A dental implant is a permanent prosthetic tooth designed to serve as a more permanent alternative to dentures.
Dentists and patients like the way that dental implants last longer than removable dentures and look extremely natural. Dental implants function exactly like natural teeth, and patients who receive them are soon eating, drinking, and speaking exactly as they were before they lost any teeth.
The Implant Procedure
Implants are installed over the course of multiple visits to your dentist. You may be referred to a specialized prosthodontist to carry out some or all of the necessary work. It starts with small holes drilled into your jaw where each implant is going to be secured. Titanium posts or screws are then inserted. These are left in place for several weeks, allowing new bone to grow around the screws and make them secure. Titanium is a very neutral material, and few patients experience any sort of adverse reaction to it. Once the screws are secure, custom-sculpted artificial teeth – the implants themselves – are placed on them. Implants are designed to be as durable as possible, and should last for at least 20 years with proper care.
Benefits Of Dental Implants
* Permanent solution to partial or complete loss of natural teeth
* Fixed to jaws via screw connection; removal and replacement not required
* Cared for using the same dental hygiene techniques as natural teeth
* Aesthetics are virtually identical to real teeth
* No cavities
* No dietary restrictions
Who Handles Dental Implants?
Most family dentists have the training and experience necessary to handle dental implant installation. As noted above, though, sometimes specialists such as prothodontists, periodontists, or oral surgeons may be called in to give you the best results. Once you and your dentist plan out a dental implant procedure, he or she will recommend you to any specialists required to complete it successfully.
The Cost Of Dental Implants
The cost of a dental implant procedure can vary widely depending on a number of factors. Review your dental insurance carefully; many plans offer only partial coverage (or none at all) for implants. Upfront costs will also vary from practice to practice and dentist to dentist. You may want to do a little comparison shopping before you settle on the right provider if you want to keep the cost of your implants to a minimum. Remember that results come first, though! You want to make sure that the dentist you do end up working with is both experienced and skilled with this type of work.
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