Teeth all work together as a unit to aid in chewing, speaking and smiling. The loss of one or more teeth can make these everyday functions difficult and even change the appearance of facial features. Fortunately, there are options for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are the most permanent and aesthetic option for patients looking to replace teeth that have been lost due to decay, infection, periodontal disease or trauma.
How a Dental Implant Works
A dental implant is placed below the gum line and acts the same as the root of the tooth would. By placing a supporting crown or denture on top of the implant, a patient is able to function like they would with a natural tooth.
Who is a good candidate?
- Patients missing one or more of their natural teeth
- Good general health
- Patients unhappy with the fit or look of partial dentures or full dentures
- Good supporting bone
Although good general health is very helpful to the success of a dental implant, patients with health conditions can still be good candidates. Those with diabetes, certain heart conditions or high blood pressure should alert their dentist to their health condition so that their overall general health can be closely monitored.
Success Rate of a Dental Implant
Dental implants have a very high success rate if they are placed in proper conditions and in the right patient. Certain conditions can exclude dental implants as a choice or cause them to be unsuccessful, such as:
- Thin jaws that cannot take a bone graph
- Smoking – According to a study done in the Journal of Periodontology (JOP) smokers are have greater risk of infection and tend to heal more slowly.
- Children – Since the jaw bone is still growing, dental implants are usually delayed until adulthood.
- Health – certain medical conditions or medications may prevent implant healing
What if I have bone loss?
Over time, in areas where teeth are missing, the bone is naturally resorbed by the body. It becomes shorter and thinner. If a patient desires an implant and has been missing a tooth or teeth for several years, the bone has most likely already begun to resorb and the area may require the placement of additional bone. Bone grafting may be placed prior to an implant to ensure that the bone is thick enough and strong enough to successfully support an implant.
What is the cost of dental implants?
- Implants and their corresponding crowns range in cost from $2500 – $5500.
- In some cases, insurance may provide benefits toward an implant, but the majority do not.
- Our office offers payment plans and financing through Chase and CareCredit.
To find out more, please visit our dental implants page or call us at (203) 377-9300 to set up an appointment.