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Dental Implants- Types, Procedure, Cost and Recovery

Dental Implants

The artificial tooth roots used to support a restoration for a missing tooth or teeth are called Dental Implants.

They prevent jaw bone loss and are surgically implanted into your jawbone, mirroring the shape of a screw and bond with the natural bone.

They create base support to the dental crowns (artificial teeth).

Replacing the missing tooth roots with dental implants gives people the strength to eat all the foods they love, without struggling to chew.

They also help to stimulate and maintain jaw bone, preventing bone loss and helping to support facial features.

 

Dental Implant Structure

A dental implant consists of three pieces to serve different functions:

 

1. The implant or the screw acts as the tooth's artificial root.

 

2. A supporting tooth called Abutment is placed between the implant and the crown to connect all the pieces together.

They connect crowns to dental bridges, removable dentures, & partial dentures too.

3. The crown or the 'fake' tooth made of porcelain, a tooth-colored material that matches the shape and looks of your natural teeth rests on top of the abutment.  

 

Dental Implant Techniques & Materials

Dental implants are available in two different forms

 

1. Endosteal Implant

The most common type of implant used these days is an endosteal implant (root form implant), made from titanium, small screws, & alloplastic material, which means an artificial tissue graft.

They are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Subsequently the implants bond with the natural bone.

 

2. Subperiosteal Implant

Subperiosteal Implant is extremely rare and probably a  better option for patients who don't have enough natural jawbone to support endosteal implants.

This implant is placed under the gums and not surgically inserted into the jawbone.

 

Types of Dental Implants

The different types of dental implants available are:

 

1. Single Tooth Implant

A single dental implant is ideal for a single missing tooth that you wish to replace for aesthetics, comfort, and function.

Single implants need one dental crown that connects to the implant screw.

A single tooth dental implant cost may be varied from $3,000 to $4,000.

2. Implant-Supported Bridge

Implant-supported bridges are recommended for people with more than one missing tooth. The implant acts as a support for the bridge instead of the natural tooth  

A fixed dental bridge prevents other teeth from moving to restore the functions. It helps in improving eating and speaking functions also.

The cost of the dental implants-supported bridge can between $5,000 and $16,000.

 

3. All-on-4 Dental Implants

All-on-4 implants are recommended for a patient looking for a secure solution for many missing teeth.

This is a permanent restoration of your entire upper or lower jaw or both the arches.

The overdenture is removable for cleaning and dental exams.

The average cost of these implants ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 per arch. 

 

4. 3-on-6 Dental Implants

A 3-on-6 implant is an alternative to an implant-retained denture, consisting of three individual dental bridges attached to six dental implants.

The average cost of 3-on-6 implants can range from $10,000 to $15,000 per arch.

 

Procedures

The procedure of dental implant surgery varies from person to person. 

The factors that influence are :

  1. The number of teeth which need replacement
  2. Location of the implants
  3. The quality & quantity of bone at the implant site. 
  4. The patient's oral and systemic health

Based on these factors, additional procedures may be needed which include:

 

Sinus Augmentation

Implant surgery in the upper jawbone is a bit difficult because of the location of the sinuses.

The surgeon then sometimes performs a sinus augmentation- a procedure to lift the floor of the sinuses permitting more bone to develop for successful implantation.

 

Ridge Modification

People with jawbone abnormality may not have enough bone developed for an implant.

So a surgeon needs to perform a ridge modification by lifting the gum to expose the area of deformed bone.

The surgeon then uses a bone or bone substitute to repair & build up the area, improving the quality of the jawbone to prepare it for dental implant surgery.

 

Procedure

 

1. Consultation

The consultation can take 30 to 40 minutes, giving dentists a chance to explain the options to you and answer your queries. 

The dentist assesses your overall health and talks to you about your specific dental needs. A 3D CT scan is done to decide if you’re a good candidate for the procedure and to make a treatment plan.

 

2. Impressions

If both you and your dentist decide you should go ahead with the treatment plan after consultation, some impressions of your jaw and teeth are taken. 

 

3. Extractions

Tooth extraction is not needed in all cases. The dentist lets you know if they need to extract any teeth. And in case the patient suffers from infection or bone loss, bone grafting is done.

 

4. Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is required not only after tooth extraction but also if a tooth or teeth have been missing for a while.

Bone grafting ensures you have a decent bone foundation available for your dental implant to adhere to. 

 

5. Implant Surgery

Once the preparations are done, the dentist schedules your dental implant procedure. During the surgery, the dentist inserts implants into your bone.

They either submerge the implant in your gum or not submerge it depending on your condition.

 

Recovery

The recovery period of a tooth implant varies from person to person. Though most of the people are able to resume their normal schedules the next day, with the exception of eating.

Soft-food diets are necessary for a few days or weeks after the procedure. 

Some people need to have a cut in their gum to reveal the jaw bone for the drilling to take place. In such cases, sutures are put in.

The sutures are then removed in 10–14 days in most cases and do not add any additional pain or time to recovery.

Once the dentist is satisfied with the degree of osseointegration the tooth implant has achieved, they attach an abutment into the tooth implant that is used to attach the tooth implant to the permanent crown.

With this process, the tooth implant is complete.

The total time to fuse the tooth implant to the jaw bone is between four months to six months.

In rare cases, it may extend past six months if there is a deterioration of the tooth that has extended into the jawbone. 

 

Overview

Tooth implants are a novel option for the restoration of a missing tooth or teeth and the prevention of jaw bone loss.

When performed by a competent dentist they can be very beneficial in many ways.

Visit us at Kirkland Premier Dentistry and talk to your dentist today! 

Author
Dr. Sheena Gaur Dr. Sheena Gaur Dr. Sheena Gaur, DDS, is a general family dentist at Kirkland Premier Dentistry in Kirkland, Washington. She specializes in preventive and restorative dentistry, crowns, bridges, extractions, and cosmetic dentistry, including veneers and Invisalign® treatments.

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