“No matter how good the implant or dentures are, they’re not as good as real teeth,” Dr. Stuart Katz describes from his office in Burnaby Square, Vancouver. “The ligaments below natural teeth absorb the impact of teeth clenching. On the other hand, dental implants are fixed directly to the jawbone.”
And yet, dental implants are a worthy alternative to traditional dentures. Dentures are most often associated with the elderly, who most often lose enough teeth to render dentures relevant. However, everything from a playground fall to poor hygiene causes tooth loss. “The benefit of dental implants,” says Dr. Katz, “is that you can have one or many.” Because each artificial tooth is connected individually via titanium screw to the jawbone, a patient can have anything from individual replacements to a full march. As Dr. Katz concludes, “in most cases [implants] are the best replacement option.”
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for implants. Some patients are lacking healthy enough bones and gums. Luckily, increases in technology mean that even patients without enough bone can receive a bone graft, so long as they’re in good overall health. “[Dentists] are learning to manipulate the hard tissue as well as soft tissue,” Dr. Katz explains.
Fancy new technology does come with a price. Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of dental replacements; if they do, the fee is higher than dentures or another form. That’s why Dr. Katz provides transparent consultation to customers. Part of the consultation involves creating a 3D scan of the area, which saves the cost of a patient having to travel elsewhere. “A good dentist will do their best to keep the cost down for the patients,” he states.