What are dental implants?
Dental implants are widely considered one of the best tooth replacement options available. Before we explore why they’re so great as tooth replacements, we must understand what they are and how they work. Dental implants are essentially replacements for the root structures of missing teeth — not the visible crown. A dental implant is a titanium post drilled into the jawbone underneath the vacant socket of the missing tooth. Once the titanium post is drilled into place, the surrounding bone tissues gradually merge with it, making it an intrinsic part of your dental anatomy. As such, dental implants replace the root structures of the missing teeth.
Osseointegration is the process whereby your bone tissues merge with the titanium implant. After that process is complete and your dental implant is integrated with your anatomy, the dentist attaches an abutment to the implant. This is a connective device — it connects the implant to the restoration. The dentist can then attach a dental crown, bridge, or even a denture to the implant or implants. As such, dental implants provide a firm, fixed, and permanent base for dental restoration. The final structure is extremely resilient, and it looks, feels, and functions like natural teeth. It’s essentially indistinguishable from natural teeth.
What are my tooth replacement options?
Dental bridges are suitable for patients missing multiple teeth in a row. A dental bridge is essentially a series of prosthetic teeth (pontics) supported by dental crowns or implants on both sides. If you’re missing two teeth, the dental bridge will consist of two pontics with dental crowns on either end. The dentist will shave the surface off the two surrounding teeth, filing them down to small stubs that can support the crowns. The dental bridge will be attached to the two healthy abutment teeth, and the pontics will replace the missing teeth. This is the ideal solution for patients who don’t want to undergo surgeries.
Complete and partial dentures are suitable for patients missing a high number of teeth, or even all of their teeth, and those who don’t want surgeries. If you’re missing multiple teeth, you can get partial dentures. The prosthetic teeth on the partial dentures will correspond to the spaces of your missing teeth, and the entire structure will be supported on the backs of your existing teeth. Complete dentures are a series of fake teeth supported on a gum-colored or pink base. You have to attach the entire denture to your gums using adhesives. However, dentures don’t look or feel natural — they can even slide out of place in some situations, leading to embarrassment.
Dental implants, as mentioned previously, are replacements for the root structures of your teeth — not the visual crown. As such, dental implants provide a firm base for dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. If you’re missing one tooth, you can get one implant to support one dental crown. If you’re missing multiple teeth in a row, you can get one or two implants to support an entire dental bridge. If you’re missing all teeth in a row, you can get four dental implants to support a complete denture. As such, dental implants provide a solid foundation for your restorations, making them ideal for teeth replacement.
Why are dental implants the best for teeth replacement?
Dental implants are the best for teeth replacement because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They withstand complete bite force, so you can eat whatever you want, including steak. Furthermore, dental implants also support the underlying jawbone structure, which prevents jawbone disintegration. When you lose teeth, the underlying bone tissues start disintegrating, leading to sagging facial tissues and a lack of jaw definition. Other tooth replacement options don’t support the jawbone. However, dental implants support jawbones, thereby making you look younger.
What is the dental implants procedure?
- The dental implant is drilled under the socket of the missing tooth.
- You undergo a healing period for several months.
- An abutment is attached to the implant.
- The prosthetic tooth or crown is attached to the abutment.
What are the benefits of tooth implants?
- Look completely natural, indistinguishable from natural teeth.
- Feel completely natural — you may even forget the exact location after some time.
- Support complete bite force, so you can eat whatever you want.
- No risk of the implant slipping or sliding out of place.
- Can replace one, multiple, or all your teeth.
- Support the underlying jawbone tissues.
How much do implants cost?
The cost of dental implants depends on numerous factors, including the type of implants used, the location of implants, and the type of restoration. As such, the specific cost of dental implants is hard to summarize. Please contact your implant dentist — they will curate a personalized treatment plan and provide an accurate quote for your implant cost.
Will my insurance cover my implants?
Most dental insurance providers don’t cover dental implant procedures because they’re not deemed medically necessary. However, you can talk to your dental implant dentist about other possible financing plans, such as CareCredit or in-house payment options.
Am I too old for implants?
No. You are not too old for dental implants. You can get dental implants at any age, provided you have sufficient jawbone tissues to support the implants. However, if you don’t have enough jawbone tissues, your implant dentist may perform a bone grafting procedure in advance to improve your candidacy.
Schedule an appointment with your implant dentist in Houston today
VIP Dental Implants is one of the most reliable dental clinics for dental implants and restorations. Our implant dentist specializes in the latest dental implant techniques, including all-on-4 dental implants for edentulous patients. Please schedule an appointment at our implant dental office in Houston, TX, for more information.