A Modern Way to Replace Missing Teeth
Historically, when someone had lost one or more teeth, a dentist could generally only offer them two options to replace what was missing: a bridge or dentures. While these options helped a great many people, they weren’t ideal for everyone as the bridgework or dentures didn’t always fit well, lacked root support, and sometimes made eating or speech more difficult. Thankfully, modern dentistry has developed a third option, dental implants, which look, feel, and function like normal teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium rod (kind of like a screw) that is placed in the jawbone as an artificial tooth root. A dental crown is then attached to the top of the screw-like rod to function as a replacement for the visible portion of the missing natural tooth. The combined structure of the crown and the screw-like rod then works as a fully functioning tooth. It also looks and feels natural to the person who received the implant.
Dental implants are done in two stages. First, surgery is performed on the patient by a highly trained dentist and a titanium implant (screw-like rod) is placed in the jawbone. Then some time is required in order for bone around the titanium implant to form a permanent bond with the implant. Once the bone has anchored the implant, a crown that looks like a natural looking tooth can be attached to the implant. However, rather than topping the implant (the screw-like rod) with a crown, a dentist could also use it as an anchor to attach a bridge or even a full denture. When replacing multiple teeth, this can give a dentist room to be creative and possibly offer cheaper alternatives to replacing every single missing tooth with an implant.
What Are the 3 Types of Dental Implants
and How Much Do Different Types of Dental Implants Cost?
There are generally 3 types of dental implants. They include the following (we’ve also included the typical dental implant cost):
- Endosteal implants: this is the most common type of implant. It is put directly into the patient’s jawbone. These implants are usually made out of titanium and the look like a small screw. The single tooth implant cost for these ranges between $1,500 to $6,000.
- Subperiosteal implants: these are set on top of the patient’s jawbone but still under their gum. These implants used as an alternative to endosteal implents when someone doesn’t have enough healthy jawbone to make an endosteal implant viable. Subperiosteal implants can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per implant.
- Zygomatic implants: in special cases where the jawbone is too thin to support one of the first two types of implants, this type of implant is anchored in the patient’s cheekbone. This is the least common and most complicated type of dental implant; the cost can range between $5,000 to $20,000 per implant.
In addition to the different types of dental implants listed above, here are some extra options that may be available:
- Mini dental implants: these are an innovation on normal dental implants. They have slender screw-like rods that are half the thickness of regular implant, are less invasive, are less complicated, allow faster healing, and may be an option for people who aren’t able to get normal implants. This option is becoming more popular as it can be used for minor tooth replacement or for supporting bridges or dentures. It also offers people more affordable dental implants as the cost often ranges between $500 to $1,500 per mini implant.
- All-on-4 dental implants: this is a hybrid denture that is mounted on four implants. These are for someone who has lost all of their upper or lower teeth, or whose remaining upper or lower teeth are so damaged that they cannot be fixed. An All-on-4 dental implant allows an upper or lower denture to be attached to four implants. This is a cheaper option than replacing every single tooth with an implant. All-on-4 dental implants costs can vary quite a bit depending on a range of factors. They often seem to fall between $15,000 to $35,000, although, it is possible for some people to spend less or even more.
It’s important to book a personal consultation with a dental professional to receive a quote that’s specific to your unique needs. You can then be advised of your best options and the type dental implants will work best for your mouth.