Dental implants can be expensive and often aren't covered by insurance, although some insurers will pay for the crown. Still, compared to other alternatives, they can be a worthwhile investment. The implants look and feel like your natural teeth, are fixed in place, and are designed to last. Dental implants offer additional oral health benefits as well.
They Don't Decay
Like bridges and dentures, implants replace missing teeth. But because your dentist needs to fill the two adjoining teeth, placing a bridge can make those teeth weaker and more prone to decay. While you need to clean your gums and the teeth surrounding the implant, the dental implant itself can't decay.
They Strengthen Jawbone
While bridges and dentures can weaken your jawbone, dental implants fuse to the bone, strengthening your jawbone. Placing a bridge requires grinding adjacent healthy teeth that will support the bridge, although doing nothing about a missing tooth or teeth can lead to dental problems as well.
The empty space can cause adjacent teeth to shift. A missing tooth also may cause your jawbone to deteriorate and lose firmness. Dental implants screwed into the jawbone prevent this from happening. But since the titanium post fuses with the jawbone, you need enough bone to support a dental implant.
They Are Long Lasting
Most dental implants are made of titanium and can last for a lifetime if you take the proper care of them. Bridges and crowns only last so long before they need to be replaced. Dentures, too, eventually may need to be adjusted or replaced. For some people, dentures can also be a problem to fit, making dental implants a more practical option.
There Are Alternative Payment Options Available
- Discount Dental Plans. When it comes to paying for dental implants, joining a discount dental plan can save you money. You pay an annual fee and get a discount in return. How much you save depends on the plan you choose. A variety of plans are available to fit different dental needs and budgets.
- Student Dental Implant Programs. If there is a school of dentistry located near you that allows advanced dental students enrolled in oral surgery programs to do dental implants, the procedure can cost you a fraction of what it would otherwise. Students work under the close supervision of dental professionals.
Although this option may be an affordable option that allows you to get a dental implant, you may be required to pay cash. Additional eligibility requirements for a dental implant program usually include being a patient of the student dental clinic and scheduling a comprehensive oral exam.
For more information about dental implants, visit Hartman Gary DDS MS Limited.