A Complete Guide to Dental Implants
According to a study conducted by the American College of Prosthodontists, an estimate of 120 million Americans is missing a tooth, while around 40 million have completely lost a full set.
Thankfully, with technological advancement, people suffering from tooth loss can now choose from a variety of replacement options. If comfortable, long-lasting, and natural-looking artificial teeth are what you’re looking for, then affordable dental implants at Exceptional Dental could be right for you.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are screw-like, artificial tooth roots usually made of titanium or zirconia. They are surgically implanted in the jawbone to serve as a foundation for fixed or removable artificial teeth. Since they are secured in place, they won’t slip while eating or talking. These characteristics allow a more comfortable and natural fit as opposed to traditional dentures and bridges.
What to Expect
Dental implants are a great solution for individuals suffering from tooth loss due to problems like gum disease, physical injury or trauma, and tooth decay. However, to proceed with the treatment, one must meet the following requirements:
- Healthy gums
- Adequate bone to secure implants or at least qualified for bone grafting
- Good oral hygiene
Once the person is deemed as a suitable candidate, the surgery will then be carried out in three phases:
- placement of the implant on jawbone;
- attachment of the abutment (the post where the prosthetic tooth is placed) and;
- insertion of the artificial teeth
On average, the entire process will last between six and eight months. However, these numbers may vary from person to person, as some may require additional procedures or a longer healing time in between phases.
After the surgery, it is common for some patients to experience discomfort. This may manifest in the form of swollen or bruised gums, minor bleeding, and pain where the implant was placed. Our doctors will prescribe pain relievers to help keep the patient comfortable. However, if the discomfort persists for several days, contact us immediately as this could be a cause for concern.
During this time, patients should avoid eating on the side where surgery was done. It is also vital to stick to soft and easy-to-chew foods a few days after the surgery. These measures will aid in the settling of the implants.
Types of Dental Implants
Tooth implants come in different forms. We can conduct examinations to find the most affordable dental implants that best suit your needs. Dental implant options include:
Single Tooth Implant
This type replaces a single tooth without damaging the surrounding teeth. Unlike traditional bridges, this process doesn’t involve the grinding of adjacent teeth to keep the prosthetics in place.
Snap-On or Overdenture Implant
If you’re not used to wearing prosthetic teeth, then overdenture implants will work best for you. This lets wearers remove and reattach dentures anytime. It also allows for easy cleanup after every use.
Full Arch Implant
This type is great for individuals who are missing a full set of teeth either on the upper or lower jaw. During the treatment, at least four to six implants will be surgically placed in the jawbone. These will serve as a foundation for the prosthetic teeth that will be mounted afterward.
Patients suffering from a weak jawbone will require additional procedures such as:
This procedure is done to patients with an insufficient jawbone. Restoration or regeneration techniques are utilized to build enough bone to support the dental implants.
This technique is performed on patients with narrow jaws. The bone graft material is inserted in the ridge to place the implants.
This procedure is recommended for patients who lack bone height in their upper jaw. A dental surgeon will have to lift the floor of the sinus to allow bone growth and easy placement of the implants.
Alternative Implant Techniques
Nowadays, there are replacement options that transcend the traditional multi-step procedure. Some options that dental practitioners offer include:
Immediate Load Implants
With traditional implants, a recovery period is required before an artificial tooth can be inserted. Immediate Load Implants, however, allow our doctors to proceed with the tooth placement within the same day the dental implants were inserted. Because of this, they are also referred to as same-day implants.
Mini implants are narrow and come close to the size of toothpicks. These involve a less invasive process and are typically used to provide support to lower dentures.
Aftercare and Maintenance
With proper care and maintenance, tooth implants can last for a lifetime. Here are some steps to follow to ensure their longevity and maximize their benefits:
- Observe good oral hygiene. Much like real teeth, implants require regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Special tools like interdental brushes can also be used to allow easy cleaning in between the teeth and posts.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Timely dental checkups will help ensure that the implants are in optimal condition. A dentist can also assess the state of one’s teeth and recommend cleaning when necessary.
- Avoid bad oral habits. Stay away from practices that can potentially damage both your artificial and real teeth. These include smoking and chewing of hard substances like candies.
The cost for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your restoration. On average, single-tooth replacement ranges between $3,800 and $4,000, and the cost increases with the number of teeth needed to be replaced. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, we can recommend the treatment that is best for you.
Ask our team about the payment options available. Whether you want us to maximize your dental insurance benefits, make upfront payments, or are looking for financing options, Exceptional Dental has you covered!
Regain Confidence in Your Smile
At Exceptional Dental of LA, we help patients suffering from tooth loss achieve a beautiful, confident smile. We provide various high-quality dental implant options to meet the needs of our patients. To learn more about our services, book your free dental implants consultation with any of our eight locations today!