Missing teeth can impact your quality of life in many ways, causing problems with speaking, eating, changes to adjacent teeth, and less satisfaction with your smile. Dental implants can be a good solution; they are available to replace individual teeth, as supports for partial or complete dentures, or as a fixed permanent replacement for the entire dentition.
Dental implants are durable and long-lasting, and once they’ve been placed, they can be treated like normal teeth. This article will help you decide whether dental implants are right for you. We’ll also give you an idea of the likely cost of dental implants, as this can vary between patients.
What are dental implants?
Although dental implants seem like a relatively modern invention, they were, in fact, invented in the early ’50s by an orthopedic surgeon called Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Today, dental implants have become very common and are often used instead of dentures to replace one or more missing teeth, or teeth too damaged to repair.
Dental implants are both aesthetically pleasing and extremely functional. Having dental implants can restore a patient’s quality of life, especially if someone has been having problems chewing/eating.
The implants are surgically fixed to a patient’s jawbone by inserting a titanium screw, which will, over a few months, become fused with the bone. The inserted implant will act like the tooth’s root, and a porcelain tooth can then be attached to this. The false tooth mimics a natural tooth in both appearance and function.
Unlike bridgework, dental implants are supported by the jawbone and do not depend on the existing adjacent teeth for support.
The dental implant process
Before deciding whether a patient can have dental implants, Dr. Girard will examine the missing teeth location(s). The patient’s jawbone will also be examined to ensure that it is strong enough to support the implants. To evaluate this, Dr. Girard will take a 3D scan of your jaw. This will be combined with a digital scan of your mouth to get a complete digital model, both internal and external. This will be used to plan out the orientation of the implant as well as the desired depth.
Once Dr. Girard decides that you can have dental implants, the process will take multiple appointments, and you will have your new tooth within 3 to 6 months.
Dr. Girard will prepare your mouth for the implant by applying local anesthesia. Some patients are given sedation as well. Both options will ensure that you won’t feel any discomfort during the procedure. An incision will be made in your gum to insert the implant.
The dental implant is effectively a metal screw inserted into the jawbone; this becomes a replacement root for the artificial tooth. Once the implant has been inserted in the correct place, the gum will be closed over it, and the implant will remain covered. Dr. Girard would see you again one week later to assess the healing.
Over the next two months, the bone and metal will become fused, which will ensure the implant stays in place.
During the next appointment, Dr. Girard will determine that the dental implant is secure and whether your bones have fused with the implant satisfactory.
The replacement tooth (the ‘crown’)
The last step in the process will be to create a new tooth that will be attached to the implant. Dr. Girard will create a custom tooth by making digital impressions of your teeth to ensure that it’s precisely the correct size and shape. The replacement tooth is called a crown.
Factors in the cost of dental implants
If you’ve read this far, you’ll likely want to know the cost of dental implants. Several factors will determine the price. These include the number of teeth that are being replaced and the number of implants required. The dentist will also take into account the number of appointments it takes to complete treatment.
You may also need additional treatment to diagnose or compliment your dental implants, including x-rays, extractions, or bone grafts. Any extras will be charged at an additional rate.
What do dental implants cost?
Dental implant cost varies but is generally around $4,000 to $5,000 per replacement tooth (for both the implant and the crown). If your goal is to avoid dentures altogether, but you need a full set of replacement new teeth, this is likely to cost around $25,000 to $30,000 per jaw (upper or lower).
What else you should know
If you have been given sedation to avoid discomfort, you will likely feel groggy for a few hours after the procedure. In this case, you would need to ask someone to drive you home, as you won’t be able to drive yourself after having the implants placed.
After the first part of the procedure, where the implants are placed, you may end up with bruising and swelling. Some people also experience minor bleeding, and discomfort is common but usually short-lived and managed with over-the-counter medication. Soft foods, such as soup, will likely be more comfortable at first.
Implants can cost more than some other kinds of replacement teeth and might not be covered by your dental plan, but they are very durable and are the closest thing to restoring your real teeth.
Book an appointment with Oaklands Dental
To find out more about Victoria dental implant pricing and determine whether dental implants are right for you, please contact Oaklands Dental to consult with Dr. Girard. We are located on Hillside Avenue in Victoria, British Columbia.