The loss of a tooth can be an experience that alters the way that you live your life. You may have difficult speaking clearly, or eating certain foods. Your health may suffer due to an increase in oral diseases. There are ways to solve the issue of tooth loss. The traditional method was to create dentures that were removable. They did not last more than a few years and needed to be replaced on a frequent basis. However, over the course of the last few decades another option has arisen. This option is known as a dental implant.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are a type of procedure that is used to permanently embed a prosthetic tooth to the jawbone. This can be accomplished in several ways, but there are two primary types that are currently used. The implant types are known as either the endosteal implant, or the subperiosteal implant. The dental implants are named after the method of implantation.
- Endosteal - This implant is the most commonly performed. The prosthetic is shaped to look similar to a natural tooth. A typical endosteal implant will look like a tooth sitting on top of a screw. The implant gets its name from its method of implantation. It is embedded inside the jawbone.
- Subperiosteal - This implant is usually only performed if the patient cannot accept an endosteal implant due to disease or other issue that would cause difficult with osseointegration. Osseointegration is a term used to define the fusing of implanted material with the jawbone. This implant is shaped like a tooth sitting on top of a metal frame work. The name of this implant is derived from the fact that it sits below the gums, but on top of the jawbone.
If you need a dental implant, the most likely version that you will receive is the endosteal implant. This is due to its high success rate and simplistic natural design. The endosteal implant has a 95% success rate for a period of up to five years. The success rate drops slowly over time, but they have the potential to last for several decades due to their permanent nature. The typical endosteal implant can cost between $1500 and $10000, if not more. This variable cost is due to the type of services that may be required. Some of the potential services include tooth extraction or jaw bone reinforcement. You can go to websites to see how these options will look.
How is the Implant Performed?
Each dental implant type is performed in a similar manner. The primary difference is in how the components are installed. There will be a multi-stage process involved that can take several months to complete. The endosteal implant, for instance, has two or three distinct stages. Sometimes the procedure might be referred to as a single or two-stage procedure. This will be determined by how the procedure is performed. The first two stages are often combined into one stage, leaving only the crown placement stage to take place later. Another version might include placement of the crown, making the entire process require only procedure. Either way, the components have to be installed in a specific order.
- Stage One - During the first stage of the endosteal implant procedure a screw-shaped component will be inserted into your jawbone. This component is typically made of titanium or zirconium. It is designed to simulate the root of a natural tooth, and it will act as an anchor for the implant. The jaw bone will need to fully integrate the prosthetic before the next stage can begin. This process might take several months.
- Stage Two - The second stage will either be the final stage, or a mid-point for the operation. This is due to the fact that the component installed during this phase, the abutment, will sometimes be installed during the first stage. If this component was installed in stage one, the procedure will skip this stage and go directly to stage three. The abutment is a rod or cone-shaped device that connects the base to the crown. It is usually made of titanium or zirconium.
- Stage Three - The final stage of the endosteal implant process involves the placement of a component known as the crown. This component is shaped like the visible portion of a tooth. It is the part that will be directly used for eating, and it can be fashioned to look completely natural. The materials used for the crown are the most variable. They range from dental acrylic resins to high-end zirconium items. The high-grade versions last longer than the low-grade crowns such as the acrylic type.
If you have a missing or badly damaged tooth, dental implants can be an effective permanent replacement. Once they integrate with the jawbone, they have the potential to last for the rest of your life. They can be expensive, but that expense can be offset by the fact that the resulting implant will not need to be altered or changed as often as dentures.