Teeth are something that many people take for granted when they are younger. But once you start to lose them, seemingly easy every day activities become difficult. Dental implants can be a permanent solution and the price might surprise you.
As our bodies get older, we have to start relying on products designed for older people to help in every-day activities. From reading glasses to walking canes, these are things you can buy to greatly increase your quality of life. One such purchase that many older people consider are dental implants.
The quickest way to describe dental implants is that they are replacement teeth. Unlike the kind of partial dentures that you wear over your gums, dental implants are rods that pushed into your jaw. A tooth is then installed on top of it to resemble the rest of your teeth. This way, they don’t stick out from the others.
Thanks to modern medicine, dental implants are more reliable than ever and can last for a long time. They are also comfortable to wear and don’t have an unnatural appearance. You may even forget that you have implants at all, since they look and feel so natural.
Types of Dental Implants
The two types of dental implants that are most common are Endosteal Implants and Subperiosteal Implants. Endosteal means “in the bone”, so describes implants that are installed directly into the jawbone. Many people who have implants go with endosteal ones, because they have the highest success rate.
The main issue with endosteal procedures is that you need to have sufficient bone mass in your jaw. If you don’t have enough bone to support it, a medical professional may suggest a Subperiosteal Implant. Instead of attaching the implant to the bone, a wire frame is installed underneath the gums. After that, the rods are installed to that frame.
An important thing to note is that endosteal implants may be suggested even if you don’t have enough bone mass in your jaw. In these situations, a bone graft or other procedure would be performed first. The reason for this is that endosteal implants have such a high success rate, taking that extra step may be the best course of action.
Benefits of Dental Implants
1. Stronger than other options
Among the main tooth replacement options you may be considering, dental implants are superior strength-wise. They are easier to maintain so will result in less trips to the dentist when compared to dentures or bridges. On top of that, both dentures and bridges eventually have to be replaced, which leads into the next point.
2. Implants are permanent
Bridges and dentures have to be remade when it is time for a new set. As long as you take care of them, implants will last for the rest of your life. They also do not need the occasional readjustments that other options require. Just keep up your dental hygiene and care for your implants the same as all of your other teeth.
3. More comfortable and convenient than other options
As mentioned above, you just have to clean your teeth like normal with dental implants. There is no other maintenance you have to do, which can’t be said about dentures. For example, you don’t have to use adhesive when you want to eat to keep the implants in place. Speaking of movement, dentures can slip around and cause damage to the gums. In comparison, implants will stay in place and allow you to continue living your life normally.
4. Improves self-esteem
It might sound kind of silly to those that aren’t missing teeth, but implants can greatly increase your self-esteem. People who don’t have all their teeth are less likely to smile, and might feel older. That is something that dental implants can remedy. Because they look so much like normal teeth, flashing your pearly whites won’t look unnatural at all. The confidence gained equates to living a more fulfilling life.
5. Easier to eat and speak with
Because implants mimic your natural teeth so well, it won’t change the way you eat or speak. One of the things that can change the way you speak or eat with dentures is that they sometimes move around. Due to the permanent nature of implants, they do not have that same problem. You can continue to chomp away on your favorite foods like nothing ever changed.
6. Protect your other teeth
A bridge is often suggested to people who only need to replace a few teeth. They offer a very natural look and strong bite force when compared to dentures. However, the teeth around the bridge usually have to be ground down prior to the bridge being installed. This is why bridges cannot be used if your natural teeth are too weak. The process will weaken the surrounding teeth, something you can avoid by going with dental implants. Also of note is that implants remove the gap where a missing tooth is, which will keep your natural teeth from moving around or shifting.
7. Save Money in the Long Run
Something that keeps people from buying implants is the up-front cost. There’s no getting away from the truth, which is that dental implants will cost more than a bridge or dentures. The average cost to replace one tooth with an implant is about $1,000, whereas if you were looking to do a full mouth dental implant replacement, it would be anywhere from $7,000 on the low end to $25,000 on the high end. You have to keep in mind they are much easier to maintain though. You won’t have to purchase special equipment or mixtures after the fact. Also, their permanent nature means you don’t have to open your wallet a second time to purchase a replacement, so long as you take care of them.
If you are missing a few teeth, dental implants represent a safe and convenient way to replace them. They will improve your quality of life in many different ways, both physically and mentally. Implants are also the frontrunners to the other options when considering they can last your entire lifetime. If you are ready to learn more, be sure to check with your dentist or other medical specialist to see if they are right for you.