Losing a tooth for a child is exciting and fun, but losing a tooth as an adult greatly decreases one's self-esteem. On top of this, it can make it difficult to speak and chew. Worst of all, you know that a new tooth is not going to automatically grow in its spot to replace it. Dentistry has grown by leaps and bounds, though. Instead of the good old standbys, bridges and dentures, you now can choose to get dental implants.

Basically, dental implants are surrogate tooth roots that are made to look just like your current teeth. They can bring back the self-esteem that you have been lacking since your tooth came out. The downside to these magnificent implants are that they can be quite costly, ranging anywhere from $1000 on up, depending on the position, difficulty, and if there is a need for bone or gum restoration work. But, when it comes to your appearance and your ability to chew food and speak, dental implants could be priceless.

Be ready for a long healing time. Dental implants require a dental surgery team and can take up to three to six months (and maybe even longer) to heal. The dentist has to insert a post into the jawbone that allows a crown, or the artificial tooth, to be screwed into it. The process itself can take several visits and up to seven months. If you are willing to spend the money and go through the lengthy procedure, dental implants may be the way to get that self-esteem back! However, never underestimate the price and always make sure that you attentively study the cost of dental implants before considering this type of surgery.

Prior to even starting the implant procedure, a dentist must make sure the patient is a good candidate for a dental implant. According to WebMD, "In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders - such as diabetes or heart disease - or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you." Once you have passed this point, though, you're ready for your new teeth!

There is no need to continue the battle with low self-esteem, trouble chewing, and whistling while you speak. Kiss good-bye the loose and unstable dentures and removable bridges that are easy to misplace once taken out. Once you know that you are a candidate for them, you can welcome dental implants. They will look just like your own teeth and be practical, so nobody will have to know. And, because dental implants are a permanent fixture placed in your mouth, they are a great way to go. On top of this, you can restore that lack of confidence in yourself and in your smile!