Dental Implants ... High Cost, High Value?

One of the latest in cosmetic dentistry options is the dental implant. A dental implant is a permanent way to replace a missing tooth with a false one. Implants can be used to replace single teeth or all your teeth. This is not a low-cost alternative, however, but it can provide enormous benefits to people who have lost teeth through accidents or disease. Many feel the value in terms of appearance, health and self-esteem are well worth the cost.

People who are good candidates for dental implants have a good supportive bone structure and healthy gums. It's also important to be conscientious about oral health and to take care of your teeth. If you smoke heavily or have a chronic or debilitating illness, your dentist will want to evaluate your situation to see if implants are right for you.

Although dental implants can range from $1,500 to $3,000 for one or two teeth, the cost can reach $15,000 to $30,000 for full upper and lower dental implants. There are many associated treatments, such as bone regeneration, that could be necessary prior to or during the implant procedure, depending on the condition of a person's mouth, gums, and bone. These additional factors affect the cost of putting in dental implants, so the ultimate cost really depends upon each person's particular situation. Unfortunately, dental plans don't cover implants yet, but depending on the situation and why the teeth were lost, implants might be covered under your medical plan.

However, cost is only one factor people take into consideration when approaching dental implants. Implants look and feel just like a real tooth, and because they are implanted into the jawbone, they become permanent. They are much more durable than dentures, and more comfortable, since there is nothing to remove or slip when eating or talking. They certainly can improve a person's appearance, smile, and self-esteem ... no one will ever know the difference between live teeth and dental implants. Because they won't slip or, worse, come out unexpectedly, they don't affect speech or eating. In fact, when dentures are replaced with implants, a person's nutritional opportunities improve dramatically because there won't be any foods he cannot eat because of his teeth.

So, even though there can be a high cost to dental implants, there also can be a tremendously high value.

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