There are numerous benefits to dental implants. Unlike partial dentures, implants are permanent restorations. The actual implant sits beneath the gum line and an abutment and false crown are attached to the implant post. Implants help your jaw retain its structural integrity and the materials used for the false teeth can be matched to look like your own. If you are wanting to get at dental implant, these are some questions you might have.
Is Everyone a Candidate?
In the past, people with certain health conditions may not have been good candidates. For example, diabetics may not have been good candidates in the past because they tend to heal more slowly. However, there aren't too many contraindications today because doctors are willing to work with patients.
For instance, a diabetic could get an implant as long as they carefully monitored their glucose levels and agreed to follow-ups to check for proper healing.
If you have poor bone density, your dentist may say that you are a candidate as long as you get a bone graft. Bone grafts increase your implant success rate.
If you smoke, your dentist may ask you to abstain for a while when you heal from implant surgery. The chemicals found in tobacco products can hinder proper healing but taking a break from the habit could make increase your success rates.
In short, most people are candidates if they are willing to work with their doctor and follow instructions.
How Much Do They Cost?
A single implant may run between $2,400 and $3,000, but keep in mind that you may need to budget more if your doctor recommends bone grafts or other procedures. While a dental implant is sometimes categorized as a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance, some insurance companies will cover the surgical costs involved.
How Are They Made?
Implants are made in stages. First, your dentist will likely set a date for surgery to insert the implant into the jaw bone. They may use local or general anesthesia during this appointment depending on how many implants you need. Once the implant post is in place, the surrounding gum tissues will need to heal.
While your gums are healing, the dentist will then take an impression of your mouth and the post. This impression is sent to a dental lab where the technicians will use the same implant brand—called an analog—to build an abutment and false tooth. The technicians will scan an analog and model of your teeth into a CAD/CAM program and then a crown will be milled from that design. At your next appointment, the dentist will place either a screw-retained false tooth or a cementable false tooth to the abutment which is then connected to the implant post.
Talk to your dentist for more information about dental implants.