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Is That Smile Worth It – Dental Implants
Cosmetic surgery for has become so popular in today’s society that many people are wondering if it is a necessary dental procedure. The latest news would have you believe that everyone needs some sort of cosmetic dental work but that is far from the truth. While they aren’t a necessity for everyone, dental implants can provide tremendous benefits if, in fact, you do require them. Most people know the benefits of fillings, root canals, extractions, and full dentures but dental implants have created a solution for many dental problems.
Dental implants replace chipped, broken, damaged or diseased teeth. A dentist, or an oral surgeon removes the teeth that are no longer healthy or the client decides to replace it not only for looks but so that you can have a healthier mouth and life. The implant itself, made from porcelain, shaped into teeth that are identical to real ones. If you think all the celebrities were born with these perfect teeth and smiles, think again, some have dental implants. The teeth are man-made and designed to look and feel as close to a real tooth as possible. Sound’s simple to rush to the dentist and have a full set of perfect teeth replacing the ones that aren’t so perfect, right? Well, let’s take a closer look to see what all requirements there are to having dental implants.
First, let’s look at how they get implanted into the mouth.
The teeth, attached to a small titanium steel rod get implanted into the jawline, one at a time. The titanium rod’s purpose is to keep the tooth in place. The rod itself is permanent, but the teeth will need to get replaced on average between 10-15 years. The rod measure 1 centimeter long and once implanted is there to stay. Over the last 2 decades, implants have given a better quality of life to millions that had missing teeth or pain caused by dentures.
As with anything, there are both pros and cons to having the dental implant procedure. Having perfect teeth and a beautiful smile comes with its own risk.
- BREAKAGE: Just because the implant is down in the gums does not prevent any breakage. This is one of the main problems. There can be breakage in the jawline as well as the tooth it supports. Depending on which route the dentist used attaching the tooth to the rod, with glue or screws will determine what went wrong.
- INFECTION: As with most foreign objects implanted into the body, infection plays a big role of things that can and does go wrong. Dental implants carry risk of infection usually right after the surgery gets done but there is always risk at any time. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you have any type of problem with your auto immune system. Patients with medical problems such as this are at risk for infection.
- COST: The cost of having dental implants is not for the weak at heart. This is an expensive procedure; one most insurance plan’s will not cover. The procedure will more than likely demand many office visits, these too with have to get paid by the patient. Depending on the dentist or the surgeon, prices vary, the range of cost can be anywhere from $850.00 to $3200.00 per tooth. Do the math on that and you can see why only people like Tom Cruise have the pretty smiles. There are dental plans that pay for a percentage of the cost. Met life, Aetna, Dental Implant Insurance, Careington Care 500 all claim to cover the cost.
- LACK OF BONE: Like everything else, this too is something that just because it’s something you want doesn’t me you can have it. For those that may have bone content issues, you may not qualify for the implants. You must make sure you pick a well-known, experienced dentist to do your implants. If you have weak bone and have implants, damage could cause the bone to break.
- TIME: Having several teeth implanted will take many visits. This is not a procedure that you will go in and get all your teeth in one day and go home. Once the implant procedure gets completed, you will need a lot of time for it to set. The bone has to heal around the rod for it to be stable. This takes a long period of time for the surrounding tissue, the gum and the bone to heal.
Now, let’s talk about why so many people are choosing to go the route of having permanent implants. Beyond the fact that they have an amazing, perfect white smile.
- AESTHETICS: Most people that have dentures complain about feeling nothing like their real teeth. The taste of food is different; the feel of food is different. The way the teeth fit in the mouth is awkward. This is where implants are different. They act and feel just like real teeth. Implants are man-made out of porcelain, made to look and feel just like human teeth. So it is not surprising that having them would feel close to the real thing.
- COMFORT: Beings these get implanted into the mouth, they don’t move around causing discomfort or pain. With typical dentures, while eating they tend to move around. Allowing food to get under them, implants have no way of this happening. Once the implants are in and healed, the discomfort is gone.
- PERMANENCE: Once they are in, they are there to stay. Not a lot of maintenance or having to adjust or replace. The average tooth last up to 15 years while the rod is permanent.
- FUNCTION: This is as close to having real teeth as you can get. Implants function just like real teeth. Once damaged or missing teeth get replaced, the mouth is on its way back to being a healthy, happy mouth with a gleaming smile. The bite is back to normal and the chew is re-established.
- APPEARANCE: Stunning!
As you can see, getting dental implants is a huge step, one to take your time and get several referrals for a dentist. It’s expensive, but if you have the money, the time and the patience and want a beautiful set of new teeth, then this is the way to go.
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