Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are tiny titanium posts, which are inserted into the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. Small posts are then attached to the implant, which protrude through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Dental Implant Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Why Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the most successful and highly studied of all dental procedures done today. Studies show dental implants can be successful and stay in place for 40 to 50 years without failing. What else will match this success other than natural teeth that are well maintained and monitored.
With dental implants there is a way to improve your oral health and enjoy life with renewed chewing pleasure. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself. Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind.
A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, and not a dentist, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, with the help of the Swedish tax payer succeeded in getting the government to provide a 6 million dollar study, and proved dental implants were a successful long term solution for oral rehabilitation in 1984.
At the same time their were many other doctors already providing dental implant treatment in the US, and claiming good results, but without the benefit of such government funding for this type of research project they were scorned within organized dentistry. Once the technique was finally proven successful, it opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss and all the doctors who had previously vilified the technique wanted to learn how to use dental implants.
Why Would You Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons:
Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth by grinding these teeth down to nubs in order to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing. It is also well known that the use of removable partial dentures is the first step to more tooth loss and eventually a complete denture.
Cost is another major reason. Dental implants cost less over time than bridgework. Research studies show conventional bridgework costs more over time to maintain than dental implants. Dental implants are the most cost effective tooth replacement available today. Recent studies show that dental implant treatment will cost less to replace missing teeth than conventional bridgework. Studies show that after 7 years in place the cost of maintaining non-removable bridgework begins to cost more over time due to the additional maintenance costs associated with tooth abscesses and required root canal treatment, tooth decay and gum disease around the natural teeth that support such bridgework. In fact there is a new school of thought that suggests patients will be better off to remove bad teeth and replace them with dental implants rather than attempt to save them with root canal treatments which do not have the same long term rate of success when compared to dental implants.
What Types Of Prostheses Or Replacement Teeth Are Available And What Are The Costs?
The replacement teeth that you choose will determine the overall cost of your implant treatment. Fees can range from a low of a few thousand dollars to nearing $100,000 for complicated treatment requiring multiple bone grafting and implant surgeries in all area of the mouth with multiple appointments to construct the replacement teeth in upper and lower jaws. Of course this type of treatment is not for everyone and we have a full range of lower cost treatment options available to our patients.
One of the beauties of dental implant treatment is that there is usually an option to fit everyone’s budget. The best prosthetic option for replacing missing teeth is the non-removable or fixed option. Here we replace and reconstruct missing or soon to be lost teeth with teeth that cannot be removed by the patient. This option is also the most complicated and bears the highest fee of implant supported replacement teeth. Of course the number of teeth to be replaced will also have direct bearing upon the total fee.
A single replacement tooth or crown prosthesis used to replace one missing tooth will be the least expensive “fixed” replacement option. The more “fixed” replacement teeth the higher the cost. This single tooth replacement will run several thousand dollars including all of the associated treatment procedures including surgical implant placement, sedation fees, x-ray fees, examination fees, replacement tooth charges, adjustment appointments, follow up appointments after surgery and when the replacement teeth are placed. One needs to bear in mind that although these multiple procedure options add up, they are less costly in our office than elsewhere where patients must shuffle back and forth between different doctors offices and take many more treatment visits.
The second and most popular option for replacement teeth supported by dental implants is the removable prosthetic tooth option. This option like the non-removable replacement tooth option has a cost based upon how many teeth will be replaced but also if all the replacement teeth will use dental implants to support them. Sometimes replacement teeth will be supported by implants and gum tissue. This is a less costly tooth replacement, but does require the patient to be tolerant to some replacement tooth movement. This option is much more stable than a complete denture for example, which “floats” around in many mouths of denture wearers.
These types of removable tooth replacements are made to attach to the supporting implants in various ways, using rubber ring attachments, small clips, magnets or more expensive customized precision type attachment devices. These types of replacement teeth are removed by the patient at home for daily cleaning which is not a requirement of the non-removable replacement teeth previously described that are brushed just like natural teeth. Dr. Mayberry performs in-office implant surgery, bone grafting, periodontal surgery, wisdom tooth removal in our surgical operating suite. Once the tooth root replacement implants have healed in the bone and are ready to support the replacement teeth Dr. Mayberry begins the second stage treatment involving tooth replacement procedures for fixed or removable tooth replacements.
Learn More About Dental Implants from the American Academy of Implant Dentistry
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If you mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under I.V. Sedation anesthesia.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping your regular maintenance appointments in our office.