How confident are you in your smile? A study conducted by Kelton Global discovered that 39 percent of those surveyed say a person’s smile is the first thing they notice. And 44 percent say it is the facial aspect they remember most after meeting someone. Those statistics place a huge importance on the health of your mouth, and even more so on your teeth. At All in the Family Dental Care, we work with our patients to have a healthy and beautiful smile, but sometimes it takes some work to get to that point. We offer many services that can restore and perfect a patient’s smile, and dental implants are one of the best.
Many people are not familiar with dental implants, or the positive impact they can have on someone’s life, which is why we believe writing this blog post would be beneficial. We’re going to explain in detail what dental implants are, when they’re needed/recommended, who can perform the procedure, how much they can cost and the lifetime benefits of getting them. If after reading this post, you have additional questions or would like to have a consultation to see if you’re a candidate for dental implants, please don’t hesitate to contact us – 732-449-2228.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are often the best way to replace missing or hopeless teeth, and can be used in a variety of methods to restore optimal health, function and esthetics for your mouth. They allow you to live the way you want to – by not only giving you a beautiful smile, but allowing you to confidently eat, laugh, talk, kiss and enjoy all of your everyday activities without worrying about your teeth. For some people, the thought is that these things would never be possible for them. The advanced technology behind dental implants has made this one of the safest and successful dental procedures available today. In the past, before dental implants were a common solution, dentists would use bridges and/or loosely retained removable dentures which are not as effective and could sometimes negatively affect neighboring healthy teeth or lead to bone loss in the jaw. When properly placed and cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime with minimal to no negative effects on the mouth.
How do dental implants work?
When dental implants are placed in your jawbone (A), they integrate with your natural bone. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns. You can think of dental implants as artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws.
A connector – known as an abutment (B) – is placed on top of the dental implant to hold and support your crowns. The crowns are custom-made to match your natural teeth and fit your mouth (C).
Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years and allow our patients to feel like they have real, natural, new teeth. They are the #1 recommended solution for replacement teeth.
How do I know if dental implants are right for me?
There can be several contributing factors to someone losing an adult tooth, in fact millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss every year. The most common causes are due to tooth decay, periodontal disease, infection, or from injury. Dental implants can be a smart choice for adults of all ages, whether you were born without a tooth or have lost it at some point in your life. Dental implants can also occasionally be an option for adolescents, once facial growth and development has been completed. Generally, this occurs around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys. At All in the Family Dental Care, we do a thorough analysis to determine if dental implants are right for the patient, especially in teens. If we feel their mouth isn’t mature enough yet for implants, we can advise them on proper steps until they are ready.
Who performs dental implant surgery?
Dental implant surgery is just that, surgery. Dental implant surgery needs to be performed by a trained oral surgeon or periodontist. We proudly offer both oral surgery and periodontal services right within our office. Your oral and maxillofacial surgeon has the specialized education and training in the complexities of the bone, skin, muscles and nerves involved to ensure you get the best possible results. A 2014 study suggests greater implant success rates when the procedure is performed by a specialist or surgeon, rather than a general dentist. Dr. Paul Galante is our trained oral and maxillofacial surgeon and is not only extremely accredited and accomplished in his 25+ year career, but has great knowledge and experience specifically with dental implants. He says his true passion is changing patient’s lives with dental implants. Learn more about Dr. Paul. Dr. Jeff Milone is our office Periodontist who also performs dental implant surgery. He joined All in the Family Dental Care to accommodate our patients who require both surgical and non-surgical Periodontal treatment. Call to schedule a free consultation with him to discuss dental implants.
How can dental implants improve quality of life?
- Appearance. Dental implants are a major factor of increased self confidence because they look and feel like your own teeth. Because implants are designed to fuse with the bone, they become permanent.
- Self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Speech. With 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 of slipping teeth and having embarrassing social encounters.
- Comfort. Most patients can’t even feel the difference between implants and natural teeth. Because dental implants essentially become a part of you, they also eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Eating. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Oral health. 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, especially when the patient is vigilant with dental exams and taking good care of their teeth. With proper care, many implants last a lifetime.
Now for the million dollar question, how much do they cost?
You might be surprised how affordable dental implants are compared to other tooth replacement options, especially when you take into account long-term cost effectiveness and quality of life.
The total cost will always depend on several different factors, including how many teeth need replacing and where they are located, the number and type of implants, and whether any additional procedures are necessary to prepare your mouth for the implants.
Since dental implant treatments are customized for your specific needs, the costs vary accordingly. An evaluation by Dr. Paul Galante is the best way to ensure that you are getting an accurate cost estimate for quality work.
Many corporate dental offices promote ads for dental implants with low prices that seem too good to be true – well, you know what they say. And if you receive a quote for dental implants without being examined, please be cautious.
At first glance, dentures or removable bridges can appear much less expensive than dental implants, given their lower upfront costs. However, the full cost – both financial and emotional can run much higher. The initial price of bridges or dentures doesn’t include the cost of replacing them, which is necessary as often as every 5 to 15 years. It also doesn’t include the ongoing maintenance costs, such as fixatives and adhesives.
All in the Family Dental Care also offers financing and payment options to make dental implants even more affordable, so be sure to ask what plans are available during your evaluation.
Does insurance cover dental implants?
An increasing number of insurance companies have started to provide some coverage after recognizing the long-term benefits of dental implants over other tooth replacement options. If your company does not offer this coverage, ask if you can receive an allowance toward implants that is equal to the cost of a bridge or traditional dentures.