There are many kinds of implant procedures offered by modern medicine, most intended to be strictly cosmetic. Unlike most of these cosmetic offerings, dental implants are among the few procedures which offer a long-term solution to dental patients both in terms of their looks and in the functional benefits they offer.
Dental implants are jut what they sound like – these are false teeth that are set in the mouth and anchored in place. Unlike other procedures, such as bridges which offer aesthetic benefits and are anchored to one or more of their neighbours, dental implants are surgically installed into the bony tissue of the jaw.
To understand how an implant works, you can envision a false tooth with a rod attached to its base. This rod is what keeps the tooth in place and offers it its strength to stand up to bite forces. But this is not just any rod – dental implants must use titanium rods in order for them to be successful.
How Much Do Implants Cost?
The cost of implants varies dramatically from $2000-$5000 per tooth or as much as $96 000 for a full restoration. The reason for this is that the cost of the material varies drastically depending upon how many teeth are being restored, their size, and the number of artificial roots involved.
Are Implants Popular Despite Their Cost?
Dental implants are an investment, and they remain popular, nonetheless. The reason for this is that while bridges and dentures can fulfill the aesthetic implications of tooth loss, only a dental implant helps maintain jaw form and structure.
Why is Titanium Used in Dental Implants?
Dental implants rely on titanium ‘roots’ to provide the degree of stability and longevity that patients are looking for in return for their investment. This is because of titanium’s unique ability to bond with bone structure through a process known as osseointegration. This positive bonding force between the artificial root and the bone ensures that the implant remains stable for many years to come.
How are Implants Placed?
Implants generally require two or more appointments to place. During the first appointment, your dentist will place the titanium rod through the gum tissue and into the bone before closing the gum tissue and waiting for a healing period to allow osseointegration to occur. Once the gums are healed and the artificial root is showing signs of having positively integrated with the bone around it, a second appointment will see your artificial tooth (a pontic in dental-speak) being attached to the root using a connector known as an abutment.
How Does an Implant Look?
To the naked eye, a dental implant looks just like any other natural tooth found in your mouth, and only X-ray vision will reveal otherwise. Pontics, like crowns, are made to satisfy the esthetic preferences of their host in terms of size, shape, and colour, and integrate well with other teeth in terms of their appearance.
How Many Implants Do I Need?
Only your dentist will be able to speak to how many implants could be required to achieve your desired results. While implants can be offered independently, as in, one tooth along the gum line, patients who are missing multiple teeth may require more implants. In the case of a patient who requires a full mouth restoration, several dental implants may be used to anchor several false teeth. For example, four implants could be used to secure a full dental series along one dental arch. Since each mouth and each set of medical circumstances varies, we offer complimentary consultations to discuss whether you are a fit for dental implants and how many you may require to meet your needs.
How Implants Help Your Jaw
Did you know that jaw resorption can begin as soon as 6 months after tooth loss? Jaw resorption occurs when the bone of the jaw begins to deteriorate due to lack of signaling from the tooth’s root system. In a normal healthy dental arch, bite forces are distributed across the dental arches and pressure is exerted into the jaw bone by way of the root system of the teeth when we chew. Every time the roots exert pressure on the jaw bone, your jaw knows that it is needed and sends nutrients in to remineralize that area. Thanks to this interaction between our teeth and jaw, we are able to correct the alignment of our teeth (as seen in braces) because as we move the teeth slowly, the jaw remineralizes the tissue around the root to keep it snug and supported.
Without this important messaging system, remineralization does not occur – and the results can be dramatic. As the jaw structure degrades, dentures can become more and more difficult to fit properly and to chew effectively. While dentures exert an estimated 10% of total bite force on the jaw, with just a few implants your jaw can benefit from more than 80% bite force and maintain remineralization.
To learn more about this or any of our other services performed by general dentists, contact lotus Dental Wellness in West Edmonton today.