Dental implant usage has mushroomed over the past few years. Much of this growth is likely attributed to improvements in the materials used for the implant crown and components, as well as the availability of more streamlined, comfortable implant procedures. But, like any surgical procedure, dental implantation may not be the best choice for every patient. If you are currently wearing dentures that you have been satisfied with in the past, reviewing this information can help you decide whether you should consider moving ahead with dental implants, instead of continuing on with the dentures you already wear.
Cost and Time
One of the biggest issues that you may find as you consider moving from dentures to implants is the cost and time involved. Because dental implants do require a surgical procedure to implant the supportive post, you will want to determine if your current health or dental insurance policy will provide any type of coverage and how you will pay for any remaining costs. According to recently published information, the cost estimate for each complete dental implant is approximately $3,000 to $4,500, which includes the surgical procedure, post, crown, and other components.
Time is another factor when considering implants. Patients who will be replacing dentures with implants for multiple teeth will need more than one procedure, each of which will require followup visits and care over a period of a few months.
Another possible problem that must always be given attention when considering switching dentures for implants is the amount of healthy bone available in your jawbone. Aging, osteoporosis, heredity, and other factors can cause loss of bone mass in this area and make it difficult or impossible for dental implantation. Denture wearers can also experience expedited rates of bone loss after the loss or removal of their natural teeth. An evaluation of bone mass is an important factor when considering a move to implants, especially after prolonged denture usage.
Your dental health professional will do one or more tests to determine whether you have sufficient amounts of healthy bone before scheduling the actual implants. This can include bone scans, x-rays, and other types of testing. In some instances, patients who have experienced bone loss may still be able to have dental implants by opting for the smaller mini implants that are now increasingly available.
There are also many excellent benefits available to patients who do decide to opt to ditch their dentures and move up to implants. If you would like to learn more about dental implants and whether they are a good fit for your needs, take time soon to have a frank discussion with your dentist.