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Dental Implants: Q & A

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If you need to have a tooth replaced, your dentist may prescribe a dental implant. A dental implant is a popular tooth replacement option because of its longevity and its ability to replace an entire tooth structure. Here are some questions and answers about dental implants:

How is a dental implant installed?

A dental implant is a titanium rod or screw. It is drilled into the jawbone for stabilization. Once the implant is surgically inserted into the bone, it begins to heal. During the healing process, the metal screw becomes fused to the jawbone. The connecting of the bone to the implant is called osseointegration, and it occurs over a period of a few months.

After osseointegration is complete, an abutment can be added to the implant screw. The abutment serves as a connection point between the implant screw and a dental crown. The placement of the abutment requires an additional healing period of a couple of weeks. After the abutment wound is healed, the dental crown can be placed.

Usually come a tooth-colored crown is selected for an implant restoration. The crown material used is likely porcelain or porcelain-over-metal. Not only does the porcelain have a translucency that mimics natural tooth material, the color of the porcelain can be matched to that of the patient's other teeth. Thus, once an implant is in place, it looks like a natural tooth.

What must the patient do during the recovery period?

After a dental implant is placed, the patient may only be allowed to consume soft foods. His or her diet may continue to be restricted until the implant screw becomes secure within the bone. In addition, the patient may be prescribed antibiotics to help prevent an infection as the implant wound heals.

How long does a dental implant last?

A dental implant should last the patient's lifetime.

How often is the placement of a dental implant unsuccessful?

The success rate of a dental implant is approximately 95 percent. However, there are instances in which an implant fails. Most of these situations are avoidable. They include poor maintenance of blood sugar, teeth grinding without the protection of a mouth guard and smoking.

How much does a dental implant cost?

The dental implant for a single tooth replacement may cost about $4,250 if the price of the abutment and crown is included. The implant alone for the replacement of a single tooth usually costs between $1,000 and $3,000.

To find out if you are a good candidate for a dental implant, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area, such as Peak Family Dentistry & Orthodontics