When you are missing a tooth, or if you have a tooth that is so badly damaged that it must be extracted, you have several options for replacement. The most natural-looking and permanent solution is a dental tooth implant. They are also one of the easiest, durable, and most economic options for many patients with one or more missing teeth as they can last for 20 years or more!
What Are Dental Implants?
Implants are artificial teeth that are surgically placed in the jaw. The appliance consists of several parts. The main parts are the titanium or zirconia rod called a post, that is implanted into the jaw bone. A crown and abutment, or false tooth, is then placed on top of this post. The dental implant offers a durable, permanent solution to your missing tooth. The process usually requires three or more appointments that are carried out over the course of two to three months for the final result. During this time, thanks to the properties of zirocnia and titanium, the post will begin to fuse with your jawbone and become a ‘natural’ part of your body and no one will be able to tell the difference between your implant(s) and natural teeth. Within six months, the implant will be totally assimilated into your jaw and a part of you!
What Kind Of Implants Are There?
Currently, there are two forms of tooth implant on the market. Zirconia and Titanium. Zirconia implants, often called zirconium implants, are made of a ceramic that looks more natural at the neck (base of the tooth) and is preferred by many patients and dentists for its unparalleled esthetics. Titanium has been the standard bearer for several decades and is a sturdy, lightweight metal, whose properties make it fuse well with bone and the surrounding tissues.
Some patients (less than 4% of the population) may have allergies that prevent them from having titanium posts installed. This left them with few options other than dentures or a bridge. However, as zirconium dental implants have increased in popularity and the technology has advanced far enough to make them truly reliable, they are rapidly becoming the preferred option of both dentists and patients. Another benefit of the zirconia dental implant is their natural appearance. Unlike titanium implants, which have a greyish color and can be unsightly if you have future gum recession or they are placed into or behind thin gum tissue, the post, abutment, and crown of the zirconia implant will be carefully created to match your teeth as closely as possible.
What Is The Process Of Getting An Implant Placed?
First, Dr. Zadeh will take X-Rays to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Most people who are healthy enough for a tooth extraction are likely healthy enough to receive an implant. If you need an extraction, the first part of your implant can sometimes be placed on the same day with an immediate loading or same day dental implant! During your consultation, Dr. Zadeh will also often take a CT scan to make sure there are no abnormalities or weaknesses that cannot be picked up by the X-Ray alone. If your jaw bone is too thin or weakened by age or wear and neglect, you may need to undergo a bone transplant to thicken the jaw bone so it is strong enough to receive an implant. When Dr. Zadeh feels that the bone is ready, he will set up and appointment to place the post into the jaw bone.
During this appointment, you will likely be sedated for your safety and comfort, so make arrangements ahead of time to get home. After your dental implant post is placed, he will apply an abutment and temporary crown over the post to help shape the gums to hold the permanent crown. No matter how you get your implant done, you will walk out of his office with a new tooth that is ready for use. After the gums have healed for several weeks to a few months, Dr. Zadeh will place the permanent crown on the post. You will then have a follow-up appointment to ensure that your gums have healed properly and the dental implant is affixed securely to your jaw.
From there on, you won’t need to do anything special except come in for your regular check up and brush and floss your teeth. It’s as simple as that! If you are interested in learning more in depth about this procedure and the results it can produce on our dental implant case study and information page.
There are considerations to take when getting an implant placed. Please let us know what medications you are taking, so we can make adjustments to your treatment plan to ensure the highest possible success rate. Recent studies have shown that failure rates are higher in patients who take SSRIs, a class of popular anti-depressants, most likely due to the side effects of the medication. These potential problems can be prevented with regular check-ups and thorough care. If you are taking any drug that causes dry mouth or may interfere with bone growth, again, please let us know so we can make sure your treatment plan has a successful outcome. Also, if you have any excessive pain or feelings of illness after having an implant and any grafts placed, so that we can take measures to help you.
Why Should I Get Implants?
Dental implants have several advantages over a bridge or dentures. Your implants can last a minimum of 20 years or more if they are cared for properly. In addition, they look and feel just like your natural teeth. And unlike dentures or bridges, you can continue eating all of your favorite foods without worrying about the implant becoming damaged. And as we said before, as they become permanent, fixed parts of your mouth and last for decades, they are simply one of the most affordable options around for missing teeth.
Dental Implant Advantages:
- Permanent, fixed teeth that do not require adhesives.
- Identical to permanent teeth for regular care. Brush and floss as you normally would.
- They become part of your body, so they have unparalleled comfort and do not irritate the gums or surrounding tissues.
- Allow you to eat all of your favorite foods and give greater force during the bite over other replacements.
- Prevent bone deterioration of the jaw and shifting of the remaining teeth.
- Restore a youthful, healthy appearance to your face and mouth.
How Much Do Implants Cost?
This is a question a lot of patients who are considering implants ask. The cost is relative to the type of tooth being replaced, and the type of implant you want. Most implants average about $800 to start, and can be up to $2000. However, don’t be put off by sticker shock. A good quality implant is always worth paying for, as they can last you your entire lifetime, without needing to be replaced or maintained beyond regular dental visits and proper oral hygiene.
In the long run, they are actually one of the most economic options for replacing missing teeth as they do not have the same wear and tear issues as dentures or bridges. What is even more exciting, is that they are more resistant to decay than your natural teeth, so you likely will never need to have your implant crown repaired or replaced for anything other than it wearing out or breaking. Dr. Zadeh also offers reasonable financing, sometimes as low as 0% for your first year, so you can enjoy your new tooth without the hassles of paying it up front. We’ll even do the paper work for you!