If you have a missing tooth or several missing teeth, dental implants may be the perfect permanent solution for you. Continue reading to learn all about dental implants and if they are right for you and get your beautiful, confident smile back!
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that replace missing natural teeth and their roots within your jawbone. They are specially made to match your current tooth color and look like a real tooth. Dental implants are made up of three parts:
- Implant body or base: A screw or metal post, which is typically made of titanium. The post is placed in your jaw bone and fuses with your natural bone to provide a durable base for your dental implant.
- Implant connector: Also known as an abutment, the implant connector secures the dental crown of the implant on the base.
- Dental crown: The crown is the ‘false tooth’ or the top part of your dental implant that resembles your natural tooth. They are typically made of ceramic material, designed to blend in with your natural teeth.
There are a few different kinds of dental implant procedures, such as:
- Single tooth dental implants: Single tooth implants are a treatment option for one or more missing teeth. If you have lost a natural tooth, a single tooth implant could be right for you.
- Full mouth restoration: Full mouth reconstruction is an extensive process that involves replacing multiple missing or damaged tooth structures with new ones. It combines cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments to replace multiple missing teeth and restore damaged or broken teeth. This is a long-lasting solution for those concerned with the appearance of their natural smile.
- Same-day dental implants: Same-day dental treatments allow for immediate placement of implants after tooth extraction in a single day.
Why Are Dental Implants Used?
Dental implants are an excellent treatment plan to replace missing teeth. They are also a good alternative to traditional removable dentures. Dental implants have many benefits; they look natural and enhance a patient’s appearance. Dental implants are strong and durable and will last for many decades if you take proper care of them.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
Here are some reasons you may need dental implants:
- To help with tooth decay or tooth loss
- To replace one missing tooth or multiple
- To alleviate joint pain or bite problems caused by missing teeth
- To repair facial tissue that has been affected by bone loss in the jaw bone
- To secure a dental bridge or partial denture
What is the Dental Implant Process?
Dental implants are permanent tooth restorations that could last for your whole lifetime. Unlike removable, regular dentures, dental implants are surgically implanted directly in your jaw. It allows implants to look and feel just like natural teeth. If you’re thinking about having dental implants done, here is some more info on what you can anticipate throughout the procedure:
- Assessment: You will receive an evaluation to see if you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Patients need strong and healthy bone material to place a dental implant successfully.
- Bone Grafts: To increase the amount of healthy bone tissue at the implant site, you may need a bone graft procedure. This will ensure your jaw bone can securely support the dental implants. Once the bone graft has healed, the implant will be placed. You will only need a bone graft if your jaw bone isn’t healthy enough to support the implant.
- Dental Implant and Temporary Crown: Your dentist will place the implant and possibly a temporary crown. If a temporary crown is placed, a permanent one will be installed later during another appointment.
- Healing Process: Prior to placing the permanent crowns, your mouth will need time to heal. This period may last for several months, however, it is possible that it could take longer than six months for your jaw to heal enough to complete the procedure.
- Abutment and Crown: During the final appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary crown, and attach an abutment (implant connector) to the dental implant. Afterward, the permanent crown will be installed.
How Do I Know if Dental Implants Are Right for Me and What Are the Dental Implant Requirements?
To qualify for dental implant treatment, you need to meet certain criteria.
Here are some things to consider if you want to determine if dental implants are right for you:
- You’re an adult with no remaining baby teeth
- You’re a teen or young adult whose face and jawbone are finished growing
- You have adequate bone density or your jawbone can handle a bone graft
- You have healthy gum tissue that is free from gum disease
- You don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions or health conditions that could interfere with surgery
- You have overall good oral health/general health
- You don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages excessively
Your professional dental implant specialist will give you a full evaluation, which may include:
- A comprehensive oral health exam
- Digital dental x-rays
- 3D images of your mouth and jaw
If you qualify for dental implants, you can get replacement teeth that look, feel, and work just like your natural teeth. If you’re willing to maintain your oral hygiene, they’ll last you a lifetime.
What are dental implants made of?
Dental implant materials usually consist of titanium or zirconium, two sturdy and robust materials.
- Titanium: Dental implants made from titanium are the most common type of implant material used today. When titanium is placed within your jawbone, new bone growth will start to appear between your adjacent teeth. It then becomes a permanent fixture. Titanium implants provide long-lasting results for a reasonable cost and are one of the most effective dental implant material options available.
- Zirconia: Unlike titanium, zirconia is a relatively new material used in dental implant applications. It has been regarded as one of the most promising materials for the development of dental implants. Zirconia has continued to rise in popularity since its introduction in the dental industry.
How long do teeth implants last?
Regular oral hygiene and routine dental visits help ensure that your dental implants last for decades, if not a lifetime. Your dental implant will likely be able to withstand the forces of chewing for many years. A tooth implant located in the front part of your jawbone will not be subjected to as much stress as one located in the back of your jawbone, which has multiple functions requiring strong forces.
By maintaining and taking care of your implants, we can assure you that you will have a confident and beautiful smile that will last.
Are dental implants expensive?
Our patients can expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 per tooth for dental implants. However, at Azure Dental, we work with your dental insurance provider to reduce your costs.
Factors that impact the cost of dental implants:
- The number of implants needed
- The particular type of implant procedure
For further insight on insurance coverage and dental implant costs, please give our friendly staff a call today.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Whether you’re simply curious about dental implants, or you are wanting to schedule a consultation to see if dental implants are right for you, Azure Dental wants to be your preferred dentist for your dental implant needs. Give us a call today at (415) 843-7435 to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly staff members.