Q . What is the purpose of a tooth root?
A : It takes your body 10 to 20 years to build an adult tooth from scratch, with the root being the last portion to develop. Tooth roots serve the vital purpose of providing stability necessary to withstand the force of biting, which can exceed 170 psi. Each time you bite down, tooth roots signal the body to send minerals and nutrients that keep the jawbone strong for chewing.
Q . What does that have to do with dental implants?
A : A dental implant is the only way to replace a missing tooth in a manner that replicates both of those functions – stability and bone preservation.
Q . What is a dental implant?
A : The implant is a cylinder made of a titanium alloy or other biocompatible material. It is placed into the jawbone to replace the root of a missing tooth. The body accepts the implant readily, fusing with it to form a solid base. The dentist then cements a crown on top of the implant. A dental implant reinstates smile appearance (it looks just like a natural tooth), keeps other teeth from going crooked, allows you to eat normally, and avoids a sunken facial look.
Q . What is involved in getting a dental implant?
A : While implantation is an oral surgery, it is precisely planned and computer-guided. Depending on complexity, the procedure generally takes an hour or two, and the soft tissue incision closes quickly. Full integration of bone to implant typically takes several months.
Q . When does a dental implant make sense?
A : A single missing tooth can be replaced as described above. Multiple missing teeth, or even a whole arch, can be replaced with implants. Implants are also used to anchor fixed dental bridges and full dentures.
Alternatives to dental implants
It is natural to be concerned about cost with any dental service.
Q . Isn’t a partial denture the lowest cost option to replace a missing tooth?
A : Usually, but it is important to weight long-term benefits against up front expense. A denture is made of acrylic and is held in place with metal clips on existing teeth. A partial denture must be replaced approximately every five years. Plus, the clips may eventually cause damage to anchor teeth, resulting in more dental work.
Q . Is a dental bridge still a viable option?
A : Yes. A dental bridge is an artificial tooth, or a span of consecutive teeth held in position with crowns cemented to teeth on each side of the space. This is a sound and time-tested dentistry technique that works well for many patients. A bridge usually costs less initially than an implant. A fixed bridge can last ten years or more with good care, largely depending on its location in the mouth. Bear in mind though, that in most cases healthy teeth are ground down to shape them for the crowns.
Q . Why choose a dental implant?
A : A dental implant becomes part of your body. With good oral hygiene and regular checkups at Big Smile Dental there is no reason it can’t last as long as any other tooth in your mouth. If you ever crack or dislodge the crown, it can easily be replaced without disturbing the implant.
Dr. Siegel believes that everyone deserves a beautifully functional smile.
Q . Does Big Smile Dental offer affordable dental implants?
A : Chicago area patients know they can count on Big Smile Dental for flexible payment options that make quality care accessible:
- Big Smile Dental accepts a variety of medical and dental insurance plans. The administrative staff is happy to assist in obtaining a coverage estimate and in submitting claim forms to help you maximize dental benefits.
- We grant a five percent discount for pre-payment of any procedure including dental implants.
The pre-payment discount is ten percent for senior citizens!
- Major credit cards are accepted. Some people take advantage of “cash back” savings to reduce the cost of implant treatment.
Q . What about financing for dental implants?
A : We assist with application for a special interest-free financing program with approved credit. It may be used for out-of-pocket expenses and elective treatments.
Maybe you have been suffering with missing teeth or teeth that need extracted but felt that dental implants were not in your price range. Please call 773-772-8400 for a consultation at our Chicago office to find out how affordable a great smile can be.