Dental implants are an innovative solution for missing teeth that has revolutionized the field of dentistry and transformed the lives of thousands of people around the world. These small artificial roots are placed directly into the jawbone, ultimately replacing the function of lost teeth. They not only provide a more natural and permanent solution than bridges or dentures but also come with an array of benefits. Here is what you need to know about dental implants, including their benefits, procedure, after-care and cost to help you make an educated decision about whether dental implants are the right solution for you.
The dental implant procedure is typically done in multiple stages, with the first step being to surgically place the implant directly into the jawbone. The implant — which resembles a screw — is made of titanium, a biocompatible metal that integrates easily into the bone. Once the implant is placed, it takes a few months to fully fuse with the jawbone, after which an abutment is connected to the implant and an artificial tooth or crown is placed onto the abutment. The surgical procedure is typically done under local anesthesia, and patients generally feel minimal pain throughout the process.
One of the key features of dental implants is their remarkable durability. With proper care, dental implants can last for more than a couple of decades. They are also highly durable and capable of withstanding high biting forces, unlike other alternatives such as bridges or dentures. Implants also provide a realistic appearance and sensation, while the titanium root promotes bone growth to prevent jawline shrinkage or decay, a common issue with alternative tooth-replacement choices such as dentures. Dental implants can also help improve your speech since they are fixed to the bone and won’t slip or slide around like removable dentures.
Proper after-care is crucial to the success of dental implants. It’s important to maintain a strict oral hygiene routine — the same as you would with natural teeth. Regular check-ups with your dentist are also important to ensure your implants are properly taken care of and maintained. You’ll also want to avoid smoking and limit your consumption of foods and drinks that can stain or erode your teeth.
The cost of dental implants can vary significantly depending on multiple factors, such as the number of teeth being replaced, where the implant is placed and the dental laboratory fee. Insurance companies may cover a portion of the cost, but it’s important to discuss your specific financial situation with your dentist to ensure you’re given a clear understanding of the costs involved, as well as any payment plans that may be available.
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22 November 2023
I have worked as a school nurse for decades. Children come to me with all sorts of scrapes and bumps and bruises. Black eyes from playing football, sprained wrists from falling off the monkey bars and stomachaches from too many sweets are common complaints. However, the issue that seems to cause the greatest angst is tooth problems. Sometimes a child will have a second tooth knocked out when playing sport and parents arrive in tears. At other times, children come to my office crying because their friends are teasing them about teeth that are discoloured or stick out. I take an active interest in the latest dental news so that I can give parents and children comfort and advice. I have included some of my collected wisdom on these pages. Perhaps this information can help you understand some options when faced with a dental problem. Thank you for reading.