Dental implants are synthetic structures that are place in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. A dental implant most often takes the form of a small, screw-shaped titanium post that replaces the root-part of a missing tooth. After a healing period, the implant is topped with a lifelike crown custom-made to match your existing natural teeth.
Why are dental implants the preferred option for replacing missing teeth?
Loss of teeth creates a bone loss in your jaw, which leads to future problems. In most patients there is a 25% loss of width of the bone during the first year after the loss of a tooth and a decrease in height in the next few years. Our bones need stimulation to maintain form and density and our overall oral health. A dental implant of a single tooth or multiple teeth will stimulate the bone that surround and support the teeth just like your natural teeth and prevent premature aging. Dental implants have an overall success rate of 95% and will last the rest of your life with proper oral care.
Single Tooth Replacement: Immediately (at the same time an implant is placed) or after a period of healing, an abutment is attached to the implant. This is a device that “abuts” or joins the implant to a tooth form called a crown, which replaces the tooth part you see in the mouth. It will hold a custom-made crown that the dental laboratory will fabricate and match to your existing teeth.
The custom crown is cemented or screwed onto the abutment to permanently keep it in place. Once the crown is in place, it should be indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
Fixed Multiple Tooth Replacement: As with single tooth replacement, temporary healing caps or abutments may be placed on multiple implants until the healing phase is complete. After healing, permanent abutments are attached to the implants. They can attach to custom-made crowns or bridgework that a dental laboratory will fabricate to match your existing teeth.
In the final step, the custom bridge, which will replace multiple teeth, is cemented or screwed onto the abutments. The teeth have been replaced without disturbing the healthy teeth next to them, and bone loss has been halted.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
If you have lost teeth, you are a candidate for Dental Implants. It is important to have the tooth replaced with a Dental Implant as soon as possible after the loss of the tooth to prevent bone loss in the area around the lost tooth. Good overall health with a strong immune system is also important to be a good candidate for a dental implant.
Patients who suffer from diabetes, cancer, heavy smoking or drinking, or who have severe periodontal disease would not be candidates for dental implants. Young people who are still growing may also not be a candidate for a Dental Implant.
What are the treatment steps for a dental implant?
- Consultation for a Dental Implant: The dentist will evaluate your overall oral health to ensure that you are a candidate for a Dental Implant. Magic Smiles provide free consultations for Dental Implants.
- Extraction of existing tooth (if necessary): The first step after your consultation is the extraction of any existing tooth material or roots of the tooth. This would not be necessary if the entire tooth structure has already been lost or removed.
- Potential Bone Regeneration: During the consultation the dentist will evaluate the bone density around the area of the potential implant. If bone loss has already occurred, it may be necessary to do a bone-regeneration technique in that area in order to build up the bone structure that will support the implant and anchor it into your jaw.
- Inserting the Implant: The dentist will create a precision channel in the jawbone and then fit the implant into the site so they are in contact with the jawbone. The area is then allowed to heal for 2-4 months and the implant will fuse with the jawbone.
- Attaching the Abutment and Crown: When sufficient healing has occurred the dentist will open the area where the implant was placed in order to attach the abutment ( this is the post that attached to the implant and is above the gum line) and then place the crown, restoring the appearance of the area with a lifelike synthetic tooth.
How much do dental implants cost?
Magic Smiles prides ourselves in providing high quality care at prices our patients are able to afford. A Dental implant per tooth would cost $2,200.00 for the implant, abutment and crown. If bone regeneration is required, the cost is an additional $100.00 and if a Cone beam X-ray is required in order to ensure proper placement for some patients there would be an additional $250.00 charge.