Dental health is as important as your physical health. For one, good oral health can help reduce the risk of developing periodontal diseases. Moreover, complications from poor oral health can also lead to the development of health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
However, there may be instances wherein damage to your teeth happens, leading to tooth decay or even loss. Or in some cases, an accident or injury could cause you to lose your tooth. Regardless, tooth loss can impact one’s well-being. It can cause the gum to recede or experience difficulty in speaking and chewing. But aside from causing pain or discomfort, it can also affect one’s confidence, especially since it can shift the alignment of the surrounding teeth. For some, it can lower their self-esteem as they tend to be more conscious when they smile or talk with other people.
Fortunately, with advancements in the dental field, there are many options you can explore to replace your missing teeth. Dental implants, for instance, can help fill the gap and restore that confident and beautiful smile. And suppose you’re considering getting dental implants. In this article, we’ll explore answers to questions like the cost of dental implants in Columbia, MO, or in your area, its benefits, and risks. Read on to learn more.
An Overview Of Dental Implants
Dental implants are medical devices surgically placed along your jawbone, acting as the missing tooth root and supporting artificial teeth and crowns. This can be a good tooth replacement approach that can help improve your oral health and lifestyle. As a good start, here are the different types of dental implants:
- Endosteal Implants: These are perhaps the most common type of implants. It’s typically made of titanium and placed directly on the jawbone to hold the replacement tooth. Your dental provider could recommend this type if you have good oral health, healthy gum tissue, and a strong jawbone.
- Subperiosteal Implants: This type of implant is an alternative to endosteal implants. Unlike the latter, this type sits on top of your jawbone, still under your gum, instead of being attached directly to the bone. This type is usually recommended by dentists if there’s no adequate bone which the implant can attach into.
- Zygomatic Implants: Zygomatic implants are the least used type and perhaps the most complex. This is typically done to replace a patient’s teeth in the upper jaw. And unlike the previous types, this type is implanted on the zygomatic bone or one’s cheekbones.
Since not all tooth loss cases are the same, your dentist can best assess which type is suited to address your concern. In general, dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means that you don’t need to be confined in the hospital as you recover. You’ll also be sedated, so you won’t feel any discomfort or pain during the procedure.
How Much Do They Cost?
Considering how dental implants work and how complex dental implant surgery is, it’s not a surprise that it doesn’t come with an affordable price. While, at first glance, this procedure seems expensive compared to tooth replacement alternatives like dentures and bridges, it can be more cost-effective down the road since the maintenance it requires is less extensive.
Generally, the cost of dental implants varies on a tooth-to-tooth basis. Most dental clinics will not be able to give you a fixed price about how much the service will cost you as they need to check your case first to identify the type of implant and your treatment plan. But as a point of reference, it can range from $1,500 to $6,000 per tooth.
What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?
Aside from filling the gap from your missing tooth, here are the other notable benefits of getting dental implants:
- Enhances The Appearance Of Your Smile
For most people, it can be difficult to feel confident if you have a missing tooth. As mentioned earlier, it can affect one’s self-esteem since you tend to feel conscious when smiling. And to help you restore that confidence, dental implants can help.
After placing the implant into your jawbone, your dentist will create a tooth or crown that matches the shape and color of the teeth surrounding your missing one. This can help you achieve a fuller and brighter smile. And suppose you have some other tooth concerns like a chipped or cracked one, you can ask your dentist about dental bonding to completely transform your smile.
- Prevents Bone Loss
Your teeth are supposed to be complete. If you have a missing tooth, the jawbone will slowly get weak and deteriorate because of a lack of stimulation. It will slowly decrease its bone mass as it forces your teeth to come together.
Generally, if you didn’t place any implant within the first year of losing your teeth, you already lose 25% of their volume. This value will continue to increase over the years without teeth replacement.
- Lasts A Lifetime
Some people prefer a dental bridge to restore their missing tooth as they’re a more non-invasive and less painful option. However, a dental bridge can only last for about 10 years, requiring another set and expense. With a dental implant, you can guarantee it’ll last long, especially with proper care and maintenance.
And since dental implants will last for a lifetime, they can be a cost-effective solution to fill the gap caused by your missing tooth as you don’t have to worry about paying for another procedure for replacement or repair.
- Keeps Adjacent Teeth In Place
When you lose your tooth, the surrounding teeth might move or shift and cause misalignment. Simply put, this can alter the appearance of the rest of your teeth. And in some cases, it can also affect how you bite and chew. It’d be good to note, too, that misalignment can add extra pressure on your jaw, which can lead to headaches or develop Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, affecting the jaw joint and the muscles controlling the jaw movement.
With dental implant injury, you can replace your missing tooth and prevent adjacent teeth from moving. This can keep everything in place and help ensure you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
- Prevents Facial Sagging
When you lose a part of your jaw due to tooth loss, it doesn’t just make your gums appear smaller but can also affect your overall appearance. This can lead to facial sagging or premature aging, which can make you look like you’re older than you actually are, eventually affecting one’s confidence and self-esteem.
For instance, tooth loss can reduce the height of your jawbone, also affecting your facial height. In some cases, this can make your face appear hollow or sunken. Moreover, without teeth replacement, you can also develop wrinkles around the mouth due to changes in angulation.
By getting a dental implant, not only do you get to have something that looks and feels like real teeth, but you can also prevent facial sagging and maintain a healthy and glowing look.
- Help Improve Speech
Missing a tooth or a few more can generally affect how you speak. Even if you put on dentures, they can still affect how you pronounce or enunciate words correctly, especially if you’re not used to them.
On the other hand, since dental implants mimic the look and feel of a real tooth, there’s little to no discomfort when speaking. And considering they’re permanently attached to your jawbone, you can speak naturally without worrying about your dentures falling off.
- Allows For Natural Eating
Wearing dentures or dental bridges can be limiting. For one, you may find yourself with limited options for what you can eat. For example, you may find it challenging to eat chewy food since it may cause damage to your dentures or bridges. Moreover, it’s also common to feel conscious or uncomfortable when eating, especially with the thought that they may fall off while you chew food.
Since a dental implant is permanently attached to your jaw, you can eat as naturally as you want. You wouldn’t have to worry or feel conscious about your artificial teeth falling off. They also won’t feel uncomfortable, as you won’t even feel that you have one after it’s fully healed.
- Easy To Maintain And Care For
Even if your dental implants come with artificial teeth, you still need to care for them to prevent bacteria build-up inside your mouth. Fortunately, the maintenance of your dental implants is easy. You can treat it how you care for your natural teeth and perform your regular oral routine by brushing your teeth, flossing every night, and going to the dentist for regular checkups.
Moreover, there’s also no need to purchase special products or tools to clean them since you can use what you already have at home. You don’t need to use cleansing tablets, special floss, or adhesive to maintain its appearance and condition. Although, your dentist may prescribe that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste.
What Are The Risks Of Dental Implants?
As you familiarize yourself with how dental implants work and how they can benefit you, it’s equally important to know the possible risks or complications of getting one. After all, while this can be a promising procedure to restore your teeth, dental implants also have their own share of setbacks.
To name a few, here are some risks associated with dental implants.
Like any type of surgery, one of the most common risks of dental implants is getting an infection. An infection surrounding the implant is a form of gum disease called peri-implantitis. This can be due to poor oral hygiene while the surgery site is still recovering and, in some cases, a compromised immune system.
Depending on the infection, the treatment generally varies on a case-to-case basis. For light cases, your dentist may prescribe you some antibiotics. However, severe infections may require the removal of the implant. And in some cases, bone grafting is also needed to replace the damaged bone.
- Dental Implant Failure
Unfortunately, not everyone gets a successful dental implant on their first try. Since your jaw needs to adapt to the implant for a few months, you need to ensure that it’s secure inside your mouth.
However, there may be some instances wherein your body will reject the implant or when the bone fails to grow around the implant. While cases of foreign object rejection don’t happen often, they can still occur. When this happens, implant removal will be required, and a possible reattempt once the area is fully healed. Some of the signs of rejection include swelling in the dental site, chills, and fever.
- Tissue Or Nerve Damage
There are some instances wherein your dentist might accidentally place the implant too close to a nerve. This might cause pain, tingling, or numbness around the area. While it’s normal to feel those symptoms on the first few days from the implant, experiencing long-term effects might be a sign of nerve or tissue damage.
If you’re feeling extreme pain after the first few weeks from your implant, consult your dentist immediately. They can best help assess your situation and recommend the next steps to take or prescribe medications for pain relief.
Wrapping It Up
Dental implants can provide you with plenty of amazing benefits. For one, they can help restore your beautiful and confident smile and boost your jawbone’s health. They can also help keep everything in place and prevent surrounding teeth from moving or shifting. And since they mimic the characteristics of natural teeth, there’s nothing to worry about with how you talk, eat, and laugh with one on.
But much like with anything, they also come with a few drawbacks. While there are some risks associated with getting dental implants, know that they’re only a rare event, which you shouldn’t worry too much about. Moreover, they come with a bit of a hefty price, but the benefits they bring to the table would surely make every penny worth it.
Aside from the insights discussed in this post, don’t hesitate to consult with your dentist to know more about dental implants, how they can improve your oral health, the possible complications and risks you need to be aware of, and discuss your treatment plan.