Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss – mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease) or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, however, dental implants are available.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Our dentist, Dr. Scott Steedman, works closely with local specialists to complete your dental implants. After the implant is placed into the jawbone, Dr. Steedman will attach the dental implant restoration (crown, bridge or denture) for the best aesthetic and functional results.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
There are many advantages to dental implants, including:
- Improved appearance. Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth. Because implants are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
- Improved comfort. Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Convenience. Removable dentures are just that: removable. Dental implants eliminate the inconvenience of removing dentures as well as the need for messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place.
- Improved speech. With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth and cause you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that your teeth might slip.
- Easier eating. Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.
- Improved oral health. Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, which can improve your oral hygiene in the long run.
- Improved self-esteem. Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Durability. Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care and regular visits to the dentist, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. In general, we recommend having healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders – such as diabetes or heart disease – or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to Dr. Steedman to see if they are right for you. He can also discuss other alternatives with you if necessary.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
Many insurance companies do have a benefit for dental implants. We are happy to check into the details of your insurance for you when you visit Smiles By Steedman!
If you have any questions about dental implants in Lake Stevens, Washington, please call our team at 425-334-4087 for more information.