Cutting Through the Hype
Short answer: Yes
Long answer: BUT . . . there are some things you need to know.
The procedure is proven, but it’s not simple, and it’s not cheap. The teeth require regular maintenance; failure of the supporting implants is always a possibility.
So here’s how it goes: If your upper or lower teeth are in terrible shape, there will likely come a time where all the king’s horses and all of the king’s men cannot fix them or replace the missing bone around them. At that point, you will have to figure out what to do next. The traditional solution is a denture (plate). Dentures work, and yet then they don’t always work well. Upper dentures work fairly well, lower denture, not that well. Neither is a replacement for teeth – people deal with them as best they can.
Enter the age of the implant. You can:
- Replace the teeth one by one with implant teeth, or
- Rest a horseshoe shaped denture on a bed of implants, or
- Place four implants and an arch of teeth on top of them just a few implants, or
- Use implants and snaps to create a snap-in denture.
Each case is individual. But the solution being advertised on television works like this: your replacement teeth are made in advance. On the day of insertion, implants are placed, the teeth are screwed in, and you go home and recover.
The costs are $20-30,000 per arch. When things go right, it’s a wonderful treatment. But when things go wrong, you need to be ready for extra surgeries and extra costs. Also, things may be great for awhile and then go wrong – there’s no predicting this.
My suggestion is, be cautious. Do your homework. Nothing in medicine is 100% and things can always go wrong. Also, nothing lasts forever, so don’t ever assume that man-made replacements will last the rest of your life.
I may be pessimistic, but this comes from years of realizing that eventually, something gives.