When it comes to single missing teeth, there are two main options for replacement: dental bridges and dental implants. Bridges are an affordable option that has been tried-and-true for decades, but dental implants are increasing in popularly as the technology advances. Patients are happier with implants because they look and function just like natural teeth; dentists favor them because they are the only option that replaces both the root and the crown of a missing tooth, preventing bone loss.
Here’s what you need to know about dental implants and crowns.
What is a dental implant?
People often refer to dental implants as if they’re one single piece that replaces all of a tooth, both above and below the gumline. This is technically incorrect––the implant itself is only the titanium post that is surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace a tooth’s root. An abutment is attached to the implant, which acts as an anchor for the crown. In some circumstances, dental implants can be used to secure other dental restorations like dentures and bridges.
Who is a candidate for dental implants and crowns?
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be a solution for you. We can’t tell you with certainty that implants are right for your situation until we see you in our office and take images of your teeth and jaw. Many patients may have already experienced some degree of bone loss after losing a tooth; in these cases, you could potentially be a candidate for dental implants after undergoing a bone grafting procedure.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
The primary advantage from our perspective is that, as noted above, they are the only complete solution for missing teeth, replacing both root and crown. Without replacing the root of your tooth, you are at risk for bone loss in the jaw. This leads to a weakened bite and facial collapse.
Because they are a full restoration of the entire tooth, dental implants function like natural teeth. You can eat the same foods you ate before losing your tooth and you care for your dental implant and crown just like you care for your natural teeth––with brushing, flossing, and routine dental exams and cleanings every 6 months. Dental implants are meant to last a lifetime, unlike bridges which need periodic replacement.
Can I afford a dental implant and crown?
While nearly all dental insurance plans cover bridges, not all plans cover the combination of dental implants and crowns. We will do an insurance benefits inquiry on your behalf to see if your plan will cover all or part of the cost. When dental insurance isn’t an option, we offer financing through CareCredit.
Learn More About Dental Implants and Crowns
The Center for High Tech Dentistry specializes in implant placement. If you have questions about the procedure or would like to discuss whether implants are a fit for you, contact us at 212-988-8822 to schedule an appointment at our Manhattan office.