At Atwood Advanced Dentistry, we sometimes see patients that are missing one or more of their natural teeth because of tooth decay, periodontal disease, an injury, or extraction. Years ago, the only restorative dentistry treatment options for patients with missing teeth were dentures and bridges. Thanks to new innovations in the field of prosthodontics, Dr. Atwood can now offer those same patients dental implants so that their smiles look, feel, and perform like new again.
What are dental implants?
If you’d like to know the truth about dental implants, they work much differently and naturally than do dentures. Rather than serving as a removable tooth substitute, a dental implant is a permanent replacement tooth root (post) that’s inserted directly into a patient’s jawbone. Once the root has fused into the bone, it provides a strong foundation upon which an artificial tooth that looks just like the surrounding regular teeth can be attached.
Dental implants have three parts:
- Implant - A small titanium root, or post, that’s surgically placed in the jawbone.
- Abutment - The connecting piece between the post and restoration.
- Restoration - A bridge, crown, or denture that fits securely on top of the implant.
As the most common type of implant used today, endosteal implants are surgically inserted directly into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are extremely rare and serve as a better option for patients who do not have enough natural jawbone to support endosteal implants.
Once it’s in place, a dental implant looks, feels, and functions just like a real tooth. Other advantages of dental implants include ease of brushing and flossing, the fact they don’t slip around and interfere with speaking and eating like dentures do, and exceptional comfort.
There are also different types of dental implants, including single-tooth dental implants, full mouth dental implants, mini dental implants, and All-on-4 dental implants.
What to expect during a dental implant procedureal implants?
If you are a candidate for a dental implants procedure based on your oral health, here’s what to expect:
- Using 3D imaging of your mouth, Dr. Atwood will prepare a computer simulation of treatment, allowing him to identify where the implants will be placed for optimal support.
- The next step will involve surgery to place the implants, and may also include additional procedures like a tooth extraction and bone shaping. At that time, the implants are capped with abutments and temporary teeth are attached until the implants have had a chance to fuse with the jawbone (osseointegration).
- During a 6 to 12 week healing process, you will be asked to avoid hard or chewy foods that could cause damage.
- The temporary teeth will be removed approximately three months after placement once the process of osseointegration is finished. Once the temporaries are removed, permanent replacement teeth will be attached.
- Although recovery times vary depending on the type and number of implants you received, your recovery should be relatively quick with minimal discomfort.
How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants are not a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and the cost depends on many factors, including the type of implantation, location where the placement surgery is performed, the material used, and dental insurance.
All factors considered, on average, the per-tooth cost of dental implants can range from $3,000 to $4,500. Implant-supported full arch restorations (like All-on-4) can cost between $10,000 and $30,000, while other types of full-mouth dental implants (replacement of all or most teeth) may run upwards of $60,000 or more.
Affordable dental implants
Although dental implants tend to cost slightly more upfront than other tooth replacement treatments, they are a very affordable alternative for reasons like aesthetics, comfort, durability, longevity, and higher self-esteem.
If you are planning a trip to Mexico to get your implants simply because it could save you a few bucks, you may want to reconsider. In Mexico, many dentists take short courses (as short as one weekend) and start advertising that they do dental implants. There’s no regulation that states they have to have a minimum experience level or training. Those that commit mistakes while placing dental implants in Mexico are not usually sanctioned.
Call for a consultation
At Atwood Advanced Dentistry, our restorative dentistry services help patients achieve perfection one smile at a time. If you have any questions about dental implants or would like to request a smile consultation appointment with Dr. Atwood, please contact us today at 970-241-2430.