If you’re considering having a dental implant then naturally you are concerned about the chances of its success. It is fair to say that success is determined by where the implant is positioned in the jaw, although statistics reveal that around 98% of implants are successful.
Who can get dental implants?
Usually anyone who is deemed healthy enough to undergo a normal tooth extraction or oral surgery would be considered for an implant. Patients need to have healthy gums which are strong enough to support the implant. They also need to have a history of regular dental visits and good oral hygiene. People who smoke heavily, others with medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease, or those who have undergone radiotherapy or chemotherapy to the neck or head area, will be assessed on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, then the first course of action is to speak to a dental implant dentist to see if it is the right course of action for you.
Are implants covered on your dental insurance?
Implants are considered a cosmetic surgery and are not usually covered on dental insurance. Coverage may be possible depending on your medical plan and/or the reason for your tooth loss. Questions concerning your needs and how they relate to your insurance need to be discussed with your insurance provider and your dentist.
What is involved in the dental implants procedure?
The first step involves setting up a treatment plan designed purely for you. It will look at your specific needs and is prepared by a team of highly trained individuals in both oral surgery and restorative dentistry. The team approach provides co-ordinated care which ensures your health and safety at all times of the procedure.
A small titanium post is placed into the missing tooth’s bone socket. As the gum tissue heals it fuses around the implant anchoring it safely and securely into place. This can take between 6 to 12 weeks depending on the individual.
Once the implant has fused securely with the jaw bone, a small post or abutment is attached to the implant to hold the replacement tooth securely in position. Your dentist will take an impression of your teeth to create a model which will copy the teeth, their type and their arrangement in the mouth. Your new tooth or teeth will be made using the model as a template. This may require several visits to your dental surgery. The replacement tooth, or crown as it is known, is then attached to the abutment.
Your dentist will also match the color of the crown to the exact color of your teeth. Because the implant is fitted into your jaw bone, an implant looks and functions just the same as all of your other teeth.
The cost for dental implants isn’t cheap, but considering they are considered a permanent fixture, and if cared for properly could last a lifetime, they are a worthwhile investment with considerable benefits to other types of tooth replacements.