A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that supports an artificial crown. They are a popular and durable choice for replacing missing teeth, but they can be an expensive investment in your smile. If you would like to know more, check out these four commonly asked questions.
1. How Do Dental Implants Work?
Natural teeth sit in the gums and jawbone for support. Ligaments hold the teeth in place to prevent them from falling out. Dental implants also use the gums and jawbone for support. The titanium root is inserted directly into the gum tissue, and while the ligaments can't regrow, the bone can fuse to the titanium root, creating a strong hold.
For this reason, however, you need a strong jawbone before you get dental implants. Luckily, you can get a bone graft to add volume and strengthen the bone. Once the implants are inserted, they will help stimulate the bone to keep it strong.
2. What Are the Types of Dental Implants?
First, you need to know the difference between endosteal implants and subperiosteal dental implants. The process above describes how endosteal implants are used. However, if you have a weak jawbone and can't afford a bone graft, you can choose subperiosteal dental implants, which sit under the gums but above the jawbone. These are less durable, but they are also less invasive and costly.
Next, you must consider how many teeth you are missing. For one missing tooth, a single implant is a great idea. However, implant-supported bridges can replace multiple teeth in a row while using a few implants to support the bridge (instead of healthy teeth).
If you need to replace all your teeth, ask about implant-supported dentures. These replace all your teeth, and they are removable for cleaning. However, the implants allow the denture to snap into place, providing a more stable hold than when compared to traditional dentures.
3. How Much Do Dental Implant Cost?
Dental implants aren't cheap. On average, you'll pay $4,263 for all the needed treatments (implant, crown, abutment, etc.). You'll pay about $8,486 for a small bridge, and a full set of implant dentures can cost $34,119. The price increases if you need additional treatment like a gum graft.
4. How Long Will a Dental Implant Last?
With good care, dental implants can last the rest of your life. In fact, 90 to 95 percent of implants are successful over a 10-year period. The crown may need replacing, especially if you grind your teeth or eat hard foods like ice.
Factors that can increase the risk of implant failure include:
- Neglecting your oral care
- Eating sugar-high foods
- Peri-implant disease (gum disease around the implant)
Dental implants are a great idea for missing teeth. They are expensive, but they usually last longer than bridges and are much more durable than dentures. If you would like to know more, contact a dental office, like Smiles By Hogan.