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What Makes Dental Implants the Right Choice?

Dental implants are an effective and increasingly popular solution for replacing missing or broken teeth. But if you’re not familiar with dental implants, or you’re not sure what the best solution is, you may be apprehensive about moving forward with a dental implant procedure.

How exactly do dental implants work? And what makes them the right choice for a given individual?

What Are Dental Implants?

Let’s start with the basics. Dental implants are permanent, surgically implanted replacements for a lost, missing, or broken tooth in your mouth. During the initial procedure, a dentist will drill into your gum and jawbone, implanting a post that will serve as the foundation for the rest of the dental implant. In time, your jawbone will grow around this post, permanently securing it in place and making it a part of the rest of your mouth.

From there, your dentist will install an abutment, serving as additional support, followed by a crown, which will look, feel, and function just like a normal tooth. You won’t feel much of a difference in your mouth, and you’ll be able to smile the way you used to.

You can pursue a dental implant procedure in a city near you. Dental implants in Arlington, TX are no different than dental implants in Phoenix, AZ, so many people choose to work with a local dentist with whom they’re already familiar or a dental implant specialist in their hometown. 

Dental implants are best cared for the same way you would care for your normal teeth. You’ll brush them, floss them, and go to the dentist for periodic cleanings. There’s no additional maintenance required, and the risk of future complications is extremely low. That said, there’s still a chance that your dental implant crown could crack or fracture – just like a normal tooth.

Are Dental Implants Better Than Dentures?

Until recently, dentures have been one of the most popular choices for tooth replacement. If you’re missing one or several teeth, dentures may be able to close the gap both aesthetically and functionally.

However, dental implants are superior to dentures in several different ways. For starters, they are permanent, and they require far less maintenance. While both dental implants and dentures are custom-fitted to your mouth, only dental implants are permanently affixed to your jaw. 

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With dentures, you’ll be required to fix them to your gums and take them out regularly. Dentures also require significantly more consideration and maintenance. For example, you’ll need to take them out after meals and remove any loose food particles. You’ll also need to take them out at night so they can soak in a cleaning solution.

There are only a couple of advantages that dentures have over dental implants. For starters, they may be less expensive. However, maintenance and upkeep costs can quickly make them cost-inefficient. Additionally, if you’re replacing many teeth, dentures may be more convenient and cost-effective.

Who Qualifies for Dental Implants?

Most people are capable of getting dental implants if they have a broken or missing tooth. However, there are some limitations.

  •       Jawbone and gum health. First, dentists need to make sure that you have excellent jawbone and gum health. If you’re missing a section of your jawbone, if you suffer from low bone density, or if your gum health is in poor shape, you may not qualify for a dental implant. You need to have a strongly secured foundation for dental implants to work.
  •       Age. Because your mouth and face are still developing, dental implants are not recommended for people under the age of 18. Additionally, you may not qualify for dental implants if you’re over age 80, as the risk of complications will significantly increase.
  •       Existing medications. Dental implant surgery requires you to be under anesthetic, so you may not qualify if you’re taking certain medications that interfere with anesthesia.
  •       Other risk factors. Your dentist will also ask you about your other risk factors, which could increase your chances of a complication. For example, excessive tobacco and alcohol use may prohibit you from getting dental implant surgery.

Factors to Consider

So are dental implants the right choice for you?

Be sure to consider:

  •       Your risk factors and qualifications. Your first and most obvious group of considerations will include your age, your risk factors, and whether you qualify for this surgery. There are some members of the population that will not qualify for dental implant surgery for one reason or another. If you aren’t a good candidate, you can quickly rule out the possibility of dental implants and move on to a different option.
  •       The number of teeth you’re replacing. You’ll also need to think about the number of teeth you’re replacing. Partial dentures exist, providing replacements and support for one or a small handful of missing teeth. However, if you’re only replacing a few teeth, dental implants are almost always the better option. If you don’t have any teeth, or if you’re replacing many teeth at once, it may be better to get a set of dentures.
  •       Your age. The younger you are, the more you should be thinking about dental implants. Remember, dental implants are designed as a permanent solution that requires very little maintenance. If you’re going to live for decades to come, you don’t want to spend those decades meticulously caring for a temporary set of dentures.
  •       Your goals, desires, and preferences. Some people have a natural preference for dental implants or a different alternative. You may be apprehensive about the surgical procedure or may genuinely love the aesthetics of dental implants. Think about your goals, desires, and preferences.
  •       Your budget (and insurance availability). Finally, consider your budget. Dental implants aren’t particularly expensive, but they aren’t affordable for everybody. Increasingly, dental implants are fully or partially covered by dental insurance, so ask your insurance company about your potential coverage.

For most people, dental implants are a far superior choice to dentures and other alternatives. After one surgical procedure and the installation of a crown, you’ll be able to talk, eat, and even brush normally indefinitely. As long as you take good care of your dental implant, it can be a permanent installation in your mouth – making you feel like you never lost a tooth in the first place.

Photo by Bogdan condr on Unsplash

Kyle Portman

I love writing, reading, gaming and educating.

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Kyle Portman

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