Dental implants are a method for replacing roots with metal implant posts that act as artificial tooth roots for new teeth that look, feel, and function like real teeth. Dental implants are a great alternative to traditional dentures because they are long-lasting and easier to care for. They’re also a good choice for people lacking the natural tooth roots necessary to construct dentures.
There are several common procedures for dental implant surgery. The procedure you receive and its cost depends on the implant you need, the number of teeth you need to replace, and the condition of your jawbone.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a type of artificial tooth root that is implanted into your jawbone or placed behind the gums to act as a long-lasting root for replacement teeth. A periodontist performs dental implant placement, which is a type of oral surgery. Unlike conventional dentures, implants are permanent and cannot be removed. Instead, they act more like real teeth.
Dental implants are typically made of titanium posts. When a periodontist implants the post into your jawbone, it fuses with the bone to create a permanent anchor for replacement teeth.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies depending on the procedure you receive and the number of teeth you need to be replaced. The average cost of dental implants ranges from $1,500 to almost $70,000.
On average, dental implants cost more than a traditional removable denture. However, implants also have many benefits when compared to dentures.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are several advantages to choosing dental implants, especially when compared to traditional dentures. These are some of the benefits of dental implants:
They look better. Dental implants look, feel, and act like real teeth, improving your appearance and making you feel more confident. Because they fuse to your jawbone, dental implants are also permanent, making them even more similar to real teeth. Dental implants also tend to match your own teeth, so they're less noticeable than other options.
Long-lasting. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of a metal implant post. That makes them extremely durable, and they can last for several years.
Enhanced comfort. You don’t need to go through the process of removing and cleaning dentures when you have dental implants. This makes them more comfortable to have.
Better oral hygiene. When you get dental implant surgery, the teeth surrounding your implants are not affected, leading to better oral health in the long term. Dental implants are also easier to clean and care for because they act like natural teeth.
Easier eating. Dentures often slide around in your mouth when chewing, making eating difficult. However, dental implants act similar to real teeth, which makes eating more manageable and less painful.
Do I need a dental implant?
Whether you need a dental implant is a decision you should make with your dental specialist or oral surgeon. People often choose to get a dental implant for aesthetic purposes, especially if they’re missing only one or two teeth and don’t like how it looks. Another popular reason that people choose to have a dental implant is for function. While having all of your teeth looks nice, it also allows you to chew, talk, and maintain overall oral health. Dental implants can also improve your self-confidence.
If you’re missing any teeth, you may want to consider getting dental implant surgery and should consult with your dentist to learn more about your options.
Causes of Tooth Loss
People get dental implants to replace missing teeth. You might be wondering how someone can lose their teeth in the first place. These are some of the most common reasons that adults and children lose their teeth:
Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the United States for children and adults. Also called gum disease, it occurs when bacteria infect gum tissue and cause it to deteriorate. Periodontal disease can eventually reach the jawbone if it goes untreated. When this happens, a person may start to lose their teeth.
Tooth decay, which often presents as a cavity, is another common cause of missing teeth in adults and children. When bacteria causes holes to form in your teeth, called cavities, your tooth starts to decay from the inside out. If left too long, a cavity can eventually mean that the entire tooth needs to be removed.
Even people with the healthiest of mouths can lose teeth. If you experience an accident or physical injury, such as a hard fall that causes a shock to your body, it may cause one or more of your teeth to fall out. Losing a tooth in an accident is very common in high-impact sports, which is why many players wear mouth guards.
Having certain chronic diseases or bad habits can put you at a higher risk of losing teeth. People with diabetes, hypertension, and arthritis have a higher risk of losing teeth. You’re also more likely to experience have missing teeth if you smoke or eat a diet high in acidic and sugary foods.
How to Prevent Tooth Loss
The best thing you can do to avoid losing your teeth is to practice good oral hygiene. Doing this includes maintaining healthy gums by flossing daily and using the right toothpaste. You should also quit smoking, aim to eat a more nutritious diet, and regularly visit your dentist.
Dental Implant Techniques
There are two main techniques that periodontists use to carry out dental implant surgery.
Endosteal implants are the most common type of dental implant. They involve inserting an artificial tissue graft (made of screws, alloplastic, and titanium) into the jawbone. Eventually, the implant will fuse with the surrounding bone tissue.
Subperiosteal implants are much less common than endosteal implants. They are smaller implants best for patients who don’t have adequate bone tissue to support an endosteal implant. Rather than surgically implanted into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants are placed behind the gum tissue, above the jawbone.
Types of Dental Implant Procedures and Costs
Placing a dental implant is a surgical procedure. Dental implants are typically performed by oral surgeons who specialize in implant dentistry. Getting a dental implant is a minor surgery that utilizes local anesthesia.
There are three main types of surgical procedures to implant dental replacement roots: single-tooth, multiple tooth, and full mouth. Under full mouth dental implants, there are two specific techniques called All on Four and 3 on 6.
A single-tooth implant is the most simple dental implant procedure. It’s effective if you only have one missing tooth and want a replacement. People often choose to do a single-tooth replacement for aesthetic purposes more than anything. A dental implant that only replaces one tooth is also advantageous because it doesn’t affect the health of the other teeth in your mouth.
The procedure for a single-tooth dental implant involves rooting the singular implant into your jawbone using a titanium rod that acts as an artificial tooth root. There is only one implant site in a single-tooth replacement.
The average cost for a single-tooth dental implant is between $1,500 and $4,000.
If you need to replace several teeth, a multiple tooth procedure is ideal Multiple tooth dental implants are similar to single-tooth implants in that they don’t require support from or affect the health of your neighboring natural teeth. Even better, multiple tooth implants don’t need the same care as dentures or bridges. You can care for a multiple tooth implant the same way you’d care for your natural teeth.
The steps to performing a multiple tooth implant are the same as they are for a single-tooth implant. But, instead of doing it only once, the procedure is repeated until all implants have been inserted into the jawbone.
The average cost for a multiple tooth dental implant is between $2,500 and $30,000.
A full-mouth dental implant is an excellent option for someone missing all their own teeth. It might also be an option if you’re missing most of your teeth and the teeth you do have are significantly damaged or decayed. A full-mouth implant is often better than traditional dentures because it involves drilling into your jawbone to create titanium “roots” for every replacement tooth. It also feels more natural than removable dentures, lasts longer, and is easier to maintain.
Performing a full-mouth dental implant involves drilling into the jawbone to create holes where the implants will be placed. You’ll often need a device such as a dental bridge to support the newly implanted teeth for a full-mouth dental implant.
The average cost of a full-mouth dental implant is around $35,000 but can sometimes reach $70,000 for complex procedures.
All on Four
An All on Four dental implant is a more advanced type of implant best for people looking to replace an entire row of teeth. The procedure gets its name because it only requires four incisions to support a whole row of teeth. You would need six to eight incisions to get a similar result without using this technique. The All on Four technique is less invasive, easier to perform, and faster to recover from.
An All on Four implant is done by making two incisions in the front of the mouth and two in the back of the mouth. The two implants driven into the back of the mouth are placed at a 45-degree angle. Doing this makes placing the implant easier, as it introduces the titanium rod into an area of the jawbone with higher bone density.
The average cost for an All on Four dental implant is around $25,000.
3 on 6
A 3 on 6 implant is a special technique used to replace all or most teeth on either the upper or lower arches of the mouth. Similar to an All on Four, the name 3 on 6 comes from the number of incisions needed to perform the implant surgery.
Preforming a 3 on 6 dental implant surgery involves rooting six implants into the jawbone to anchor three bridges. The three bridges work to create a full smile that can leave you feeling confident and comfortable.
The average cost for a 3 on 6 dental implant surgery is around $18,000.
What to Expect After Your Dental Implant Surgery
Most dental implants require two to six months to bond to the jawbone and form a strong foundation for your new teeth. During this time, you may experience several symptoms like swelling, bruising, pain, or minor bleeding. These symptoms are typical, and you might even be prescribed pain medications or told to eat soft foods after surgery.
Once your periodontist is satisfied with the fusion of your implant to your jawbone, they will uncover the implants and remove your temporary teeth in order to attach the abutment. Doing this provides a fixed structure for each replacement tooth.
Once the abutment is attached, your replacement teeth will be created and fixed to the abutments. After this, your gum tissue will need a few weeks to heal properly before you’re all set. The entire process can take anywhere from three to eight months, depending on how long it takes for the implant to bond to your jawbone.
How to Care for Dental Implants
Caring for your dental implants is the same as caring for natural teeth. To care for your dental implants, you should regularly brush and floss them. You should also rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash and schedule regular dental visits for checkups. Doing all of these activities will ensure healthy dental implants that last long and look great.
Dental implants are an advanced technique for replacing missing teeth. They involve drilling a titanium rod into your jawbone that eventually bonds with the bone to create a permanent anchor for replacement teeth.
The cost of dental implant surgery can vary greatly depending on the number of teeth you’re looking to replace and the type of procedure you require. The main types of dental implants include single-tooth, multiple teeth, and full mouth implants.
Though it is more expensive than traditional removable dentures (removable replacement teeth), dental implant surgery offers a variety of benefits. Dental implants provide an experience that is more like natural teeth. They’re also easier to care for, more comfortable, and more durable than dentures.