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Are you insecure about your smile because of a missing tooth? Do you dread taking pictures and cover your mouth when you laugh? Are you worried about the consequences of not having it replaced, but don’t know which treatment you should pursue?

For patients with a missing tooth or teeth, tooth implants, more commonly called dental implants, are the most effective tooth replacement option. Unlike dental bridges and dentures, a dental implant replaces the tooth root. This allows your new tooth to feel, look, and function naturally.

Continue reading this blog to learn about the implant procedure, benefits of dental implants, and your financial options.

Dental Implant Procedure

To place a dental implant, the dentist or oral surgeon will make a small incision in the gum and insert the biocompatible, screw-like rod into the jawbone. The gum is stitched back together and over a six-to-nine-month period, the implant fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration.

As your mouth heals, your personalized dental crown (designed by you and your dentist) is being created in a dental lab.

When the jawbone is completely healed, the dentist will place an abutment (also called a connector) and customized dental crown on top of the implant. These two placements usually happen during separate appointments.

Typically, this process takes between 12 and 18 months.

Benefits of Dental Implants

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 3 million Americans have dental implants and that number grows by 500,000 each year. The following benefits are the reasons people choose dental implants:

  • Supports jawbone regeneration. Without a tooth root, the jawbone begins to deteriorate. In just one year, that area can lose 25% of its jawbone density. The implant encourages bone growth which also prevents facial sagging and premature aging.
  • Restores natural functions. Chewing power is completely restored and patients can brush and floss like usual.
  • Can last a lifetime. Dental bridges typically last about ten years. As long as a patient maintains good oral health, a dental implant will likely never need to be replaced.
  • Support adjacent teeth. Over time, neighboring teeth begin to shift towards the gap from a missing tooth. This affects the patient’s bite, chewing ability, and appearance.
  • Protects against gum disease. People with missing teeth are more susceptible to gum disease because bacteria and food often get lodged in the gap.

The Cost of Dental Implants

Of all the tooth replacement options, tooth implants are typically the most expensive. But don’t let that deter you. After all, dental implants have a 95 to 98 percent success rate so yours will likely never need to be replaced. Dental bridges and dentures, on the other hand, may need to be replaced multiple times and can end up costing the same amount.

Fortunately, many dental insurances cover part of the dental implant cost. You’ll need to sit down with the dental finance manager or call your insurance provider to learn exactly how much. To pay for the rest of the treatment, ask your dentist about their payment options.

CareCredit® is another great way to finance your dental implant procedure. CareCredit offers no-interest, affordable payment plans. Apply today to see if CareCredit is an option for you.

Schedule an Initial Consultation

To learn if you are a candidate for dental implants, schedule an appointment with a dentist near you today. During this time, the dental team will assess your oral and overall health and discuss your treatment plan.

To meet with our Atlanta, GA dentist, call (404) 577-6620.

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