5 FAQs Regarding Dental Implants

If you have one or more missing teeth, you may be considering all your options for tooth replacement. However, don't just assume that your only options are dental bridges or dentures. Dental implants are a popular option that have been around for a while, but they are only now becoming a common practice in the world of cosmetic dentistry. If you would like more information regarding dental implants, check out these five frequently asked questions.

What Are They Made From?

A dental implant consists of two main parts: the implant and the crown. The implant is made from titanium, and it sits in the gums to become your new tooth's root. The crown is placed once the area has completely healed from the implant procedure. It is made from porcelain, a common material used to make dental crowns and veneers. While porcelain sounds fragile, it is actually a durable material that can withstand daily wear and tear well. Plus, porcelain isn't just white or "tooth-colored." It has a translucent property like real tooth tissue.

Do They Require Existing Teeth to Anchor the Implant?

If you've ever had a dental bridge, you know the process. The dentist grinds down two healthy teeth to hold the bridge in place and fill in the missing tooth. This means your dentist must purposely damage healthy teeth to replace the missing teeth. Dental implants don't require this. As previously stated, they sit in the gums like a real tooth root. Even better, however, is the fact that titanium can fuse to bone. Therefore, after a while, your jawbone fuses to the titanium root to anchor the tooth.

How Long Do They Last?

Your natural teeth are held in your gums with ligaments. Without these powerful ligaments, your teeth would just fall out easily. When you have a dental implant, the ligaments don't grow back, but as the bone fuses to the titanium, it creates that strong hold like a ligament. With dental bridges, the strong cement used to glue the crown to the healthy teeth will last a long time, but even with perfect care, the pressure on the teeth eventually weakens the hold, and the bridge must be replaced. Dental implants, on the other hand, may last you the rest of your life if you follow proper care routines.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The reason so many people shy away from dental implants is the price. They are not the most affordable option. In fact, they are the most expensive option to replace missing teeth. A single dental implant can cost up to $4,500. If you have multiple missing teeth, your dentist will likely suggest an implant-supported bridge or implant-supported dentures. They still have the same advantages of implants, but they use fewer implants. For example, if you were missing six teeth, you may only need two implants for an implant-supported bridge, but six single implants would need six implants, costing more money.

Is a Bone Graft Necessary?

A bone graft is sometimes necessary when you get a dental implant. This can increase the price and the treatment time, but it is necessary to strengthen the bone. It's usually only necessary if your teeth have been missing for a long time. This is because your jawbone shrinks when you have no teeth, but to hold an implant, it needs to be strong again. Depending on how much bone you need, your dentist may take a graft from another part of your body.

If you are missing one or more teeth, don't be afraid to consider a dental implant. It is a durable way to replace your missing teeth. If you would like more information regarding dental implants or other dental procedures, contact a cosmetic dentist in your area today.