Dental implants aren’t for everyone. They can be expensive, the process can be complicated, they require a commitment to good oral hygiene, and they are sometimes not recommended for people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes or cancer.
But compared to alternatives like dentures and bridges, dental implants are often the best choice over the long run.
They feel like natural teeth
Once you have healed from the surgery involved in placing the implants, you can forget they are not your natural teeth. They look and feel like natural teeth, and are as easy to care for.
There is no discomfort. They don’t slip when you bite or chew, are not subject to decay, and don’t put stress on adjacent teeth like bridges can.
They preserve bone and facial structure
Implants not only restore your smile and ability to speak and eat normally, they also preserve your jawbone and facial structure, and prevent adjacent teeth from shifting (which can alter your bite). Because an implant meshes with your jawbone, you are not at risk of bone loss as you can be with dentures and bridges.
They are cost-effective over the long run
When you take into account that implants can last a lifetime with adequate brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dental check-ups, they are not much more expensive than alternatives.
The crown (the false tooth part of the three-part implant) may need to be replaced after 10-15 years, but the implant itself will probably never need replacing. Dentures need be replaced every 5-8 years, and bridges last only 5-15 years.
Being able to forget about the implant has value as well. With the ease of care, implants ‘cost’ less of your time and take less effort to keep clean.
The cost – as well as the process – depends on your needs. When you come to Wilmington Oral Surgery to discuss implants, we conduct a brief exam, take X-rays and ask questions to determine a plan and what the fees will be. We can discuss our new reduced fees, how we submit your bills to your insurance, and go over other payment options to set your mind at ease about affordability.
The technology keeps getting better and better
As implant technologies have become more sophisticated, the pain involved has been greatly reduced. Today, computer-assisted planning before surgery results in more efficient implant placement, less patient discomfort, a reduced or eliminated need for bone grafting, and an easier recovery. With proper sedation and adherence to home instructions, many patients return to work and regular activities the next day.
Dental implants have been used for half a century and are safe. As with any medical procedure, however, there can be complications. Before surgery, we will review your health history and any habits which could affect the success of your implants — such as smoking — so you are fully informed about the risks and benefits.
It doesn’t have to be a long process
In many cases, we can remove teeth, place the implants, and deliver the fixed prostheses in a single treatment visit. (Two to four appointments are needed prior to the day of surgery).
If your jawline has stopped growing, you have good bone density, you practice good oral hygiene and have good gum health, and are willing to commit to after-surgery recommendations such as not smoking or drinking alcohol during healing, you are probably a good candidate for implants.
If you are considering implants, a brief exam, interview and X-rays at Wilmington Oral Surgery will be able to determine whether you are now or can become a good candidate.