Dental implants are quickly growing in popularity for people of all ages, but many everyday people still aren’t familiar with the procedure beyond understanding it replaces a tooth.
Let’s take this opportunity to clear up the misunderstandings once and for all and explain in a straightforward way what dental implants are.
What is Implant Dentistry?
Implant dentistry is an approach for permanently replacing lost or missing teeth that anchors crowns in place using surgically implanted hardware.
The goal of implant dentistry is to create a false tooth that can pass for genuine aesthetically and can be brushed, flossed, and cared for just like a natural human tooth. That means you probably know someone who has a dental implant and just haven’t noticed because their result looks so good!
Implant dentistry was pioneered back in the early 1950s, but significant advances over the last 20 years have made implant dentistry less invasive and less expensive than ever before.
How Does a Dental Implant Surgery Work?
Before implant surgery, your dental surgeon will take a series of x-rays to determine the perfect way to install your implant(s). Then, rotten or damaged teeth are extracted as needed.
In some situations, your jaw might be able to accommodate an implant immediately, in which case the surgeon would drill in your implant post and provide a temporary crown. Other times (especially when decay is extensive), a bone graft may be necessary to create a strong base for the implant. In that case, the implant cannot be placed until after a few months of healing.
After you have recovered from the placement of the implant and it is evident the hardware is secure in your healed jawbone, you will undergo a final procedure in which your permanent prosthetic crown is attached to the implant using an abutment. Each crown is custom made to fit your mouth and perfectly replace your missing or damaged tooth.
What are the Advantages of Dental Implant Surgery?
Unlike a denture or bridge, there’s no visible, removable, or easy-to-damage hardware with a dental implant. Furthermore, your long-term maintenance routine involves only regular brushing and flossing, so there’s no new cleaning rituals or tools to buy.
The Huntsville dental implants, crowns, and veneers at our location and at other clinics also look very natural. You never have to worry about them falling out or coming loose at an embarrassing moment.
Let’s face it: there’s a little bit of stigma around dentures and partial plates. We associate them with our grandparents, and nobody wants to hear in their 40s, 50s, or even 60s that they’ll be taking one or more of their teeth out each night for the rest of their lives.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Expensive?
Just a few years ago, there was a misconception that dental implants were only for the very wealthy. That’s because many traditional insurance plans consider implant dentistry a cosmetic/elective procedure rather than one that is necessary from a dental health and hygiene perspective.
Thankfully, insurers are starting to change their tune, and while dental implant surgery is not ubiquitously covered, it is growing in acceptance among carriers.
Even if your entire dental implant journey is not covered by insurance, many aspects of it should be. For example, your x-rays and the extraction of any bad teeth should be covered. Many plans will also pay for your crown, even if they won’t cover the installation of the implant.
The only way to really know what dental implant surgery will cost you is to get a quote from your dental surgeon and insurance provider.