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Dental Implants are Increasingly Popular in the U.S.

ask a dentistIn Japan, an intriguing trend has taken hold: that of “yaeba,” or crooked fang, teeth. Girls and women alike are paying an average of $400 in cosmetic dentistry costs in order to get the teeth, also called “snaggleteeth.” Why the appeal? In Japan, an imperfect smile is often considered cute and endearing, rather than something in need of correction.

In the U.S., most people aren’t searching high and low for crooked teeth. What many people are interested in, though, is implant dentistry. Implants have gained popularity among dentists and patients alike over the past several decades as a more natural alternative to denture and bridge prosthetics. Unlike those devices, which are removable, implants consist of a titanium screw inserted into the jawbone, upon which a crown, or false tooth, is attached. The result is an artificial tooth that looks, feels and behaves just like the real thing.

It’s no surprise that many people have questions about dental implants. Some of the most common questions people ask a dentist include:

  • What is the success rate of a procedure like this?
  • Are dental implants cheap, or covered by medical insurance?
  • What are mini dental implants?

For this procedure, the success rate for front teeth is over 95%, and the results are long lasting; implants often stay in for the patient’s entire life.

It’s fair to say that implants are not very cheap. On average, patients will pay $2,000 to $4,000 per implant, with the price dependent on how intensive the surgery is, and exactly how many implants the patient is receiving, among other variables. Dental bridges replacing a single tooth, on the other hand, are more likely to cost around $900. It’s worth noting, however, that this is comparing one-time costs, yet unlike bridges and dentures, implants do not typically need to be periodically replaced or adjusted. Unfortunately, insurance companies will not usually cover part of the cost of implants since they are an “elective” procedure.

Mini dental implants are smaller than regular implants, and can be used either for dentures or for patients whose lack sufficient bone thickness for regular implants. They allow for quicker healing time, and are cheaper than typical implants. Not all dentists, however, recommend using mini dental implants as a replacement for normal implants, so you will need to discuss this with them before proceeding any further.

What would you ask a dentist? Would you consider “yaeba”? Let us know in the comments.