Patients may be put off by the initial cost of dental implants when planning for treatment following tooth loss. However, considering only the upfront expenses is short-sighted. In the long run, patients may find that they ultimately save money when they choose dental implants as a tooth replacement.
With proper maintenance, dental implants are far more durable than alternatives like fixed dental bridges and conventional dentures. Following dental implant placement by an oral surgeon, the osseointegration process between the bone and the implant leaves the implant as a root-like structure, which stabilizes the jawbone. Such a root-like structure is absent in conventional tooth replacement appliances so the jawbone erodes. As it does, its shape changes, causing the appliance to lose its fit. Eventually it will need to be either re-fitted or replaced – at the patient’s expense.
Furthermore, a fixed dental bridge requires that healthy enamel be removed from adjacent teeth for placement of crowns to support the pontic (artificial tooth). In contrast, a dental implant stands alone because of the link between the bone and the implant. The process of preparing a tooth for crown placement can compromise the tooth and cause further treatment to be needed in the future.
If you’re considering foregoing tooth replacement altogether in order to save money, that path can turn out to be costly in time as well. Not only will bone loss occur as described above, but the surrounding teeth will shift in their positions to fill in the empty space. This can damage the teeth requiring restorations that the patient must pay for and it may even create the need for expensive orthodontic treatment.
Don’t rule out dental implants just because you think you can’t afford them. Keep in mind that our office accepts a variety of payment options and can assist you in obtaining financing to help this treatment fit into your budget. Call our office at Commonwealth Oral and Facial Surgery to learn more about these options and to schedule an evaluation to see if you are a good candidate for this treatment option.