Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to replace a missing tooth or teeth.
Dental implants are composed of a titanium material and shaped like screws, cylinders or blades. Restorations — either dental crowns, bridges or implant-supported dentures — are secured to the implants after a healing period; or possibly immediately after the implant placement procedure.
The cost of dental implants depends on many factors, such as the type of implant procedure, the location where the dental implant procedure is performed, the type of dental insurance you have, and the type of dental implant your dentist places. Single dental implants may range in cost from $3,500 to $7,000. The cost of full-mouth reconstructive dental implants can range from $24,000 to $100,000.
Coverage of dental implant treatment is determined by individual insurance companies. The amount dental insurance companies may pay toward treatment varies.
Dental implants are a safe and clinically proven alternative to bridges and dentures for replacing missing teeth in qualified candidates. People with certain risk factors, such as smokers, and those with inadequate bone density or who are immune-compromised, may not qualify for implant treatment.
Dental implants are among the most predictable tooth replacement options. While there is no guarantee that an implant procedure will be successful, studies have shown a five-year success rate of 95 percent for lower jaw implants, and a 90 percent success rate for upper jaw implants.
Dentists strongly advise patients to quit smoking before undergoing a dental implant procedure. Smokers are at higher risk for dental implant failure.
Dental implants are placed into the jawbone after the dentist drills a small hole into the site where the tooth is missing. This hole is slowly widened to accommodate the dental implant screw. Once the implant is placed, the gum tissue is replaced over the implant and a protective cover screw is placed on top for healing. After up to six months of healing, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an abutment, which holds the crown or tooth-like replacement to the implant. In some cases, the abutment may be placed at the same sitting as the implant. When the abutment is placed, a temporary crown will be provided to promote healing.
A combination of local anesthesia and sedation dentistry, if necessary, is used during implant placement, so patients do not feel pain during the procedure. After the initial surgery, discomfort should be minimal. However, prescription pain medications may be prescribed to relieve any post-surgical pain or discomfort.
Dental implants can be placed anytime after adolescence or when bone growth is complete. It is best to ask your clinician.
Dental implants are stronger and more dependable than conventional bridges cemented to natural teeth, or traditional partial or full removable dentures. However, dental implants may be used to support a bridge or dentures when multiple teeth are missing to provide better support and stability, help maintain the jaw bone, and reduce gum tissue irritation.
Also, dental implant restorations are not susceptible to cavities.
Healing from the surgical dental implant placement procedure make take up to six months. Fitting and seating the crown or other restoration may take up to two additional months after that. However, every case is different, and routine follow-up appointments and regular dental check-ups will be necessary to maintain good oral health.
A dental implant restoration can remain in place and function properly for many years when proper oral hygiene is followed and regular dental check-ups are maintained.