What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root screwed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. Most dental implants are made of Titanium due to the metal’s high biocompatibility. In other words, our jawbone reacts well with Titanium so the implant integrates well into the bone. A dental implant crown is then screwed on top of the dental implant. Dental implant placement is the gold standard treatment in dentistry for replacing missing teeth due to its durability, predictability, and high success rate.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
A dental implant procedure requires several appointments spanned across 4-6 months. The length of treatment depends on the health of the jawbone and the implant’s integration within the bone. Here are the dental implant procedure steps simplified:
Under local anesthesia or conscious sedation, the dental implant is screwed into the jawbone. A patient with significant bone loss will require bone graft 3-4 months prior to implant placement to ensure adequate bone height and width to support the dental implant.
A follow up visit 2-4 months after implant placement to monitor implant integration into the bone.
Once you receive an approval from your dental implant surgeon to proceed, Dr. Bridget will take an impression, or mold, of the implant in order for the dental lab to fabricate a dental implant crown.
The final dental implant crown is screwed into the dental implant.
What is the Difference Between a Dental Implant and a Bridge?
A dental bridge “bridges” the space caused by a missing tooth. Though it is less expensive than a dental implant, it can be more aggressive to the adjacent teeth of the missing tooth. This is because a dental bridge requires the dentist to file down the adjacent teeth to serve as an anchor for the bridge.
A dental implant is screwed into the jawbone to serve as artificial tooth root. It requires implant placement surgery but is less aggressive because it does not require filing down the teeth next door to the missing tooth. Because a dental implant is a stand-alone tooth, it is more hygienic and less likely to cause build up and tooth decay around the adjacent teeth.
How Much Does a Dental Implant Cost?
A dental implant can be expensive and may differ in price depending on the complexity of the remaining jawbone. Someone with healthy jawbone will not require much artificial bone graft compared to someone who has had significant bone loss around the area.