What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a natural-looking, long-lasting, comfortable, and alternative to bridgework or dentures for restoring missing teeth; they replace a tooth's root. Dental implants are secured into the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. Titanium alloys are the most widely used metal in dental and other bone implants. They are lightweight, durable, and biocompatible, so the body will not reject them. With dental implants, people rediscover the ability to la eat comfortably, and self-confidence comes from having a beautiful, healthy smile.

Moreover, dental implants simulate a natural tooth entirely in form and function. Unlike other replacement options, such as bridges and removable dentures, implants replace the teeth' roots. Besides restoring the mouth's natural appearance, dental implants, unlike bridges and removable dentures, can help prevent bone deterioration. The dental implant will hold the bone and function like your natural tooth root. All dental implants require the placement of individually designed crowns and bridges on titanium screws.

An ideal candidate for dental implants

Are there any concerns before the implant procedure?

Different factors determine if a patient is a candidate for implant restorations. To receive teeth implants, you need to be in good overall health. We can proceed with the dental implant treatment if you are free of active gum disease and other infectious oral conditions. Otherwise, a complication may occur.

You are an ideal candidate for dental implants if you meet the following qualifications.

  1. Adequate jawbone to support an implant
  2. Healthy gum: no inflammations of the gum (gingivitis) or free of periodontal disease
  3. Good general health

When you already have significant gum loss in your aesthetic zone, your upper front teeth, implant-supported dentures may be your option because we can also recreate your gum area.

Does regular dental insurance cover the cost of dental implants?

Dental implants are long-lasting

The coverage of dental implants depends on your insurance policy.

Dental benefits are typically up to $ 1,000-2,500 per year. Most plans have many limitations, as coverage is strictly determined by what you pay for the policy.

For example, some insurance pays $500-$1000 for the Implant-supported crowns after a deductible (the amount you pay before your dental insurance disburses).

However, not all insurances cover dental implant surgery. And if they cover the surgery, they may pay about $500 - $1000 as well.

Replace missing tooth                    

Dental implants best for tooth replacement

Dental implants have advantages over other tooth replacement options.

Dental implants have advantages over other tooth replacement options, such as removable partial dentures (RPDs) and dental bridges. In addition to looking and functioning like a natural tooth, dental implants replace one tooth without compromising the health of adjacent teeth.

A dental bridge, another standard treatment for missing a single tooth, requires adjacent teeth to be ground down to support the bridge. Both need grinding or shaving of adjacent teeth to keep the crown, and the ground areas become more prone to caries after treatment.

Implants-supported crowns have roots in the supporting bone and give natural functional pressure to the bone. Getting implants helps keep the bone structure and avoid bone loss.

The bone loss causes a depressed or concave area between the gum adjacent to the missing tooth area of the bridge. You often see the gum above the missing tooth area of the bridge concaved. With implants, your crown root is less likely to have concavity on the gum and give a natural look.

Dental implants simulate a natural tooth entirely from the root and the crown. The implant body acts as a natural root and functions as a root so you can have normal chewing power.

In other words, the implant is ultimately a replacement for the missing tooth's root. Besides restoring a natural appearance in the mouth, dental implants can help preserve facial structure, preventing jaw bone deterioration, typically when having missing teeth.

Are there any payment plans for a dental implant?

We want to help you make dental implants affordable because many implant patients desire to finance their treatment procedures. So, depending on the cost, we will find the appropriate plan to suit your needs. Schedule Free Consultation!

How long does a dental implant procedure take?

It depends on complexity, such as how much bone you have left on the missing teeth area. Suppose you have excellent teeth alignment, and only one tooth needs a replacement due to tooth decay with almost no bone loss. In this case, the implant's process duration is relatively short. Without waiting, you can have an implant, and the implant is ready for the crown in about three months.

However, after an extraction, you need a bone graft to preserve the bone and then place the implants. If this is the case, an additional period of 3-4 months may be required.

The process will be different if you want a full-mouth dental implant. You could have teeth by tonight, but it all depends on the situation. However, the implant process takes longer if you have gingivitis, jawbone loss, or misaligned teeth because you require another procedure first.

Does the dental implant procedure hurt?

We understand that people fear getting drilled into their jaw. We use local dental anesthesia, just like any cavity treatment. You might feel slight discomfort when the needle goes into your gum. However, after 5 min or so, there will be no pain.

Generally, we place the implant 3 to 6 months after a tooth extraction to allow the root area to heal. Most people who have had dental implants have said minimal discomfort is involved in the procedure.

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Dr. Shimizu is an accredited member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. There are 419 dental professionals worldwide (Only four in Houston) as of 2022 who have achieved this prestigious honor.