As tough as they may be, our teeth tend to wear out the longer we use them. According to a recent survey, more than one-quarter of those over age 65 have no natural teeth remaining. These edentulous individuals must replace their pearly whites with artificial substitutes that allow them to chew and eat as they once did. Dental implants are the most expensive, most permanent option available today.
What are they?
Unlike dentures, implants are screwed into the jawbone, which means they need not be removed. They are also much stronger than dentures, since they are made of materials like titanium, ceramics, and metallic alloys. If properly cared for, dental implants should last a lifetime. They also will not chip, crack, or stain as dentures are wont to do.
Of course, dental implants are not perfect. The most common complaints are that they can be quite expensive (up to $5,000 per tooth)and that insurance rarely covers the cost, unlike dentures or dental bridges. With that said, they often last much longer and rarely require adjustment or repair. In fact, they can be cared for just like regular teeth. As long as you brush, floss, and gargle (with mouthwash), dental implants should provide decades of faithful service.