What are tooth implants?

Are you an adult with missing teeth? According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 2.2% of adults 20 to 64 years old have no remaining teeth, and adults 20 to 64 years old have around 25 of their original 32 teeth remaining. These statistics clearly show that you are not alone if you are missing teeth. But our teeth play a crucial role in our oral health, and gaps in our mouth can lead to other health risks. This makes tooth implants an excellent solution for many patients.

Dental implants are titanium posts surgically implanted into a patient’s jaw to restore their ability to speak and chew. Tooth implants support final restorations such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. But the most remarkable thing about dental implants is that their end result looks, feels, and functions just like a patient’s natural teeth. So unless you tell someone you have implants, no one will know but you (and your dentist, of course).

4 Dental Implant Factors To Consider

The best candidates for dental implants are those in good oral and overall health. Further, the patient needs to have healthy gum tissue and sufficient jawbone density to support the implant. However, bone loss does not necessarily omit patients from implant candidacy. Between modern dental technology and available bone grafting procedures, most patients can become candidates for dental implant surgery.

Let’s break down 4 things to consider about tooth implants.

1. Cost

Though the cost of dental implants can vary from patient to patient based on their health situation, patients should know that implants tend to cost more upfront than other tooth replacement options. Dentures and bridges cost less upfront but require upkeep and eventual replacement. In addition, many insurance plans do not cover the cost of implants because they are considered a cosmetic procedure versus a medically necessary restorative one. So if you are considering implants, it is best to contact your insurance company before you get started to understand what is covered and what is not.

For those who do not have insurance coverage, CareCredit is a great option. CareCredit offers financing for medical and dental needs, including those that are not covered or not fully covered by insurance. And, even better, some CareCredit plans are interest-free, meaning if you pay your balance in full by the due date, you will not incur interest.

At Bloomington Modern Dentistry, we make it easy to afford your care. We accept cash, personal checks, VISA, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and CareCredit.

2. Age

The youngest a person should get dental implants is 18. But in some cases, even 18-year-olds are not yet suitable candidates. Though your jaw is about 80% of the way developed by age 6, the jaw continues to grow and change. For this reason, children cannot get implants because their jaws are still growing. Adults, including senior citizens, are often the best candidates as long as they meet the other necessary criteria.

3. Bone Density

Patients must have enough bone density to support their new implant. The jawbone must have adequate height and width to bond with and adequately support the implant. Sometimes, patients can get a bone graft to improve their success rate for dental implant surgery. Once healed, the jaw may now be strong enough for an implant. However, patients should know that if they do need a bone graft, it will add between several weeks and a few months to the overall process.

Ultimately, dental implants preserve your jawbone density. If you are missing teeth and your dentist determines that you are a candidate, it is best to have the procedure done sooner than later.

4. Preexisting Health Conditions

Certain health conditions and behaviors can increase your risk of implant failure. Smoking, as an example, can increase your risk of infection. The best-case scenario for implant success is to stop smoking completely. Smoking increases your gum tissue’s vulnerability to bacteria, and this bacteria can travel to the implant site and result in an infection. If possible, quit smoking to increase your chances of success and protect your oral and overall health.

Other preexisting conditions can also cause slower healing and lessen the likelihood that the implant will properly bond with your jawbone. Tell your dentist if you have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or an autoimmune disease, as these illnesses might mean slower healing that can result in implant failure.

Be sure to talk to your dentist and ask them any questions about dental implants. Your dental implant expert in Bloomington, Illinois, can help you decide which tooth replacement option is best for you.

Dental implants look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.

As we said before, your new dental implants will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. But there are some other benefits too.

  • Bridges only last about 10 years, but when properly cared for, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
  • Dental implants help preserve your jawbone density and facial structure.
  • Dental implants keep your adjacent teeth from shifting.

Visit Bloomington Modern Dentistry and see why dental implants are one of the best tooth replacement options.

If you are missing teeth, we know that you will want to save your smile. And dental implants are one of the best tooth-replacement options. So if you are ready for dental replacements that will restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth, contact us today to request an appointment at Bloomington Modern Dentistry. We look forward to partnering with you on your path to better oral health.