Dental Implants: Is It For You?
3 million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that number is growing by 500,000 each year.
Thanks to a local dentist, the process of getting the implant has been made simple.
About 10 years ago Kathy Mills got her first dental implant.
“I had lost a tooth, it was a tooth that had a crown and then it had cracked at the roots at the gum line and so that became an option, either to extract the tooth or to do an implant,” Mills said.
Mills says the decision was simple.
“My mother had no teeth at 30. So, the year I was born she had lost her teeth and wore dentures then for the next 40 years of her life so it was right from the get go, you take care of your teeth,” Mills said.
Mills now is on her third dental implant and says she’s happy with her decision.
Dentist Alex Kusek says implants are more common as you age.
“Somebody can need a dental implant whether they’re just missing one tooth, multiple teeth in the area or if they’re completely missing all of their teeth. We can make different prosthesis to get them back in good eating,” Kusek said.
Not only did the implants impact her physical health but also her confidence.
“Maybe it’s vanity but I also just think it’s being conscious of good health. When you have good teeth you can eat just about anything you want. The structure of your face remains the way it was supposed to be,” Mills said.
Kusek says losing teeth can affect your lip support as well as shorten your jaw.
“A lot of times if you’re missing it may impact your general health, quality of life, ability to eat and enjoy things,” Kusek said.
The overall process can take about three to four months, consisting of a consultation, surgery, and about a 1-day healing period.
“It’s really an easy process. You come in for the surgery, there’s usually a day where you’re just kind of groggy, and then you’re back,” Mills said.
Kusek says typically a single implant costs about $5,000.
“It’s expensive, but again it’s a quality of life issue,” Mills said.
Although the procedure can be costly, Mills says when it comes to her health she’s willing to pay.
“That’s my concern is being able to maintain all those aspects, whether it’s vanity or being able to eat what you want,” Mills said.
For more information about dental implants, click here.