A dental implant is an artificial tooth root replacement and is used in prosthetic dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth. There are several types of dental implants; the most widely accepted and successful is the osseointegrated implant, based on the discovery by Swedish Professor Per-Ingvar Brånemark that titanium can be successfully fused into bone when osteoblasts grow on and into the rough surface of the implanted titanium. This forms a structural and functional connection between the living bone and the implant. A variation on the implant procedure is the implant-supported bridge, or implant-supported denture.
A typical implant consists of a titanium screw (resembling a tooth root) with a roughened surface. This surface is treated either by plasma spraying, etching or sandblasting to increase the integration potential of the implant. An osteotomy or precision hole is carefully drilled into jawbone and the implant is installed in the osteotomy.
Implant surgery is typically performed as an outpatient under general anesthesia or with Local anesthesia by trained and certified clinicians including general dentists, oral surgeons, and periodontists. An increasing number of general or cosmetic dentists as well as prosthodontists are also placing implants in relatively simple cases. The most common treatment plan calls for several surgeries over a period of months, especially if bone augmentation (bone grafting) is needed to support implant placements. At the other end of the surgery scale, some patients can be implanted and restored in a single surgery, in a procedure labeled “immediate function” and “teeth in an hour.”
A single implant procedure that involves an incision and “use flapless” of the gum or gingiva (to expose the jawbone) takes about an hour, sometimes longer; multiple implants can be installed in a single surgical session lasting several hours.
Our patients save on their cost anywhere from $5,000 to about $7,000 per arch when all the treatment is completed in our office. Other approaches require you to travel to two separate locations and work with different doctors, significantly increasing the total cost of treatment. At our practice, the entire treatment is handled at one location with one doctor. Further, almost all of our lab work for an all-on-4 or a teeth-in-a-day procedure is performed at our in-house lab for more savings.
**What is a fixed provisional and how is that different from the final prosthesis?
During the actual surgery, any teeth, if required, are removed, implants are placed in the jaw bone, and your temporary, non-removable full-set of teeth are attached. This full set of teeth is called the provisional, which is designed to be a template for the final restoration and allows you to leave the office with new, functioning teeth the day of surgery. After the healing and maturing phase — which can take several weeks or even months — the final prosthesis (set of teeth) is permanently attached and the doctor will give a final evaluation of your bite and aesthetics. The cost shown above is for the provisional only. The cost for the final prosthesis is paid at the time of placement and can vary depending on, among other things, the material used.At the conclusion, the patient goes through a period of recovery, returns to consciousness and is sent home with a relative or friend.
Healing and integration of the implant(s) with jawbone occurs over several months in a process called osseointegration. At the appropriate time, the restorative or cosmetic dentist or prosthodontist uses the implant(s) to anchor crowns or a prosthetic restoration containing several “teeth”. Since the implants supporting the restoration are integrated, which means they are biomechanically stable and strong, the patient is immediately able to masticate (chew) normally.
What should I do if I would like dental implants?
Make an appointment to see us. We will assess your suitability and whether you have sufficient bone mass. If not we will perform a bone graft.