The Dental Implant “Big Picture”
One of the most important advances in the field of dentistry over the last three decades has been the introduction of dental implants as an option for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants have become the best way to replace missing teeth.
1. Implant crown 2. Implant screw 3. Abutment 4. Dental Implant
What is a Dental Implant?
At the most basic level, a dental implant is a titanium cylinder that replaces the root of a natural tooth. This implant or “implanted root” can now be used to support a crown – in the same way a natural tooth can have a crown placed when needed. Thus, a dental implant is a device that Dr. Nugent can use to replace a missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. Furthermore, Dr. Nugent can also use dental implants to help stabilize and anchor complete dentures.
Why Dental Implants?
Three of the most significant advantages of dental implants versus traditional crowns and bridges are that:
- Dental implants do not require any drilling of your teeth.
- Dental implants cannot get decay.
- Dental implants preserve bone levels.
Every patient is different, and while you can’t put a number that applies to everyone’s unique situation, the success rates for single implant treatment is around 95%.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
While medical conditions and age rarely prevent patients from having dental implants, there are two important factors that need to be considered to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants.
The first factor is bone. To have a dental implant placed, you need to have enough bone in the area in question to support and hold the implant in place. In certain cases where there isn’t enough bone, a bone graft procedure is performed in order to augment the bone levels.
The second factor is space. If you have been missing teeth for a long time, the teeth that are opposite the space may have grown down over the years, leaving limited space to place a dental implant and a dental implant crown.
Medical Conditions and Age
Many patients mistakenly believe that certain medical conditions or even advanced age can prevent successful implant treatment. In fact, there are very few medical contraindications for dental implant treatment, and age is not one of these factors. In the past, it was believed that patients with conditions such as diabetes were not candidates for dental implants. Obviously, it is a case-by-case basis, but patients with well-controlled diabetes, or well-managed hypertension, for example, can still receive the benefits of dental implants. Of course, Dr. Nugent will still review your medical history, but having medical problems does not automatically rule you out as a candidate for dental implants.
Will my Benefit Pay for a Dental Implant?
Each dental benefit plan is different, but many plans will reimburse you something toward the implant crown. Remember, what we commonly call “a dental implant” is actually comprised of the implant itself, a connector (abutment) and an implant crown. Some insurance companies will reimburse for the implant crown in the amount that they would have paid if you were having a “regular crown”. Some insurance companies will not pay benefits towards and dental implant treatment. The reason some don’t pay is because the insurance companies make money by not paying out benefits.
Dental implants are a successful and predictable dental restoration that can often obviate the need for having your teeth prepared for crowns, and are also a reliable way to replace missing teeth. We encourage you to see why Dr. Nugent is a leader in dental implant treatment in Pasadena and Deer Park Texas.