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Dental and Oral Health Center

Are Dental Implants Indicated?

09/28/2010

Question:

As a result of various extractions, I have no teeth on the lower right part of my mouth. I already have a full upper denture. So I really only have about 40% of my own teeth now. Now I chew most of my food with my front teeth, which is wearing down the lower teeth. I have wondered if I should consider having dental implants. About eight years ago, my dentist suggested that it might be possible but has said nothing after that. He said that the ridge of bone is healthy. He did say that he does not recommend a denture for the missing teeth. I am 66 years old and wonder if it is worth my while and my money to get an implant. What might it cost to do it?

Answer:

Yes, it is definitely worth the effort and money. Age is never a consideration for the quality of life. Implants are slightly on the higher side of expense; however, they are definitely worth the cost. If you have been chewing on your front teeth, not only would you wear your teeth but you would put enormous stress on your jaw joints. This could lead to a disabling condition that might require complex surgery. In some patients, regular dentures are known to hasten their bone loss. This could potentially lead to jaw fractures. When you put all the above issues into perspective, it is definitely worth the time and effort.

The cost of implant surgery and crowns varies. However, if you seek treatment at a university / dental school clinic, the cost of treatment might be one half to one third that of private practitioners. Also the number to implants will determine the overall cost. It is not necessary to get an implant for every missing teeth. Hope this helps.

Best Wishes.

Additional Information from Dr. Ed McGlumphy:

The short answer is "yes." Dental implants would most likely be an excellent investment in your quality of life. Some benefits for you could be obtained from dental implants costing as little as $2000. The ideal full mouth treatment on both the upper and lower in private practice could cost over $50,000, but most people who could afford it would consider it money well spent.

There are plenty of other options for you at a whole range of in-between costs. If cost is a major issue, seeking treatment at a dental school would most likely provide the "most bang for the buck"

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Response by:

Rajesh  Gutta, BDS Rajesh Gutta, BDS
Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati

Ed A McGlumphy, DDS, MS Ed A McGlumphy, DDS, MS
Professor of Restorative/Prosthetic Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University