Dental Implants

Cosmetic tooth implants

Dental implants serve as replacements for tooth roots, and are used as structural supports for artificially replaced teeth. In addition to implant-supported bridges and dentures, the most common tooth implants used in modern dentistry are osseointegrated implants. These dental implants can be fused right into the surface of the jawbone to create a strong support that mimics that of living bone.

The Cost of Dental Implants

Dental implants cost about $1,000 to $3,000 per tooth; however, the cost of a complete procedure may be much higher if you need extensive work to replace missing teeth. A complete jaw and tooth restoration can cost as much as $30,000. The average cost of dental implants is also affected by any additional procedures that may also be required to repair your teeth.

Mini dental implants are more affordable, but they can only be used on patients experiencing slight to modest bone degeneration. A complete restoration using mini dental implants costs between $10,000 and $15,000 or so.

Patient Evaluation

The ideal candidate for dental implants is a person who has experienced whole tooth loss or suffers from jawbone degeneration to the point where natural structures can no longer support prosthetic teeth.

The Dental Implant Procedure

A planning session is vital to the success of the procedure, during which your dentist will make a detailed examination and evaluation of your teeth and jaws. The goal of the planning session is to determine which placement techniques will result in the most aesthetically pleasing outcome. If any teeth need to be extracted to make way for the implant, they may be removed at this point.

Osseointegrated dental implants are placed with the aid of a precision, high-speed dental drill, which is used to hedge against the possibility of bone necrosis. After placement, the bone is allowed to grow to the edge of the implant, after which the prosthetic tooth can be placed. On average, the procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes per implant.

Healing abutments and bone grafts are often added to provide stability and promote faster recovery. Sometimes, the implants are placed in a multi-stage procedure, which allows the bone to fuse with the implant more firmly to provide predictable and reliable support for your implanted teeth.

Risks Associated with Dental Implants

In some patients, the implants fail to integrate with the natural jawbone properly. This leads to implant failure, and your dentist will need to use an alternate technique to restore your missing teeth. Other potential dental implant complications include relocation of abscess deposits into your jaw; if you have a tooth abscess, your dentist must allow it to clear up before placing the implants. Otherwise, he will simply push the abscess into your jaw, which can have serious consequences.

Heavy smokers, people who abuse alcohol or people with chronic, serious medical conditions may experience delayed healing or implant failure. While infection rates are extremely low, there is a risk of infection any time you undergo major dental surgery.

Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery

The success rate of dental implant surgery is about 95 percent. It may take anywhere from two to six months to heal fully from the operation. During your healing period, it is vital that you exercise proper oral hygiene. You'll need to manage postoperative pain with medications, however, once the implant fuses with the bone, healing is well underway and pain will subside. Follow any specific instructions your dentist gives you, as postoperative care may differ, depending on the overall condition of your bones and teeth.

Alternatives to Dental Implants

Partial and full dentures are an affordable alternative, but don't look as natural as dental implants. Bridges and dental crowns may also be used if your tooth loss is limited to one or two teeth and your other teeth are healthy enough to remain functional.