Affordable Dental Implants
For those that have missing teeth or dentures, the benefits of dental implants can be amazing. Dental implants are almost always a better option, as they are aesthetically and functionally superior to dentures. We believe dental implants should be seriously considered as the first option to replace failed or missing teeth. While they may be more expensive than other treatments initially, over the course of just a few years they achieve a much higher return on investment.
There are typically three parts to a dental implant.
- The implant: A screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. (see picture above) This is permanently rooted in your jaw and prevents bone loss acting as a surrogate root.
- The abutment: A permanent connector that supports and holds the tooth.
- The prosthetic tooth: Usually made from porcelain, the new tooth will allow you to eat, smile, and speak in the same manner is if it were a natural tooth.
It is a dentist’s responsibility to explain your options before extracting teeth. You can achieve the best result with dental implants if you plan for them before the tooth is extracted. The amount of bone loss in the early months after extraction will make implant placement much more complicated.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Built to last: Dental implants are a long-term solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years (with proper care it can be more than ten), but at some point they will need to be replaced. Dental implants can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for.
Enjoy life without worrying about your teeth! There’s no need to stay home or feel uncomfortable in public with dental implants. Your smile will look beautiful and you won’t have to worry that missing teeth will limit your ability to join in the fun, or that removable dentures will loosen or fall out when you talk, eat, or laugh. Teeth restored with dental implants let you live your life.
Retain your natural face shape, and smile. A face without teeth can sag and appear sunken. Dental implants allow you to maintain your natural features.
Protect healthy bone. When it is not supporting a natural tooth or implant, the jawbone deteriorates, losing its strength and firmness. It is important to know that facial bones provide support to overlying cheek, nose, lips, and skin. Atrophy of these bones directly affects those overlying structures and results in facial collapse and premature aging.
A denture or bridge cannot protect from bone loss because they are not anchored in the jawbone like implants. Implants stimulate ‘bone remodeling,’ a natural biological process in which bone cells are continuously broken down and built up (similar to the layers of our skin cells, but slower). This implant stimulation maintains volume, density, and shape of facial bones.
You can achieve the best result with dental implants if you plan for them before the tooth is extracted. The amount of bone loss in the early months after extraction can make implant placement much more complicated.
Alleviate pressure on other teeth. When missing teeth are not replaced with implants, the remaining teeth have to do more work, and consequently are at higher risk of decay, fractures, and infections. This is especially true with bridges or dentures, as the anchor teeth are overloaded and weakened. Additionally, bridges and dentures make flossing more difficult which can compromise oral hygiene and result in tooth decay. Research shows that individuals with dentures or bridges are more prone to periodontal disease.
Eat and speak freely. Dentures are bulky and cover large surfaces in the mouth, including the palate. This may interfere with tongue movement, resulting in impaired phonetics and speech. Dentures can also make it hard to eat the foods that you love. Because they don’t have the same chewing efficiency of a natural tooth or implant, denture wearers are often limited in their diet. This can cause a lower intake of fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber foods.
All in all, restoring proper dental function to patients by using implants creates a healthier, happier individual.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I too old for implants?
Health–not age–is the determining factor for implant placement. Dr. Morris will review your health history prior to dental implant surgery. A 65-year-old today has a 50 percent chance of living past age 85 and a 25 percent chance of living to age 95. Implants are a good investment in your dental health.
Being too young may prevent you from having implants. Implants can only be placed once growth of the jaw bones has completed. This is usually after age 15 in girls and after age 17 in boys.
Aren’t implants expensive?
Depending on the complexity of your treatment plan, implants may involve a significant investment. Our office makes every effort to provide affordable services, and patients have found our prices to be very competitive. Some dental insurance plans cover a portion of implant fees. Payment plans are available as well. Our financial coordinator can assist you with payment options.
Previous implant patients report that not only was it worth the investment, but they would gladly do it again. Many patients prefer implants not only because of the greater dental dexterity (better ability to chew a wide range of foods) it provides them, but also because it inhibits bone loss in the jaw. Bone loss in the jaw can lead to “widow’s jaw,” a condition making the patient appear older.
How long does treatment take?
It depends on your needs. Implant appointments range from 30 minutes to a few hours and are scheduled over the course of several months to observe proper healing.
Will I have a tooth while I’m waiting for the implant to heal?
During the healing phase a temporary tooth can be provided in a partial denture or a clear retainer. The partial denture is held in place by pink acrylic on the roof of the mouth.