Implants are used to replace missing teeth. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or crown. More than one implant can support a bridge. Dental implants can also be used to anchor a denture in place. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants fit so securely that act and feel like natural teeth, with minimal discomfort. Dental implants will also slow bone decay and gum recession associated with tooth loss and periodontal disease. This aspect of implant dentistry makes single tooth implants a great alternative to permanent bridges or partial dentures.
A small titanium post is placed in the space left by a missing tooth. The post bonds with your jaw bone in a matter of months, creating solid foundation for a crown. Implants do not require any special cleaning procedures apart from normal brushing and flossing.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
1. Conserve bone. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone begins to break down. Implants help prevent this bone loss.
2. Conserve tooth structure.
3. When cared for properly, implants will last many years.
4. Improve/ preserve bite pressure.
Types of dental implants
Endosteal (in the bone): This is the most common type of dental implant and is commonly used as an alternative to dental bridges and dentures. The titanium post is surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant will hold one or more prosthetic teeth.
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
Most people that have lost a tooth, or had a tooth extracted are candidates for dental implants. When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth and gums will begin to shrink away. This will compromise the adjacent teeth and cause problems and further tooth loss in the future. Putting an implant in place where the tooth has been lost will help stabilize your bite and prevents the bone and surrounding gum tissue from shrinking away.
The best dental implant candidates are in good oral health. A certain amount of bone in your jaw is needed to support a dental implant. The best candidates will also have healthy gum tissue free of periodontal disease.
What does getting a dental implant involve?
The process for getting a dental implant requires multiple visits over several months.
Your dental team will take x-rays and possibly make impressions of your teeth and jaw to determine bone, gum tissue, and spacing available for an implant. The next phase will involve the implant surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and grow into the bone structure for up to six months. Depending on the bone structure that is present, a second surgery may be required in order to place the titanium post that will eventually hold your crown in place.
Once the healing process is completed, the artificial teeth are then made and securely attached to the implant.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of each dental implant will vary with each case. An exam and consultation is needed to provide an accurate cost estimate. Generally, a basic implant will cost around $2,000, with a finished crown pushing the cost closer to $2,500-$3,000.
Are dental implants covered by dental insurance?
Typically, dental insurance will cover some of the treatment cost. If dental implants are a covered benefit on a patient’s plan they are normally covered at 50% of the charges up to a maximum of $1,000. However, you should first contact your insurance provider to determine the exact level of coverage they provide for different procedures as it will vary.
To schedule a consultation with one of our dentists please schedule online or call our office today (208.322.5655).