When you were growing up, did you see your relative’s teeth in a jar? Not long ago, tooth decay, tooth loss, and loss due to injuries were a very unfortunate event with a multitude of unpleasant consequences. Eating became a regular challenge. Meat and hard fruits are particularly challenging. Removing dentures at night before bed and putting them in a glass was embarrassing.
The cheapest remedy to a painful tooth was to pull it. That is not such an easy task. Some old fashioned dentists will bring out their most successful extractions to ease your mind and assure you that they had a lot of experience. If an extraction is somehow not successful, further procedures have to be done, and the whole experience is distasteful, to say the least.
Bridges have been used to save appearances. This is the best step up from total removal, but it files down surrounding teeth to hold the bridge.
Then there are the Halloween choppers that strike fear to old and hilarity in young people. Little do they realize that if they eat sweets, and other not agreeable food like soda, and not care for their teeth at home nor maintain regular doctor visits, these dentures may someday save their appearance!
Luckily, our options for replacing missing teeth have always expanded, and the latest development in the dental field implants.
What are Dental Implants?
They are titanium replacement roots. They create a sound basis on which to attach the permanent or removable crown. The crown matches the surrounding teeth in color, so much so that they are hardly noticed.
You can see the top of the titanium root in the following photograph. On the right, you will see the natural looking tooth that attaches to that replacement root. Such a great advancement! This tooth looks perfect.
The purpose of dental implants, or the advantages, if you will, are many.
- Improves appearance.
- Improves speech.
- More comfortable than other methods of tooth replacement.
- Eating is easier.
- Self-esteem goes up; you feel more confident.
- General overall improvement in oral health.
Lasts a lifetime if properly cared for.
Does insurance cover it?
Depending on your plan and the cause of the tooth loss. Discuss this with your dentist and your insurance provider or your doctor. There are special insurers, such as Spirit Dental, that specifically offer plans to help you. With them, you have no waiting period, and 25% to 50% of implants are covered immediately. Next day coverage is available.
How painful is it?
Those who have had the procedure report that it was not painful, and in fact, was less painful than an extraction. This procedure is suitable for any healthy person who can complete an extraction without complications as well as undergo oral surgery. If you have a persistent condition like diabetes, heart disease or you are a heavy smoker, it is best to consult your physician before undertaking this operation. Also, it is not advised if you have had radiation to your head or neck.