Dental Implants for Cleveland, Ohio & Surrounding Areas
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium threaded cylinder root shaped fixture, that is placed in the upper or lower jaw bone for later attachment. The implant attachment can be tooth shaped, to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth. Implant attachments can also be shaped like "snaps" that can be used for attachment of an overlying denture or partial denture that results in a "snap-on" denture or a "snap-on" partial. If you have missing teeth, or poor fitting dentures or partials, then implants may be your best choice.
How do dental implants work?
Implants work by acting like the roots of your natural teeth. They are placed in the bone, and become firmly embedded in the bone by a process called osseointegration. If you have healthy bone and healthy gum tissue, you will be an excellent candidate for implants.
Who needs dental implants?
If you are missing teeth and can benefit from increased chewing efficiency, and improved appearance or speech, you may be a candidate for dental implants. Dental Implants can also be the solution if it has become difficult or even impossible for you to wear a denture or a partial due to constant pain and discomfort from the lack of stability.
Where are dental implants placed?
Dental Implants are most commonly placed in the upper or lower jaw bone by a three step process. After full dental evaluation and x-rays to determine the size and type of implant to be used, the first step is performed. During your first phase, the implant site is prepared in the bone and the implant is placed. The implant is left undisturbed in the the bone for about 2-4 months. At that time, phase 2 involves testing the dental implant to evaluate proper healing. The final step involves making the attached crown, bridge or snap-on denture or partial.
What are the advantages of dental implants as opposed to other restorative options?
The immediate cost of dental implants is greater than treatment such as traditional dentures, partials, or bridges. However, it is important to consider some important factors before making a judgment regarding the relative long-term cost of dental implant treatment. To begin with, dental implants are placed without having to harm any of the adjacent teeth. This is not always the case for other types of tooth replacements. For example, a bridge requires whittling down (preparing) the teeth on each side of the missing tooth. This process is irreversible. Secondly, unlike other types of tooth replacements, dental implants provide support similar to that of the root of a natural tooth. Studies have shown that dental implants result in significantly fewer dental treatment requirements over the long term. Considering all of the above options, dental implants are less expensive than other types of tooth replacements.
If my dental insurance does not cover dental implants, should I still consider them?
This is an interesting question. Many insurance plans have not caught up to the current standard of care when it comes to dental implants. Therefore, many insurance plans do not have benefits for dental implants. At times, patients tend to make treatment decisions on the basis of insurance coverage. While it is important to consider the benefits that are covered through your insurance plan, as well as maximizing the insurance benefits that are available, it is also important that you understand the implications of the different types of treatment. When you make treatment decisions solely or primarily on what is covered by your insurance plan, you may inadvertently be placing more weight on the judgment and priorities of the insurance company rather than your own overall long term health and well-being.
Dental implants sound like an option I'd like to consider. How do I get started?
If you think you may benefit from dental implants, we recommend you to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our Prosthodontists. During your consultation appointment, Drs. Kanawati or Baum will first discuss your dental concerns with you. A comprehensive oral exam will then be performed along with any any necessary x-rays. For most cases, Drs. Kanawati and Baum will provide you with specific treatment options at the end of your consultation visit. However, for complex or very involved cases, impressions will be made and the models of your teeth, along with x-rays and consultation notes will be discussed by all three Prosthodontists to come up with the ideal treatment plan for you as well as other options available to you.