A dental implant is an artificial root, well-suited to the body, which is surgically placed into the jawbone. An artificial, natural looking tooth or dental appliance is secured on the implant. Implants are very stable, durable, and one of the most aesthetic tooth replacement options available.
There are more reasons to place an implant than just for the confidence of having a beautiful smile. If a lost tooth is not replaced, other dental problems may arise. The jawbone that used to support the tooth begins to atrophy or weaken, which may cause the adjacent teeth to shift. This may cause excessive wear on certain teeth, alter your appearance or speech, cause decay, compromise your chewing abilities and cause TMJ (jaw joint) problems. By replacing the tooth structure with an implant, these problems can be avoided.
Implants can also be used to retain dentures, making sore gums, “clicking noises” and instability associated with dentures a thing of the past. Denture wearers can eat and smile with more confidence.
Who Can Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants are not always suitable for every patient. A comprehensive dental exam is necessary to determine if you would be a good candidate. In some cases the bone is not dense enough to support an implant. The dentist will review your dental and medical history for factors such as diabetes or bone loss, which can affect the success of the implant procedure.
Once the dentist has determined you will be a good candidate, the implant will be surgically placed in the bone and allowed to integrate with the jawbone for up to six months.
- For implants used for one to a few missing teeth, a post may be placed to extend the implant above the gum line. An impression will be taken of your mouth and a final restoration or dental appliance will be made. At the final visit, the restoration will be placed and adjusted for proper fit and function.
- For implants that are connected to dentures, after the integration process, the dentures are retrofitted with the female end that will “snap” onto the implant for stability. After normal wear and tear, these pieces will need to be changed out for a minimal cost for strength. A simple trip to your dentist once a year for a check-up will prevent your denture from ever being unstable again.
What Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of a dental implant varies with each case and an exam and consultation is needed to determine an accurate estimate, however, a basic implant generally costs around $1,500-$2,200 with the finished crown bringing the price to around $3,000 each.
To determine if you would be a good candidate for a dental implant contact your dentist for an exam and consultation.
Dr. David Ripplinger is a dentist at Victory Dental in Boise, Idaho. He has placed hundreds of successful dental implants as well as performed a great variety of restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. For more information about dental implants visit our website or call (208) 402-1040 today!