Tooth implants have been growing in popularity, and now a new report finds they're also more cost effective than dentures and other traditional solutions.
According to Medical News Today, the report includes data from a decade of studies related to tooth replacement, including dentures and tooth-borne prostheses, commonly called "bridges." The findings of 14 studies that took place from 2000 to 2010 are included.
The report was published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants and PubMed, which is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
One of the top findings is that when patients are in need of a single-tooth replacement, an implant is typically the most cost-effective solution. The cost of implants are initially higher than full dentures when multiple teeth need to be replaced, but in the long term, have fewer ongoing costs associated with the procedure.
Many dental discount plans include reduced prices for dental implants along with a host of other oral health procedures and regular maintenance. When people don't have access to dental insurance or can't afford it, such plans give them the ability to continue oral care at an affordable cost.
Growing satisfaction with implants
Another highlight of the studies that were reviewed was evidence that patients' acceptance and satisfaction with tooth implants has been matched by their willingness to pay for the procedures. This was particularly true of elderly people whose alternatives were to live with tooth loss or to adjust to dentures.
Researchers attributed the acceptance of implants to the growing trend of older people to practice better oral care and the search for decreased healthcare costs.
According to Dentures.net, the advantages of permanent tooth implants, which are mounted on titanium rods screwed into the dental ridge of the patient's jaw bone, are that they don't slip out of place, cause soreness of the gums or allow food to get under them as traditional dentures may.
Titanium has been found to be very compatible with bone tissue and attaches well to the rods. In the case of dentures, the bone ceases to grow and begins to shrink, which causes dentures to slip.
Implants can be surgically inserted to replace one tooth, several teeth that would otherwise be covered by a partial denture or a full set to replace missing teeth.
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