What are my dental implant options?”
Dental patients who are missing teeth often think the only solution is to get fitted for dentures. Today, Dental implant options are some of the most advanced treatment methods for dealing with tooth loss with a 97% long-term success rate. Dental implants have been evolving for the last 4,000 years. They have recently become one of the more popular smile restoration procedures in the United States.
The History of Dental Implant Options
The first dental implant options were used in ancient China several millennia ago. Even the ancient world had concerns about tooth loss and the aesthetic symptoms of missing teeth. These people used pegs of bamboo that they could insert into their gums to replace teeth. A thousand years after bamboo implants, Egyptian Pharaohs began to hammer copper pegs into their jawbone to replace teeth. Although some researchers believe this was done after death, it is still the first example of metal components to replace teeth. Evidence also supports that the Celts used iron implants to replace teeth around the turn of the common era.
Ancient peoples also used animal teeth or stolen human teeth to replace their missing ones. However, these teeth generally caused infection and spread disease. Mayan ruins have also given up evidence of people using many varied materials to replace teeth, such as shells or mineral stones. When using a shell to replace teeth, Mayan remains show regeneration of bone tissue, much like what happens when modern day implants are used to replace teeth.
Modern dental implant options began around 1886. At this time, a dentist placed a platinum disk onto the gum and mounted a porcelain crown to it. This method did not yield long-term results; scientists could not manufacture a material that the body would not reject. In 1952, an orthopaedical surgeon discovered that using titanium was the solution for implant rejection. Titanium also caused the bone tissue to regenerate and heal in the jaw.
Types of Dental Implants
There are more than 40 diverse types of implants that are used. However, they all fall into one of two categories.
Endosteal implants are dental implant options that are fixed into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are those that rest on top of the bone, just below the gum surface. Subperiosteal implants are almost never used in modern medicine because of the poor long-term results. They are still used however when necessary such as a patient not having enough jawbone to support an implant.
Dental implants can also be used to support bridgework or dentures that need more stability. Mini-implants are also used in orthodontic procedures to act as anchorage devices while teeth are being moved into new positions. These implants are temporary and are removed after the teeth are aligned properly.
In the past, dental implants would be needed for all teeth that were missing and being replaced. Today, there are dental implant options that are minimally invasive. This means that they cause as little trauma as possbile while still replacing multiple missing teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implant Options
Dental implants are the best way to restore your smile and retain your appearance and speech patterns while reaping the health benefits of dental implant options. Because implants offer both health and cosmetic benefits, they are quickly becoming the go-to method of replacing missing teeth for dentists and patients. Some of the detailed benefits of dental implant options include:
- Improve the appearance of a smile
- Retain face shape
- Improve speech
- Easier chewing
- Increase in self-esteem
- Oral health improvements
- Safety of nearby teeth
Approximately 98% of patients that have gone through with dental implant options have reported lifetime success with their implants. They have also reported an improved quality of life.
Qualifying for Dental Implant Options
Anyone with healthy gums and missing teeth is the ideal candidate for dental implant options. However, patients must also be healthy enough to undergo surgery. Some patients who are heavy smokers, have chronic illnesses or are prescribed medications that affect the use of anesthesia should be assessed individually by doctors before getting the green light on the procedure.
When it comes to insurance, most plans do not cover implants. However, partial coverage may be an option depending on the reason for tooth loss. Your dentist will not be able to answer all of your questions about insurance, so you should make sure to call your provider before committing to the procedure.
Some patients who have extensive bone loss may not qualify for implants due to the nature of the procedure. However, there are cases where bone grafting can be done to replace the jawbone. This can enable the implant procedure to be performed. However, this course of treatment involves multiple surgeries and can be very expensive and painful. At the Dental Implant Place in Fort Worth, we are able to avoid the added risk and expense of bone grafting with mini implants.
If you are considering dental implant options, make sure to schedule a consultation with your oral healthcare provider to get a better understanding of what dental implants can do for your health.
Call now to schedule your free dental implant consultation with Dr. Steve Brown at The Dental Implant Place in Ft Worth, TX!