The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) reports that about 30 million Americans have missing teeth. Missing teeth are not just harmful to self-esteem, but once a tooth is lost, the jawbone below that tooth starts to lose bone mass, because it is no longer being stimulated. This unfortunate side effect can permanently alter your facial structure, and make it difficult to eat normally. Fortunately, if you have missing teeth, there are several options and procedures that can restore your smile.
- Dental tooth implants
- Dental bridges and crowns
Approximately 15 million adults in the United States have crowns and bridges, according to the AAID. However, depending on where the missing teeth are located, how many are missing, and the status of the rest of your teeth, you may be limited in your options for replacing those missing teeth. One popular option for replacing one, multiple, or all teeth, is a dental implants procedure. If you have never heard of this procedure before, the name alone is not really enough to give you a good idea of the process. Here is a simplified look at what the dental implants procedure might be like for you, step by step.
- A cosmetic dentist will consult with you to determine if you are a good candidate.
- Depending on your jaw bone density, you may require bone grafting before you can receive implant surgery.
- During the implant surgery, a small post, made out of titanium, is implanted into your jawbone.
- Several months may be required for the titanium and your bone to fuse together.
- After your jawbone has healed and sealed the implant in, an abutment will be added to provide a place for the new tooth to connect.
- Measurements and impressions are taken to create the replacement teeth.
- A natural looking tooth, or several teeth, cap the implant.
- Your implants are treated like natural teeth, and do not need to be removed for brushing and cleaning.
- With proper care, your implants might last a lifetime.
It is important to note that there are two types of implants. There are regular implants, and mini implants. The mini implants are the more inexpensive dental implants due to their smaller size. The cost of mini dental implants is slightly below the $4,300 average for implants, including the cost of an abutment, and crown. If bone grafting or additional surgeries are required, the cost for your implant procedure will rise accordingly.
Did you know that each year, about 5 million teeth are lost due to sports injuries alone? There are a number of unfortunate events which can result in tooth loss, but it is important to realize that even though your permanent teeth might be gone, cosmetic dentistry has found ways of making convincing replacements. If you are in need of a dental makeover, or just the replacement of a few teeth, a dental implants procedure could be the right course for you.