Mind Your Body TV Episode 51 with Alina Krivitsky, D.D.S.
When we were little and we lost a tooth, it was a great day. The Tooth Fairy would slide something nice under our pillow—some candy or maybe some money—even a dollar bill! Now when we lose teeth due to decay, gum disease or injury, the only one who can replace them is us—with the help of a periodontist, prosthodontist or oral surgeon.
And we’ll be spending those dollars—not receiving them. We might choose to have a bridge, denture or ideally, an implant—the latter made of a titanium screw that our bodies won’t reject. It works as a replacement for the root or roots of a tooth.
Most dental professionals agree that implants are state-of-the-art, less cumbersome, more attractive and last a longer time than the other two rather dated options.
Dental Implants Explained
According to the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, “when teeth are lost, the bone that supported those teeth is lost, too. Placing dental implants stabilizes bone, preventing its loss. Along with replacing lost teeth, implants help maintain the jawbone’s shape and density. This means they also support the facial skeleton and, indirectly, the soft tissue structures—gum tissues, cheeks and lips. Dental implants help you eat, chew, smile, talk and look completely natural. This functionality imparts social, psychological and physical well-being.”
The implant isn’t the new tooth, but fits into the bone socket of the lost tooth. An abutment holds your new tooth, which is called a crown—but it’s not the same as the crown that goes over a tooth that’s been drilled down.
What dental implants cost
Expect to pay $3,000 to $4,500 for an implant. If you live near a major academic medical center, ask about being treated in a clinic where students work alongside practicing professionals, or check out resources at the American Dental Association. Because implants are aesthetic, don’t expect insurance to pony up for this process.
This week’s Mind Your Body TV video welcomes back Alina Krivitsky, DDS, who tells us more about how dental implants can enhance our baby boomer smiles. See our other super-informative video about why preventing gum disease is so important now–and in the future.