A dental implant is an artificial tooth designed to permanently replace a missing tooth. They are often constructed of bone-like materials such as titanium. Dental implants are custom to your jaw to support a complete set of dentures.
Whether it be due to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay, statistics from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons report that 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. Their same study found that by the age of 74, 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.
If you are missing a tooth or if your tooth is damaged beyond repair, a dental implant may be exactly what you need. Dental implants can also replace multiple teeth, if necessary. You can discuss all of your options during a free consultation with one of our dental experts here at North Coast Dental Excellence.
Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants
Before delving any further, it’s important to distinguish between the two main types of dental implants.
Endosteal Dental Implants
Endosteal implants, also known as root form implants, are directly fused to your jaw bone. The process begins by drilling a hole into the jaw bone itself, sealing the implant in place with a metal screw, nail, or cone. The implant becomes more secure as the gum around it heals. Once the gum has healed, a post is then attached to the implant to mount the artificial tooth (or teeth, in the case of an implant replacing more than one tooth).
Endosteal implants are only installed if the jaw bone is wide and dense enough to properly support the implants. They are also the most common type of dental implant, as they feel and function much like a natural tooth.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Subperiosteal implants are a lightweight metal frame surgically installed onto the jawbone beneath the gums. As the surrounding gums heal, the frame locks permanently into place. Posts that stick up from the gums are used to mount the artificial tooth (or teeth).
Subperiosteal implants are installed when a patient’s jaw is not strong or wide enough to support endosteal implants, which would embed metal screws, nails, or cones into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are far lighter than their counterpart, endosteal dental implants.
Benefits of Dental Implants
In this day and age, dental implants look and feel so natural, you may even forget that you lost your tooth. However, there are more to dental implants than the aesthetic benefits.
Dental Implants Prevent Loss of Jawbone
As you chew, your teeth stimulate the alveolar bone, which anchors your teeth to your jaw. When you are missing a tooth, this area is no longer receiving the necessary stimulation and begins to deteriorate as the body perceives this stimulation as “no longer needing that part of the jaw”. Most loss occurs within eighteen months of the extraction and continues throughout the rest of your life. A dental implant prevents jawbone loss by stimulating the area, just as a natural tooth would, whenever you chew or bite.
After losing a tooth, you may have difficulty chewing or you may be unable to chew on one side of your mouth altogether. A dental implant fully restores your ability to chew and eat comfortably.
Dental Implants Prevent Surrounding Teeth From Falling Out
Once you lose a tooth, nearby teeth are at risk of becoming loose and falling out, as well. A dental implant fills the gap, decreasing that risk. Dental implants also keep your teeth aligned, as a missing tooth may lead to your remaining teeth becoming crooked.
Dental Implants Prevent Gum Recession and Diseases
Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue begins to wear and expose more of a tooth (or teeth) than it should. Pockets form within the gum lining, allowing bacteria to run ramped and breed gum diseases. Other symptoms of gum recession include bad breath, swollen or red gums, a nasty taste in your mouth, and loose teeth. Gum recession is irreversible, so prevent it in the first place by opting for a dental implant. Dental implants prevent a recession by limiting the gap from your missing tooth from messing with the alignment of surrounding teeth in your gums, as well as preventing diseases from growing within that gap.
Dental Implants Don’t rely on Other Teeth for Support
Thus, you will not have to worry about losing any tooth structure.
Dental Implants are Completely Secure
They will not slip or shift, giving you the same stability (if not more) than your natural tooth.
Dental Implants Can Boost Your Confidence
You will no longer have to hide your smile due to a missing tooth or missing teeth. Dental implants are a wonderful cosmetic solution that allows you to embrace a completely symmetrical and gap-free smile.
How Long do Dental Implants Take to Heal?
The amount of time it takes to heal from your dental implant procedure will vary dependent on the type of implant, as well as how many teeth are being replaced. The process may take up to six to eight months to completely heal. Our dental experts here at North Coast Dental Excellence have your back through the entire process. During your free consultation, your specialist will go over the healing process as well as what to expect. Post dental implant procedure, we will have a better idea of how long it may take to heal.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Most patients are a good candidate for dental implants. A dental implant may replace one or multiple teeth in place of bridges or dentures. Individuals with healthy gums who are at a point in their life where their jawbone has stopped growing are great candidates for dental implants.
If your jawbone is strong and wide enough, you may qualify for endosteal implants. However, you could still opt for subperiosteal implants.
In order to determine whether or not you are a candidate for dental implants, our dental specialists will have to do a thorough evaluation of your jaw, teeth, and overall oral health through Xrays and in some cases, Computed Tomography (CT) scans.
How Much Will Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants will vary depending on your procedure, as well as how much your insurance might cover. According to the Dental Implant Center, replacing a single tooth may cost between $1,000 to $3,000. Replacing multiple teeth may cost you anywhere from $3,500 to $25,000. Keep in mind that these dental implants are built to last, perhaps even throughout your entire lifetime.
You can discuss the cost of treatment as well as payment options with your dental expert during your free consultation.
Learn More About Dental Implants
At North Coast Dental Excellence, we have you covered. We care about you and your oral health. Dr. Fiona and her entire team are committed to making your visit as comfortable and easy as possible. Call our front desk or visit our website to book a free consultation, where we will decide whether you are a candidate for dental implants, which implant would suit your jawbone best, as well as the ins and outs of the procedure and healing time.