The best way to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth, or even all of them, is to get Dental Implants. Implants have been used since 1952 to replace teeth and the process has become highly refined. Many people find that they prefer the dental implants because they restore the feeling of having real teeth that even look like their own.
What Is Dental Implant Surgery?
Dental implant surgery is the process of placing a tooth implant into the jawbone. There is an artificial tooth root that most often is made of titanium (some are made of zirconium) and it is placed into the same socket where the tooth was.
Over time, the bone and gums will attach to the new root as it did with the natural tooth. Titanium is one of the few metals that enable body tissue to integrate with it and not reject it as a foreign object.
The tooth implant process will also depend on the type of implant you will be getting. You can get:
Single tooth Implant – Replaces a single tooth, but separate implants may be used to replace more than one tooth.
All on 4 dental Implants – This procedure can be used to replace all your upper or lower teeth. The lower denture is placed on four implants.
Mini Implants – Smaller posts for narrow spaces. They serve the same purpose as regular implants.
Implant supported dentures – These implants can replace several missing teeth with a denture attached.
What Is the Procedure Involved?
When a dental implant is to be put in place, the dental implant dentist will first ensure that there is adequate anesthetic given. Once you are ready, a cut will be made in the gums. Depending on whether you just had an extraction or have decided to get dental implants later, a drill will likely be used to ensure that there is enough of a hole to place the implant into.
There are two kinds of dental implants. One kind (called “endosteal”) involves placing the new tooth root into the jawbone. This type is the most common. A second kind (called “subperiosteal”) places the implant on top of the jawbone but under the gums. It is used on people who do not have sufficient jawbone and who may not be interested in bone augmentation surgery.
After the implant is in place, a metal piece called an abutment is placed on top of the artificial root. Healing needs to take place next, allowing the bone and gums to firmly anchor the implant in place. This can take anywhere between three and six months. A temporary crown may be put on the abutment to enable eating without problems. After healing is complete, a permanent crown is placed on it that matches the color of your other teeth.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
While many people can get a dental implant, there are some that are not well-suited for it. The people that it will work best for include,
Already have at least one missing tooth
Have a full-size (adult) jawbone
Have healthy gums
Do not have health issues that affect healing
Have sufficient jawbone and gums
Do not want to or cannot wear dentures
Are willing to wait for the healing process.
In some cases, some surgical procedures may be necessary in advance. This may include gum or bone grafts, which will also require time for healing. For some people, it will be necessary to perform sinus modification or ridge modification.
On some occasions, some dentists will offer to place an implant and give you a crown on the same day. This will depend on the amount of jawbone you have and other conditions.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Dental implants have several advantages over other tooth replacement techniques. There are more than 500,000 people getting dental implants every year. Most people prefer them because:
They feel like natural teeth
They are permanent and can last for 15 years or more
The "roots" will never decay
They look natural
They let you eat naturally
They feel permanent – not loose like dentures
They let you talk normally.
What Risks Are Involved in Dental Implants?
As is true of any surgical procedure, there are several risks. It is possible to get an infection, have nerve damage, or the gums may not heal. If an implant becomes loose while healing, it can be removed and a bridge put in its place.
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
Recovery after a dental implant is placed usually between three and six months. A permanent crown or denture will be installed at that time.
What Is the Cost of Dental Implants?
When you want a dental implant, it is necessary to consider the tooth implant price. They are not cheap. The price will vary according to your location, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $1,700 and $3,000 or more, which includes the cost of the crown. If additional surgery is needed, that cost must also be considered.
For implant surgery, you will need the services of a periodontist. If you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, you can get dental implants from Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist. He often places dental implants, as well as conducting many other services in preparation for them. For more information about the tooth implant process, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578