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 affordable 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 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.
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. However, 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.
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!
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 place the post into the jaw bone. After your dental implant post is placed, he will apply a 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.
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.
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.
Are Implants Expensive?
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.