If you're missing one or more teeth, you may be embarrassed about the way your smile looks. You may even find that eating has become frustrating. If dentures are too fussy for you, dental implants can provide a permanent solution. Here are four facts you'll want to know about dental implants before starting your treatment:

1. Most people are candidates for dental implants.

In order to install your implants, your dentist will need to ensure that you have an adequate amount of bone matter in your jaw. However, even if you're found to have insufficient bone for the procedure, you have options. Your dentist may recommend a bone graft, which will help to build up your jawbone. A bone graft will extend the length of time needed to complete your implant procedure, but it's an option for those who need it. Alternatively, you can opt for miniature implants instead. Mini implants work the same way as traditional implants do, but they are smaller and require less bone.

2. You'll be able to eat what you want.

When you get dental crowns, you need to be somewhat careful of what you eat. Chewing foods that are particularly sticky, such as toffee or taffy, may pull your crown loose, necessitating expensive repairs. However, dental implants are firmly secured into your jawbone, where the bone itself fuses to the metal rod to help hold it in place. This means that your implants are as strong as your natural teeth. You'll be able to eat all the foods you like, without worrying about potential damage to your implants.

3. Your dental insurance may cover part of the cost.

Dental insurance won't always cover the cost of dental implants, since insurance typically only covers treatments that are deemed medically necessary, and some insurance companies believe that dentures or bridges are an acceptable alternative to implants. If your dentist believes that implants are vital for preserving the integrity of your jawbone, they might be able to make a case that your implants are medically necessary. Even if your insurance company doesn't cover the cost of the implants themselves, they may pay for the crown that gets attached to the metal implant.

4. You'll be able to chew while your implant heals.

There will be a waiting period between the time when your implant is placed and when your crown is attached. During this time, your dentist may give you temporary dentures, which can help you chew your food so you don't have to avoid chewing on that side of your mouth in the meantime.