Dr. Paul Perella, DMD

DENTAL IMPLANTS: SURGERY, ADVANTAGES, RISKS AND INSURANCE QUESTIONS

Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss -- mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
 

  • Improved Appearance: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
  • Improved Speech: With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
  • Improved comfort: Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
  • Easier eating: Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence without pain.
  • Improved self-esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
  • Improved oral health: Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
  • Durability: Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

How successful are dental implants?

Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed. In general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease, or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, a preliminary exam by your dentist is reccomended to see if they are right for you.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

In some cases, dental implants are covered under your dental insurance. It just depends on the type of insurance plan you have. You should contact your dental insurance company to find out exactly what will be covered.

 

Source: webmd.com