About Dental Implants
If you’ve lost a tooth or a few teeth and find yourself in need of dentures, you might consider a dental implant instead. In fact, if you have each tooth you lose over time replaced with an implant, you can avoid the need for full-mouth dentures later in life—no glue, no tricky eating with dentures—just realistic, secure teeth.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are teeth that have been manufactured from “root” to crown. They are screwed firmly into to your jaw and are used to replace teeth that have been removed. Complete dental implants can replace the tooth altogether.
They work exactly like your original tooth, can last a lifetime, and fit perfectly. This is the closest thing to your natural teeth that you’ll find. The dental implants procedure is relatively simple and, once everything’s healed, you won’t even be able to distinguish between these and your real teeth.
They are made with medical-grade titanium. This is to ensure that there are no dental implants problems over the lifespan of the implant. Over time, the bone will fuse to the implant, leaving it rock solid and forming a strong bond. This means no slipping or adjusting ever again.
There are three parts to most implants:
- The implant: This is the “root.” It is placed in the jaw and is what provides stability for the “tooth.”
- The abutment: This is a connector that is designed to be permanent, but that can be removed if necessary. This is what connects the crown and the implant.
- The crown: This is typically made from porcelain or zirconium and is the part that you'll see afterward.
Implants are versatile – choose to replace one tooth, a few teeth, or even all of your teeth. With a full set of implants, you will find that the procedure is slightly different. The crowns are created and anchored with implants in key areas.
This means that there are fewer actual implants needed and so less recovery time afterward. Depending on your situation, just four implants might be enough to anchor an arch of teeth.
Types of Dental Implants
- Endosteal: These are screwed into your jawbone. The gum tissue is then given a chance to heal before the second stage continues. In the second stage, a post is connected to the original. Then the crown can be attached.
- Subperiosteal: This is slightly different. In this case, a frame is created and fitted to your jaw, just under the tissue of your gum. When the gum heals back over, the frame becomes a permanent fixture. Posts are attached to the frame, and these stick out above the gum line. The teeth are then affixed to these posts.
Cost of Dental Implants
A single tooth implant starts at around $1,500 and can go up to $6,000, so it’s not a cheap procedure. Dentures are considerably less expensive than implants in terms of initial outlay. The advantage of implants, though, is that they can last a lifetime.
Dentures, on the other hand, should be replaced every five years. We advise that you come in and find out what the dental implant procedure cost would be for your situation. It is also advisable to check whether your insurance will cover the costs.
Some insurers may view this as elective surgery and so may not pay for it. They might tell you to opt for dentures instead. It’s a little short-sighted of them, but, thankfully, insurers are slowly coming around.