The Lifetime Value Of Dental Implants

Posted on Nov 14, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

When you make a purchase based on quality – how long it will last and how well it will hold up over time – paying more is well worth it when calculating how much you actually receive for the investment made along with future savings. This is true when it comes to replacing teeth. Your decision to get the most from your dollars begins with opting for the best outcome long-term.

As a Periodontist, a dental specialist, I’ve seen how dental fear can be the prevailing reason that causes many people to delay or avoid looking into replacing teeth. This is ironic, mainly because the reason many people lose teeth in the first place is due to dental fear. When dental fears prevent adults from having regular cleanings, exams and repairs, the results are often periodontal (gum) disease and/or tooth loss.

Dental fear is no small problem in this country. Quite frankly, it is estimated that nearly 75% of American adults have some level of fear or anxiety associated with dental visits. There is no ‘typical’ age group, gender or education or income level that predisposes these individuals to having dental fears. It runs rampant throughout all walks of life.

With the addition of I.V. or oral sedation, many fearful adults are able to relax and have much-needed dentistry. Although sedation and the other comfort options we offer provide a way for high fear patients to relax throughout care, the bigger obstacle for many is implant treatment cost.

Because the costs for dental implants are all ‘up front,’ many people perceive them as more expensive. While implant treatment may seem more costly than crown-&-bridge combinations, dentures or partials, it’s actually a far better investment. For example, after a dental implant is placed and the final teeth attached, your investment is intended to last your lifetime.

Dental implants are constructed from a material that biologically bonds with living bone known as titanium. For decades, titanium has been implanted into the body, accepted by surrounding bone, and have had bone grown around it. This process, known as ‘osseo-integration,’ embeds the implant in the jaw bone so it can serve as a replacement tooth root.

Not only is the implant intended to last a lifetime, the replacement teeth attached to it will not experience cavities, need a root canal or cause problems for neighboring teeth. With the treatment costs upfront seeming to be a larger investment, dental implants are actually a savings when considering the future expenses to maintain other tooth replacement options.

Crown-&-bridge combinations are a common way to replace one or several missing teeth in one area. However, a crown-&-bridge requires the crowning of otherwise healthy, neighboring teeth on both sides of the bridge. The potential for future costs includes root canals, crown repair, bridge replacement, etc.

There is another issue that can evolve in future costs that lies beneath the gums. Without the presence of natural tooth roots, the bone that once held them begins to shrink. This process, known as ‘resorption,’ impacts the health of remaining natural teeth and weakens the strength of the jaw bone.

Once set into motion, resorption continues to make matters worse. As bone loss continues, it also creates changes in facial appearance. These include deep wrinkles around the mouth, jowls, and a mouth that appears to sink inward.

Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, they halt the potential for bone loss. Since they have the same, sturdy foundation that natural teeth enjoy, implants do not reply on neighboring teeth to support replacement teeth.

Dental implants also support good physical and psychological health. Having the ability to properly chew healthy foods is paramount to maintaining a healthy body. Implants make it possible to bite and chew all types of food you love without uncomfortable rubbing or embarrassing slips. Older Couple Eating

Eating a diet of foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein helps to keep our bodies in tip top shape. And, when chewing is performed with stability and comfort, people feel more confident joining others for meals and outings that include food. Being socially active is a bonus to our mental stimulation and well-being.

If you are considering dental implants, begin with a no obligation consultation. Call 828-274-9440 to discuss your individual needs and goals. From there, I’ll explain options best for your needs and goals so you can decide what is best for you. I’ll also have our Financial Coordinator discuss ways you can make easy monthly payments for your implant treatment, often without a down payment and no interest charged.


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