will be a good candidate for dental implants?

Health conditions such as unmanaged diabetes, cancer, frequent radiation to the jaws, alcoholism, and uncontrolled gum disease may play a role in the dentist’s ultimate decision on whether or not you should get dental implants. Smokers are also generally not good candidates for dental implants.

It is important to note that the person getting dental implants must commit to regular dental visits and practicing good oral hygiene. If this is a hard commitment for them to make, then dental implants might not be right for them.

When you meet with your dentist to discuss dental implants, it is important to let them know about all of your health conditions and medications you take so they can make the right decision for your oral health.

Who places the dental implants?

When a dental implant is placed, the team involved usually includes a dental surgical specialist (or periodontist) and oral surgeon or a general dentist with enough advanced training to perform the surgery. This team helps plan the placement of the tooth restoration and perform the surgery, and a laboratory technician fabricates the tooth crown for the final implant.

Does insurance cover the cost of dental implants?

Depending on your health insurance plan and the reason for your tooth loss, coverage may be possible. However, dental implants are not usually covered by insurance and the costs fall on the patient.

The cosmetic dentistry team at Lake Pointe Dental Group is happy to help answer any questions you might have about dental implants. Contact us today for help with your dental implant needs!