The Dental Implant – An Ideal Restoration
There are many ways to replace teeth that have gone missing in an accident or because of illness or decay, but a dental implant is one of the most effective. Since they were first introduced in 1959, the technology has advanced to the point at which tooth implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
You may raise an eyebrow at the cost of dental implants (they can be anywhere from $1000 to $3000 each and most dental plans do not cover these costs), in the long run, they are more cost effective. The reason is that implantation is a one-time procedure with a 95% success rate; unlike dentures or crowns that will invariably need to be replaced at some point, implants are permanent when done properly and well-maintained with good oral hygiene.
Who Can Have Dental Implant Surgery
Generally, anyone who is in good health and maintains good dental hygiene is a suitable candidate for implants. Tobacco use in any form is contraindicated, as is Type-II diabetes and osteoporosis. Transplant patients who take anti-rejection drugs are also not suitable candidates for implant surgery, though there may be other alternatives available.
Be aware that although there is a one-step procedure available as well as the standard two-part procedure, a certain amount of time is required for healing and recovery. Depending on several factors, full recovery may take anywhere from two weeks to three months or longer.
Dental Implants in History
Many people are astonished when they find out that implant surgery is actually quite ancient. In ancient Egypt, the bodies of persons who had died and lacked a full set of teeth had artificial replacements inserted prior to burial. Later, the Etruscans of northern Italy made false teeth from the teeth of animals and even cadavers.
However, the first true osseointegrated (“bone-integrated”) dental implants were invented by the Mayan Indians of present-day Honduras, Guatemala and southern Mexico over fourteen centuries ago. Their method was to use carved pieces of seashell, which were inserted into the jaw; eventually, the bone would grow in and around the shell and actually become integrated with it, holding the prosthesis in place.
The modern implant dates back to the 1950s, and was derived from research into the use of titanium in orthopedic surgery. Early implants consisted of metal blades and were quite cumbersome and uncomfortable – as well as unattractive and therefore not suitable for the replacement of front teeth.
Today however, new and improved methods using a screw in conjunction with natural-looking ceramic prostheses that imitate a real dental root have made it possible to do implants anywhere in the mouth. The results are comfortable for the user, and only a Serenity Scottsdale Dentist can tell if the tooth is natural or a prosthesis.
Covering Dental Implant Cost
Since private dental insurance does not typically cover the cost of implantation, it is necessary for most people to arrange some kind of payment plan or financing. Many dental offices will do this in-house; there are also finance companies that specialize in helping patients to meet the cost of such elective surgery. In most cases, financing can be arranged with low monthly payments that are in line with your budget and will not cause undue financial strain.