Roughly 18% of people over 65 have untreated tooth decay as a result of not going to their family dentist for routine general dentistry services and cleanings. Tooth decay can cause major health issues down the road if it is not treated, especially in adolescents (is it 15% more common than asthma).

If your dentist decides that your teeth are not salvageable, they may recommend a dental implants procedure in order to restore your smile. A 2012 survey showed that 96% of people believe that an attractive smile makes someone more appealing to the opposite sex — it may be in your best interest to undergo the dental implants procedure.

What is dental implant surgery? This type of surgery is conducted by an implants dentist (or cosmetic dentist) in order to provide you with natural looking and feeling teeth. The tooth roots will be replaced with metal posts that resemble screws.

The surgery is a better, more cost-effective alternative to other false teeth options, such as dentures and dental bridges. Depending on what kind of implant you need (all on 4, teeth in a day, etc.), the dental implants procedure will be different.

How much is a dental implant? An affordable dentist may be able to help you create a payment system in order to afford your new dental implants. Generally speaking, the prices can fall anywhere between $1,000 and $3,000. Many insurance plans may not cover the cost because they deem it a “cosmetic fix,” so be sure to consult the dentist and your insurance carrier before undergoing the surgery.

Why this procedure? Dental implants will serve as roots for your missing teeth; they will provide a very stable environment for your mouth when it comes to biting down on foods you enjoy most. The titanium used in the implants is, after a few months, fused with your jawbone. Because of this, there is no slippage of dental material, no noise, and no bone damage.

Who qualifies? You can undergo the dental implants procedure under the following conditions:

  1. You have one or more missing teeth
  2. Your jawbone is fully grown/mature
  3. You have enough bone to support the implants
  4. You are unable to wear dentures
  5. You wish to improve your speech
  6. You have no past or present oral health issues

Risks involved: Just like any other surgery, there are a few risks involved in undergoing the surgery. Some of these risks include:

  1. Infection where the implants were installed
  2. Injury to the jawbone or other supportive structures occurring after the surgery
  3. Temporary or permanent nerve damage which may lead to numbness or tingling
  4. Potential sinus issues if you receive implants on your upper jaw

If you believe you qualify for this surgery, you can start preparing by talking to your doctor or family dentist about any existing medical conditions, while also consulting them about payment methods.