How Does a Dental Implant Procedure Work?
The dental implant procedure starts like all surgical procedures—with anesthesia.
Once you are numb (or unconscious) Dr. Dean or Dr. Meek will drill a screw-like titanium post into your jawbone.
As soon as the implant fuses with the bone, the dentist will mount a replacement tooth or a dental bridge onto the titanium post.
When the procedure is finished, you will have a natural-looking implant that will not move, make noise, decay, or cause additional damage to your mouth.
What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
Dental implants are almost always made from titanium or a titanium-based alloy. Titanium is the preferred metal for dental implants because of its durability, strength, and ability to serve as an exceptional base for the replacement tooth.
What Do Dental Implants Look Like?
Dental implants look virtually identical to natural teeth. The implants are specifically designed to mimic the size, dimensions, and even the color of the teeth that they are replacing. Therefore, they can blend in seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth in the mouth.
Why Do People Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants are used in patients who want a permanent solution for missing teeth. Dental implants are individual replacements for missing teeth, so they can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire mouth full of teeth as needed.
The big advantage of dental implants are that they look, feel, and behave like natural teeth. They won’t move, they won’t slip, and they won’t require removal, special cleaning, adhesives, or regular maintenance. Once the implant is in, it’s in.
How Long Will My Dental Implants Last?
Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants don’t come loose because they don’t need to be anchored to your mouth with adhesive (dentures) or another tooth (bridges). And because of the durable materials they’re made with (namely, titanium), dental implants will not decay or require replacement under normal circumstances. As long as you embrace fundamental oral hygiene (e.g. regular brushing, flossing, etc.), your dental implants should last at least 25 years.
What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant?
Your implant procedure will take place over two appointments.
During the first appointment, the doctor will anesthetize you to make you as comfortable as possible. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the doctor will make minor incisions in your gum line to access your jawbone, before drilling small anchor ports into the bone itself. Finally, the doctor will insert the titanium implants into the newly drilled ports.
This concludes the first procedure.
After a period of healing, you will schedule a follow-up appointment where you’ll return for part two of the implant procedure.
During this second phase, the dentist will make another series of incisions in your gum line to access the base of the titanium implant and insert a post-shaped device called an abutment. As soon as the abutment is secure, the dentist can finish the implant process by screwing a new metal tooth onto the abutment, and then placing a custom crown over the metal tooth for a smooth, natural-looking tooth replacement.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Dental implants aren’t cheap—they’re built using materials of the highest-quality and they require years of surgical training to install safely. In the United States, you should expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500 per tooth, if you’re paying for your dental implant out-of-pocket (no insurance).