As an implant dentist, we know that more than 3 million Americans have dental implants today. Dentists have been successfully performing implant dentistry for the better part of fifty years, though only now has the popularity of this procedure really started to grow. Seen for many years as a cosmetic fix, oral health professionals are now advising dental implants for a host of tooth loss problems. Teeth can be lost very easily after an accident, playing sports, due to normal aging, or disease. Having a way to replace teeth and give a person back their speech patterns, their smile, and their natural look is an extremely powerful tool; one that we use on a regular basis.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw which is placed into the jawbone of a person’s mouth. An abutment is added, which is a piece that sticks out from the gum and connects the implant to the crown. Finally, a crown or a uniquely sculptured replacement tooth is placed over the abutment to finish the effect. When completed a dental implant looks and feels exactly like real teeth, giving the patient the comfort and familiarity they are used to with their naturally occurring teeth.
How much does a dental implant cost?
Dental implants have been slowly going down in price. However, they are still costly to get and often can be cost prohibitive to those who need a replacement tooth. A single tooth implant can cost between $1,500 and $3,000 with an additional cost of $500 to $3,000 for the crown. Many factors come into play when pricing out an implant, including the amount of support work that will need to be done, the number of teeth to be replaced, extractions, and other treatment that might become necessary around the implant. Also, one has to factor in the type of implant and the materials to be used. As an implant dentist, we can give you a precise quote after a consultation.
What is the process of getting a dental implant?
The process of getting an implant can take up to six months when you consider healing time. To start the process, we will discuss all the options available to you. Next, you will be scheduled for a comprehensive examination and consultation. Once you decide to proceed with the implant, we will take an imprint of the tooth to be replaced along with the gums and nearby teeth. This allows the crown to be customized to fit your mouth perfectly.
On the day of the surgery, we will implant a small screw or post into your jawbone. It is placed into the socket of the missing tooth and allowed to heal. Healing takes between six to twelve weeks. On your return a small connector post, known as an abutment, will be attached to the implant. The abutment sticks out above the gum line and connects, on the other end, to the crown. An additional two to three weeks of healing are required after the abutment is placed. Finally, the dentist will install your crown or replacement tooth to the abutment. Following some checks and tweaks to ensure your bite is perfect, you will have a perfect new replacement tooth.