The Benefits of Dental Implants
Implants have been around for a while but just recently I would say in the last five, six years I believe they’re the standard care for a missing tooth. Why do I say that? Well for two reasons, because the other option for something that’s permanent in your mouth is a bridge. A bridge, if a person’s missing, let’s say they have their front tooth knocked out. They have their front tooth knocked out, the options are we can put an implant in and replace that tooth. The advantage of doing an implant in that situation is the person has a one tooth problem, they lost the tooth and now we’re replacing that one tooth problem with an implant.
An implant when it fuses with the bone is generally gonna be there for the rest of the patient’s life barring injury as long as they make an attempt to keep it clean and healthy. The alternative, doing a bridge involves taking the tooth/teeth next to where the tooth was lost and shaving them down for crowns and putting a false crown in between and having it three crowns essentially fused together that then are cemented up there. That’s a lot quicker than doing an implant. It’s generally a little bit less expensive although the cost is getting pretty much the same now but the big disadvantage is you’re taking a one tooth problem and your turning it into a three-tooth problem down the road because if anything goes on with either of those two teeth that’s holding the bridge in place then it’s the whole thing needs to redone or addressed and we found in our studies and looking at bridges over the years that the problem with bridges is after 10, 15 years generally they’re gonna have to be redone either because it’s an aesthetic problem in the front of the mouth or just wearing tear and tear with the back of the mouth. So what would be better, to have your natural teeth and an implant or to have three teeth that need to be redone over and over again?
I think people in general though, a lot of times it does come down to cost and what does my insurance cover. What we’re finding now though is a lot of insurance companies are now starting to cover implants. But given the two I always tell people if you look at the investment, if you’re gonna invest in the implant, that’s something that’s gonna last you a lot longer whereas if you’re 25 years old and you just got your front tooth knocked out and you do a bridge, that bridge at minimum unless something changes dramatically in technology, and it doesn’t look like it’s going that way, you’re gonna have that bridge done two or three more times over the next several decades. It’s the same thing with partial dentures because that’s the other solution sometimes that people would choose because they’ll want the least expensive and a partial denture is nothing more than denture but it’s only replacing partial or part of the mouth. The problem with partial dentures is they have clips that hook on to the good teeth and those clips actually work the same way our tools do and when you chew on them they slowly loosen your teeth and the teeth fall out and then you’re adding more teeth and more teeth and more teeth and that’s generally what happens until you don’t have any teeth and now you’re into dentures. But during that time you’re losing bone and losing bone that means more difficult to put implants in. With inflation you’re gonna spend a lot more doing that and you’re gonna have a lot more complications with that than you would if you spent the extra money on the investment with the implant. So it’s really just a matter of what you want for your health.