Advances in modern dentistry have provided a number of reconstructive options for those who suffer from tooth decay and other related issues. Crowns and moldings have been the traditional choices, but these can place strain on surrounding teeth if anchored as a bridge. The repairs are effective but largely superficial. Anyone can recognize the downsides to removable dentures. Thankfully, dental implants offer a functional and aesthetic solution. These are simply anchors set into the bone itself, which serves as a foundation for more permanent replacements of the patient's teeth.
The surgical procedure is therefore more invasive, but certainly worthwhile. The most common kind of dental implant used today is designed to bond to the regenerative osteoblasts within the bone. Before surgery, dentists usually perform a number of CT scans on the mouth to determine ideal placement. A light surgical stent may be placed in the mouth to help guide the technician who pre-drills a small hole for the implant. As in other common oral surgeries, local anesthetic is the norm.
Most dentists allow around six months for the osseointegration, or bonding, of the titanium implant and bone to take place. The tooth replacements may then be anchored onto the implant, which is about as durable and permanent as a healthy root canal. Unlike some crowns or bridges, dental implants do not require replacement after a decade. Committed patients desiring a lasting solution may wish to talk to their dentists about the possibilities of dental implants.
If you're considering dental implants, be sure to check out the average costs of the materials and procedure. This site offers some general cost information to guide your expectations when discussing options with the dentist and a number of users have posted their expenses along with whether or not their dental insurance covered the procedure. There's also some advice in avoiding the hidden fees normally associated with such a complicated, multi-stage operation.
The American Dental Association offers a wealth of information to prospective patients. This website will provide you with their information page on dental implants. Check out their Frequently Asked Questions page, which can address most concerns about the procedure and recovery process. There are additional resources that can point to alternative options tailored to your specific situation. As with any potential procedure, dental implant surgery is best entered into after having done your homework.
Mayo Clinic presents the basics of dental implants and gives valuable information on the risks of surgery. You'll want to look this over, as well as the guide on what to expect during and before the procedure. This page also gives advice on preparing for surgery, which can help you decide whether or not to go forward. Talking with your dentist is essential, but refining your expectations is important.
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