Teeth can be lost for a number of reasons, such as an extreme case of dental decay or blunt force trauma. However, in most instances, the tooth can be replaced using a dental implant.
The implant, which is surgically installed in a dental office, is actually a metal rod or screw that is drilled into the jawbone to serve as a prosthetic root for a replacement tooth. Here are a few questions and answers concerning this prosthetic dental device:
How long does it take to recover from a dental implant procedure?
A dental implant procedure is an outpatient dental surgery. Thus, the patient is allowed to go home immediately following the placement of the implant. However, the surgical wound does undergo a healing process that requires about two to four months. During this span of time, the the bone of the jaw connects to the implanted rod or screw to hold it firmly in place. The process of the bone fusing to the screw is called osseointegration.
During osseointegration, the types of food that the patient can ingest may be restricted. The implant is not ready to receive full bite pressure until the healing process is complete.
Will the dental implant look natural?
The implanted screw will not be visible once a crown has been attached to it. After the implant wound has healed sufficiently, a connector or abutment is added to it. This connector allows a dental crown to be placed over the dental implant for a natural appearance.
Before the crown is placed, the gums around the dental implant are contoured to help ensure that they frame the dental crown in the same manner that they would frame a natural tooth.
If a porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crown is used, it can be perfectly matched to the shade of the patient's other teeth. Thus, the tooth restoration looks natural and is difficult to discern.
How much does a dental implant cost?
The typical cost of a dental implant used for a single tooth replacement is between $1,000 and $3,000. An additional cost of $500 to $3,000 can be expected for the abutment and the crown. The average total cost is generally around $4,250. If additional procedures, such as an extraction or a bone graft, are required, the overall price will be higher.
If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, schedule a consultation with a dentist like Richard L. Myers, DDS.