Brightening Your Smile With Dental Implants
Did you know 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth? That’s over half the population. Is this the year that you join the millions who are taking the leap and getting dental implants?
No matter how excited you are for your results, the procedure can seem intimidating. The more you know about what to expect, the less daunting your surgery will be. Start with these top facts to know before you get dental implants.
How does the dental implant procedure work?
Each dental implant consists of two main parts: a titanium post and a porcelain crown. The post replaces your tooth’s root by stabilizing the implant in your jaw bone. The porcelain crown is the cosmetic part of the implant, mimicking the look of your natural teeth.
While there are different timelines and options available, the overall process for a dental implant is the same. Your surgeon starts by evaluating and taking images of your jaw bone, which lets them see whether you have the oral health and bone tissue to support an implant.
If you don’t, your surgeon will design a treatment plan around it. They may arrange bone grafts to build up your jaw bone tissue, or recommend treatment for gum disease before they start the implant process.
When your mouth is ready, the titanium post will be placed into the socket of your jaw bone where your tooth root used to be. Your dentist will create a custom crown to match your teeth and attach it either permanently or in a removable way.
How long does the process take?
In a traditional dental implant surgery, the process takes a few months. The surgeon places the posts in the first procedure, then you need to wait for your bone to develop around the post, securing it in place, which can take a few months.
After that time, your surgeon will attach your crown to the implant and you’re ready to enjoy your new implant.
There are new techniques, however, that allow some patients to complete the whole process in one day. You will still require healing time, but you don’t need to wait until the healing is complete before you have a stunning new smile.
How do I know if I’m a good candidate for dental implants?
While dental implants are intended for people who are missing teeth, not everyone with missing teeth is a candidate. You need to have the health and bone tissue to be able to support your implants.
On top of healthy bone tissue, you need to have strong gum health. If you have signs of gum disease, you’ll need to treat it effectively before your implant surgery.
If you don’t have the bone tissue you need, hope isn’t lost. We can use bone grafting procedures to enhance and strengthen your bone tissue.
Ultimately, only an implant dentist can tell you whether you’re a candidate or what you might need to become a candidate for implants.
How much do dental implants cost?
Prices vary for any medical procedure, and dental implants are no exception. Between the implant post, the crown, the office visits, and other necessities, implants often range between $3,000 and $4,500 each.
That’s a loose range, though. Your cost will vary based on your oral health, your implant surgeon, your potential need for bone grafts, and more. There are various dental implant options too, and this will impact your total cost.
You may not need to bear the full cost on your own, though. Many dental insurance plans cover some of the cost of dental implants.
How do I care for my dental implants?
The beauty of dental implants is that they look, feel, and function like natural teeth. That holds true for the maintenance too.
You should brush and floss your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. Dental implants can also be damaged by plaque buildup, so just like natural teeth, you need to keep up with consistent cleanings from your dentist.
What are my options for dental implants?
Every patient’s implant process is customized to their oral health and their needs. However, within the category of dental implants, there are several options you may have depending on your circumstances.
Traditional Implant Surgery
A typical implant surgery involves the multi-procedure process we described above. You receive the post implant in the first visit. After the bone has adhered to the implant and your custom crown is ready, you can receive the custom crown on your second visit.
This is a common strategy that works for a wide range of patients. The downside is that you have weeks or months of waiting before you can get the cosmetic results you want.
Some patients are eligible for our advanced same-day implant procedure. With this process, we use cutting-edge technology to create your crown in the office. This lets us place the titanium implant and attach the crown on the same day.
Some patients with no natural teeth choose to transition from dentures to full implants. This doesn’t mean you need 32 individual implants. Instead, we often use an option called All-on-4.
In this procedure, we place four titanium posts at specific angles. This allows those four implants to support a full mouth of crowns. You get a shiny new smile without an extensive series of pricey procedures.
All-on-4 is also helpful because you only need robust bone tissue in four areas of the jawbone, not the entire jawbone. This often lets us avoid bone grafts.
What to do before you get dental implants.
If your dentist has recommended dental implants, you’re on the road to a brighter, more beautiful smile. Now that you know all about the basics of the procedure and what to expect, you can start the process feeling confident in the journey ahead.
Remember that every implant procedure is unique to the patient. To discuss your specific case and how implants may help you, call Bentz Dental Implants to schedule a consultation.