What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth and root system. The implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw bone. It has threads or grooves like a screw that promote osseointegration, or fusion with the bone. Once the implant has bonded sufficiently with the bone, an abutment and crown can be attached to it, providing a natural looking, functional replacement for a single tooth. Multiple implants can be placed in the jaw to support a bridge or dentures.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants provide many benefits, which is why they are considered to be the highest quality tooth replacement option.
- Natural function. A dental implant provides a secure, solid replacement tooth that has the bite strength and chewing force of a natural, healthy tooth.
- Natural appearance. Dental implants look very natural because they attach to your jaw in a similar way. The crown can be made of porcelain that resembles tooth enamel and can be created to match the color and shape of your existing teeth.
- Can last a lifetime. Once it fuses with the bone, a dental implant can stay in place for the rest of your life.
- Will not damage other teeth. Unlike a bridge, a dental implant will not affect the adjacent teeth or any other teeth in your mouth. It is a solitary prosthetic that does not rely on support from other teeth. It is also much easier to care for than a bridge is because it is not connected to adjacent teeth.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you have one or more missing or severely damaged teeth, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. The only concern when it comes to readiness for a dental implant is the condition of your jaw bone. If a tooth or multiple teeth have been missing for a period of time, the support structures, including the jaw bone, will weaken and deteriorate. When there is not enough bone to support a dental implant, you may need a bone graft procedure first to fortify the bone and encourage regeneration. The preparation is worth it for a high quality, long lasting restoration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the success rate of dental implants?
With an experienced dentist, the success rate of dental implants can be as high as 98%. But the success of your dental implant is also up to you. It is important that you follow your dentist’s instructions along the way and practice good oral hygiene habits on a daily basis. Be sure to see us regularly for follow up appointments and routine dental cleanings.
How many dental implants are needed for implant supported dentures?
This varies from one situation to the next. Some types of implant supported dentures require 4 and some require 6 implants to be placed in the jaw. Sometimes the retention of a denture can be drastically improved with only 2 implants. The implants provide an anchor for your dentures so that they stay in place securely. Implant supported dentures are more comfortable and functional than traditional dentures. The implants also help to maintain the bone health and structure of your jaw.
How much does a dental implant cost?
The cost of a dental implant varies depending on a variety of factors. For a single dental implant to replace one tooth, you can expect an estimate of several thousand dollars. The cost varies due to the location of the implant, other procedures that may be necessary, and other factors.