TeethToday is experienced in dental implant tooth replacement options. Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has infused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures.
Implants are now the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the slight additional cost.
Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Since dental implants prevent bone resorption that occurs when tooth roots are missing, the natural appearance of the smile and contours of the face are preserved. With implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth; they are not cut down to place a bridge, or loosened by the hooks on removable partials. Dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which, among other things, causes the appearance of premature aging.
Your new dental implant supported replacement teeth (called an implant supported bridge) will look, feel and function like natural teeth. And since implant treatment is the only solution that prevents bone resorption, which can cause your smile to look unnatural, the long term esthetics will be superior to any other treatment option.
Nearly everyone who is missing one or more teeth and in general good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are a few medical conditions that can undermine the success of implant treatment, such as uncontrolled diabetes. However, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment altogether. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement is more often a factor in qualifying for dental implants than medical conditions. However, even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment with additional procedures to add bone or create new bone. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment.
Overall health and a desire to improve the quality of life are much more important considerations than age. When dental implants were first developed in the 1950's, implant supported replacement teeth were originally designed as a solution for older patients who were missing all of their teeth. Since, many patients well into their nineties have had dental implant treatment without a single problem. In fact, we here at TeethToday have treated several patients into their 100s.
The length of treatment time depends largely upon whether someone is a candidate for Immediate Load / Immediate Function procedures. Patients who qualify for this TeethToday treatment receive their replacement teeth the same day implants are placed.
For few patients who require a more traditional approach, treatment can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending upon the quality of the bone in which the implants are placed. If procedures are needed to augment the bone, the total treatment time is usually somewhere between six to nine months.
Most implant patients report that the discomfort is far less than they expected, and is much like having a tooth extracted. And although everyone is different with regard to pain tolerance, most patients are very comfortable simply taking over-the-counter analgesics afterward.
For those missing single teeth, yes â€“ one implant per tooth. However for those with several teeth to all their teeth missing, it is possible to replace all teeth per jaw with as few as 4 implants. In addition, some dental specialists feel that it is advantageous to replace missing posterior teeth with individual implants to provide additional strength to withstand the forces of chewing for patients who have most of their natural teeth.
Each patient's situation is unique and should be evaluated by a dental specialist to determine the appropriate number of implants required to support the replacement teeth that will meet the patient's functional and esthetic needs.
Documented clinical research demonstrates that implant supported restorations have been successful for over 30 years. These were some of the first root-form implant cases ever completed and they have been closely monitored from the beginning. It is highly likely that these cases will be successful throughout the lifetime of those patients.
Dental implants are designed to be permanent; however many factors contribute to the long term success of implant treatment, such as quality of the surgical and restorative treatment, implants, home care and regular maintenance visits to the dentist or dental specialist.
By comparison, research demonstrates that the average tooth supported bridge (conventional dentistry) lasts from 7-10 years and that partials and dentures may be are functional for approximately 5 years.
Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical-dental field, with documented success rates over 95%. Our TeethToday research has shown success rates even higher. Although successful treatment is very predictable, there are rare occasions where the bone does not completely bond to the implants. When this occurs, new implants are placed, and the success rates for the replacement implants are even higher.
Smoking or putting too much pressure on newly placed implants, as with excessive grinding of the teeth, can cause problems with the bone bonding to the implants and should be avoided.
Several years ago there was quite a scare about certain types of breast implants, which has caused a number of people to ask if the same thing is possible with dental implants.
As indicated above, the success rates for dental implants are extremely high. This is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements.
Sometimes it is possible to use a patient's existing denture, as opposed to fabricating a new denture to snap onto dental implants, by altering it to accommodate the necessary attachments. However, there are a number of factors that must be considered. Since each patient's situation is unique, the possibility of using an existing denture can only be determined in consultation with a dentist or dental specialist.
Naturally, since dental implants preserve bone, if a patient qualifies as a candidate, implant treatment is usually considered the treatment of choice. Now that implants are considered standard of care, it is much less common for dentists to recommend tooth supported fixed bridges instead of implant supported bridges. However, some dentists still recommend traditional tooth supported bridges for patients due to their own comfort level, or when patients insist on having the immediate lowest possible fee for tooth replacement, or other treatment related issues Even in cases where the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth have restorations, many dentists do not want to grind these teeth down into peg shapes to fit a bridge, as this compromises the long term health of those teeth. And most dentists detest the idea of grinding down perfectly healthy teeth to place a traditional bridge, and therefore, will almost always recommend dental implant treatment in these cases.
There are many situations where natural teeth are either failing, or are about to fail. This includes severe periodontal disease (gum disease) that has eroded the bone that supports teeth. Sometimes in these cases, it is preferable to extract the teeth; eliminate the disease and infection and replace the teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges.
There are also situations where a tooth has had a root canal (nerves have been removed from the tooth) leaving the tooth brittle and susceptible to fracture. In cases where the tooth needs to be retreated and the prognosis is not favorable, it is preferable to extract the tooth and replace it with an implant supported crown.
Teeth with severe fractures are usually extracted and are ideal candidates for replacement with dental implant treatment.
The home care recommended varies depending upon the type of implant supported replacement teeth. For example, a single implant supported crown is cleaned like a natural tooth, with regular brushing and flossing. Implant supported bridges that replace a few teeth are cleaned like tooth supported bridges, brushing and flossing with a floss threader.
Home care is a little more complicated for people who are missing all of their teeth, in that special brushes and floss are often recommended. Permanently fixed implant supported replacement teeth are cleaned like all other bridges.
In all cases, it is recommended that patients see their regular dentist and hygienist at least twice each year. It is usually recommended that the patient sees our surgical specialist who placed the implant(s) at least once each year as well. These visits, combined with proper home care, are essential to the long term success of implant treatment.
No. You will be able to undertake any activity that you would with normal teeth. This includes eventually eating whatever you choose. Your new replacement teeth will look, feel and function like natural teeth, which will allow you to forget about them and enjoy life as it was meant to be enjoyed.
An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.
The actual cost of implant treatment is based on a number of factors, such as the number of missing teeth being replaced, the type of implant supported teeth (treatment option) recommended and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result.
There is often a misconception that there is a set cost for each implant. The fees are calculated based on the amount of time the dental specialist anticipates spending to complete treatment (implant placement, other surgical procedures, fabrication of replacement teeth) as well as the estimated cost of implants, other components and materials necessary to complete treatment - and dental laboratory fees.
The total fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement; however, long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost effective than other options, such as bridges, partials and dentures that need to be replaced every 5-10 years.
The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and consultation with our dental specialists.
Insurance coverage of implant treatment depends on the individual policy. However, it is rare to receive any substantial coverage. Since the benefit coverage is determined strictly by the amount the employer wants to spend on the policy, and the insurance companies want to build in their profit margins, there are major limitations on most dental insurance plans. In reality, the plans are only designed to cover routine maintenance, emergencies and basic care.
The insurance companies use statistical data to determine the most common procedures submitted on claims, and then they set their own usual and customary fee schedule for these procedures. They also determine the specific restrictions and limitations for each plan. Because the plans are only intended to cover the basics, there is an annual maximum allowable benefit of $1,000-$1,500 on most plans.
Although most companies exclude implants as a covered benefit, many of them will pay the same benefit they would cover for the lowest cost alternative treatment option (partials and dentures) and some of the diagnostic records, if a specific request is made for alternative benefits. Even if an individual policy includes implants as a covered benefit, the amount of coverage is still limited to the annual maximum allowable.
There are a few cases where medical insurance is available for people who are missing all of their teeth, and as a result, have medical complications. This type of coverage depends solely on the individual policy. Other than these situations, medical coverage is very rare. Work related injuries and other types of accidents are the other cases that are sometimes covered by insurance. Medicare does not cover implant treatment. All in all, it is best to assume that there is no medical insurance coverage available.