With many people turning to dental implants today, there are things you should know before going for this procedure. The following are the top five things to keep in mind.

No. 1: They're Expensive!

Dental implants are expensive! It can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 per tooth. However, before you decide against dental implants, you should consider how much it will cost over your lifetime to care for your worn or damaged teeth by alternative methods such as crowns, dentures, bridges, or root canals.

Dental implants have a reassuring 90% success rate and when armed with sufficient knowledge you'll be able to lower your risk even further.

No. 2: The Complete Procedure Can Take Many Months

The time from your initial consultation to the day you're actually able to chew your once-loved foods with your brand new teeth will depend entirely on why you need the implants, and the current health of your jawbone. If you have a porous or damaged jawbone, you may require a bone graft, which requires its own surgical procedure. This will require a lengthy recovery period before your jawbone is healthy and strong enough to support the dental implant rod.

No. 3: You'll Have a General Anesthetic

During your dental implant procedure, you'll be placed under a general anesthetic so the surgeon can cut your gum to expose the jawbone where the tooth is being replaced. A small titanium rod is inserted into a hole created in your jawbone. This will then be stitched up to allow the jawbone to fuse over the rod for the next few months.

Once your jawbone and the rod have fused, you'll have a mold created and a ceramic prosthetic tooth will be made to perfectly match the shade and shape of your natural teeth: this will be crafted to fit onto the titanium rod. With the prosthetic bonded to the titanium rod, you and your beautiful new smile are ready to go!

No. 4: There Are 'Instant' Dental Implants

Today people have access to 'instant' dental implants: these are for patients with healthy jawbones and gums. These implants can be performed immediately following an extraction of a decayed or broken natural tooth. The prosthetic crown will be temporary and will eventually be replaced by a custom fitted one. It will still take months for the healing of an instant implant procedure because the jawbone must be allowed to fuse to the implanted titanium rod. Once this has occurred, the permanent prosthetic can be built.

No. 5: Don't Count On Insurance

The best person to advise on whether you're an appropriate candidate for dental implants is of course your dentist. He's also the person to speak to about payment plans. Definitely speak to your insurance provider; however don't count on them to offer any reimbursement for dental implants unless they're the result of teeth lost during an accident. 

For more information about the process of getting dental implants, contact a clinic such as Tijeras Dental Service.