If you are missing one or several teeth or you wear complete dentures, you know the implications. Perhaps you don’t smile as much as you used to. You may have noticed it has become more difficult to chew the foods you once enjoyed. If this is you, know you’re not alone. According to American College of Prosthodontists, there are 178 million people in the United States missing at least one tooth. Fortunately, we have solutions.
What You Should Know About Dental Implants: The Inside Story
In the past, partial removable dentures and fixed bridges were the only two ways to replace missing teeth. This changed in 1972 when Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark from Sweden placed one of the first dental implants. An implant can be made of titanium which is gray or zirconium which is white. It is placed by making a small opening through the gum that is less than the diameter of a pencil. This opening is closed and allowed to heal for 3 months.
This is what we call “osseointegration”. Once the implant is stable we connect an abutment which is placed above the surface of the gum. The abutment is then covered with a porcelain crown that attaches to the titanium or zirconium implant thus replacing the missing tooth.
Questions From Patients
Does it hurt?
Dental implants placement is a surgical procedure and although the risk of pain, swelling, bruising and infection exists, if properly managed, most patients are ready to resume their regular activity the following day with little or no discomfort.
What is the cost of a dental implant?
Implants range anywhere from $1000 to $5000 per implant.
Are there any contraindications?
Yes. Diabetes, smoking and untreated gum disease can contribute to implant failure.
What can be done to increase the likelihood of the implant healing properly?
The use of Protein Rich Plasma reduces postoperative pain and speeds up the healing process by 50%. Also, properly treated clenching and grinding (perhaps a bite adjustment with a digital clench gauge such as a TSCAN) and good oral hygiene (use of an electric toothbrush and water pick) can greatly help achieve the most desirable outcome.
It’s also important to select a doctor who has placed at least 1000 implants and has skills in soft tissue management such as gum grafts, sinus lifts and the use of a 3D cat scan can. This can play a significant role in what your implant will look like in 10 years.
It All Starts With a Dentist You Can Trust
Dr. Laraway has successfully placed thousands of implants over the last 20 years. He has also trained generations of dentists throughout the United States utilizing a variety of implants protocols (Straumann,Nobel Biocare,Implant Direct). He has vast experience in dentistry and he is an expert on what you should know about dental implants and the most effective implant placements.
Contact Us today to schedule your free 3D cat scan and a consultation to find out more.