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Do I Need Dental Implants?

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Losing your teeth can be difficult emotionally and physically. It makes simple tasks like eating and speaking challenging. Have you been considering correcting your smile? Luckily, dental implants can help! Here is what you need to know about dental implants and if they are right for you.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants work as a stable anchor for replacement teeth. They ensure that you can eat and speak without experiencing denture movement in your mouth. The implants, made from titanium and other compatible materials, are surgically inserted into the upper and lower jawbone.

There are two main types of implant treatments:

  • Endosteal implants: These are the most commonly inserted dental implants. They look like small screws and are placed in the jawbone to support your new teeth.
  • Subperiosteal implants: Your dentist may recommend this type of implant if you have a shallow jawbone. These dental implants are inserted under the gum and above or on the jawbone. The replacement teeth are then mounted on the posts - these are the metal attachments that will anchor your new teeth.

The cost of dental implants varies according to the patient's requirements and location. The Dental Implant Cost Guide estimates that a single tooth implant costs between $1,000 and $3,000, while two implants cost up to $15,000. Four to six implants with the supported dentures come in at an average cost of $34,000 per denture, with prices up to $95,000 recorded for both upper and lower.

Do I Need Dental Implants?

If you are looking to fix the gaps in your smile, the good news is that most denture patients are likely candidates for implants. An ideal candidate for dental implants should have:

  • Good oral hygiene regimen; brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Healthy gums and oral tissue.
  • Sufficient bone mass to support the placement of dental implants.

But what happens if your dentist finds that you do not have enough jawbone mass? Patients with insufficient bone mass may be unlikely candidates for this procedure. However, some procedures can help rebuild and restore jawbone:

  • Bone augmentation: This is done using synthetic bone, donor bone, bone growth additives, or bone from other parts of the body. Your dentist will then use this to restore the bone in your tooth sockets.
  • Sinus lift: This is a procedure where bone is added to your upper jaw between your molars and premolars, referred to as sinus augmentation or sinus elevation. The sinus membrane is lifted to create space for the additional bone.
  • Ridge expansion: This surgery is performed when the jaw is not wide enough to support implants. The ridge bone is divided to create a space that will be filled with bone graft material.

Speak to your dentist to find out if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implants offer a long term solution to missing teeth. But are they safe? Well, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, there are about 3 million people in the United States with dental implants, and this number continues to grow annually. When performed by a qualified and experienced dental implant dentist, this is a safe and successful treatment. In addition, dental implants are the only dental restoration procedure that protects your natural jawbone while assisting bone growth.

The gaps in your teeth can affect your oral health and self-confidence, but dental implants are an option that can help you fix your smile. Implants provide a solid support for your new teeth, with the added benefit of a natural look. If you have been thinking about getting dental implants, start by speaking to your dentist to determine if you are a good candidate for this.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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