What are dental implants?
Dental implants are the foundation for replacing missing teeth. A natural tooth has a root and a crown. The root is the portion anchored in the jawbone. It supports the crown, the visible part of the tooth used for chewing food. When a tooth is lost, it can be replaced by a dental implant that mimics the structure of a natural tooth. The implant is a titanium screw or pin placed in the jawbone to replace the root. After the dental implant has fused to the jawbone, an artificial tooth, or crown, is attached to the dental implant to restore function and esthetics.
Titanium implants are highly durable and biocompatible. They can last for decades and become part of the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This creates a strong foundation for the artificial tooth, which is attached after the jawbone and implants have had a chance to heal. During this time, a temporary replacement tooth can be placed on the implant so that you do not have to go without teeth.
If you are missing all your teeth in the upper or lower jaw, a dental prosthetic resembling a denture may be attached to dental implants. There are a variety of options for dental implant placement depending on your tooth replacement goals, overall health, and what is most appropriate for your oral health. Dr. Caloss will review your dental implant options during an initial consultation.
Surgical Advances in Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the most popular teeth replacement options available for seniors who have lost most or all of their teeth, although implants are appropriate for most adults. If you meet the following criteria, you may be able to get dental implants:
- One or more teeth are missing
- Your jawbone has reached full growth
- There is enough jawbone to secure the implants, you are a candidate for bone grafting
- Your gums are healthy
- You do not like or cannot wear dentures
- You want to improve speech problems related to missing teeth
- You are not a tobacco user
- You are willing to commit to a lengthy process
- You do not have cancer or a bleeding disorder
Seniors sometimes ask if they are too old for dental implants. Adults of any age can get dental implants. For seniors who have had problems with dentures or who do not eat properly due to missing teeth, dental implants can significantly improve their quality of life. Patients in their 80s have had dental implant surgery with great success.
“Don’t be afraid to Smile.”
For years I’d felt like a part of my body was missing — because my teeth were. My dentist told me that dental implants would make me feel and look a lot better. OK, I said. Now, I’m thrilled. I can smile, eat anything, and enjoy a good laugh with my friends.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
It depends on your insurance coverage. Dental insurance generally does not cover implants but may cover basic procedures such as tooth extractions, crowns, or prosthetics. Some policies provide partial coverage for implant surgery, which can reduce the cost significantly. If implants are medically necessary, your health insurance may cover some of the cost. It is best to check with your medical and dental insurance providers to determine how much coverage is available.
Aligned Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery makes every effort to provide affordable dental care while providing exceptional care. Even if your insurance does not cover implant surgery or covers only a portion, you can get dental implants. We accept all major credit cards and CareCredit, a low or no-cost financing option for medical and dental expenses. For your convenience, you can apply for CareCredit in our office or online.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Caloss to see if dental implants are right for you, contact our office at Jackson Office Phone Number 601-841-3223.