What are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants have become the treatment of choice for the long term replacement of missing teeth. They can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or when necessary all of a patient's teeth.
Dental implants have unique benefits making them superior to other treatments for tooth replacement. They include non-removability, imperviousness to decay, prevention of atrophy of the jaw bone, and the ability to emerge from the gums like a natural tooth. Many patients are unable to tell a discernible difference between their implant and natural teeth. With the proper home care a dental implant is designed to last a lifetime.
What are the Steps Involved in Getting a Dental Implant?
The proposed site is first evaluated for bone volume and other factors leading to a safe, smooth procedure. Proper planning is essential to ensure that the implant is in the correct position and orientation to properly support the new tooth. This exam is now done completely digitally with the use of CBCT imaging:
The patient will come to the office for a Cone Beam image to be taken before their implant appointment.
Dr. Eckel will digitally plan where the tooth ideally should be placed in relation to the adjacent and opposing teeth.
After the new tooth is visualized, the implant can be planned for placement in the best possible location.
If necessary, Dr. Eckel can 3D print a surgical guide to assist in the precision placement of the implant as it was planned.
The patient then comes in for their implant placement appointment. Once placed, it will undergo the process of osseointegration. This is the process of the jaw bone growing onto and around the implant permanently fixing the implant in the jaw. The typical time period necessary for completion of osseointegration is 3 months. The new implant crown will be attached to the implant.
Cost and Insurance Coverage for Dental Implants
Prior to initiating any treatment you will be provided a prioritized treatment plan that will list what your estimated costs and insurance coverage will be for your procedure. The cost of dental implants will vary depending upon a variety of factors, including whether or not you need bone grafting and what your insurance plan covers.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants
Is a dental implant permanent?
Yes. Dental implants are designed to be permanent. However, it should be noted that dental implants are susceptible to periimplantitis (gum disease). Just like a natural tooth can be lost due to bone loss caused by gum disease, so can an implant.
Is the procedure difficult to endure or painful?
Implant placement is done with local anesthetic so the procedure itself is painless. With proper preoperative planning with CBCT imaging the procedure itself has become quick and routine.