If you’ve lost one or more teeth, you might want to consider replacing them with dental implants instead of bridges or dentures. These implants are titanium fixtures a dentist surgically screws into your jawbone. The most successful ones are those that fit into the front part of your lower jaw, according to AboutCostmeticDentistry.com.
Dental implants are a major investment for most people. Costhelper reports that while you can expect to pay $1,250 to $3,000 each for basic implants, your total tab can soar into the $15,000 to $30,000 range. The cost depends in part on where the dentist places the implants, how difficult the procedure turns out to be and whether you need any gum restoration procedures. Variables that can raise the price include a posterior mandible, bone regeneration, sinus elevation and needing either wide-diameter or narrow-diameter implants.
While an implant itself is considered permanent, the crown placed over it isn’t. You could also experience a separate cost for the anesthesia required for the surgery.
You might be able to snare a reduced rate for your implants if they’re done by a faculty member at a teaching school. Some state dental societies will do the work on a sliding scale linked to income.
Although anyone who graduates from an accredited dental school can do implants, you should consider hiring a prosthodontist. This is a dentist who specializes in restorative procedures like implants. Most of these individuals have completed three years of training in the specialty and are board certified.
You can find a prosthodontist by getting a recommendation from your family dentist or by using the locator provided by the American College of Prosthodontists in Chicago. Their web site also includes detailed information about prosthodontic procedures.
The cost of your implants depends in part on the type you need. A root form implant is shaped like the root of a tooth and is the most common type. The dentist will use a plate form implant if your jawbone isn’t wide enough for a bone graft. Both of these types require stitching the gums closed, then a healing period of between three and six months before the restoration process can take place. However, with some plate form implants, restoration can begin immediately without waiting for healing.
You’re likely to receive a subperiosteal implant if your bone isn’t wide enough or high enough for either of the first two types. This device is custom designed to fit on top of your jawbone and under your gums. It needs to be put into place using one of two special means. With the first, the dentist makes an impression of the jawbone while you’re anesthetized, then sends it to a dental lab to make the custom implant. It’s installed, your gums are stitched shut and you’re fitted with replacement teeth.
The second method begins with a CAT scan of your jawbone. The lab makes your custom implant from a replica of the jawbone created by computer modeling. In this case, there is no necessity to surgically expose your jawbone twice. Once the implant is installed, stitches close your gums. Then you receive your replacement teeth.