What Are Dental Implants?

Dental Implants have revolutionized the way that people are restoring their teeth. Implants are made from medical grade titanium and are small posts that replace a missing tooth root.  They are a single tooth solution to a single tooth problem. Often patients can’t even remember which of their teeth are natural and which are supported by the implant.

Advantages To Dental Implants

  • 92-95% published success rate over ten years. Most will be in the mouth much longer than any other type of dental restorations.
  • Looks and feels like a natural tooth.
  • Preserves bone support at tooth site.

Implants vs Bridge

ImplantBridge
Longevity15 years +5-7 years +
CleansabilityNormal brushing/flossingSpecial flossing required
Recurrent DecayCannot decaySupporting teeth can decay
Bone LossMinimal Bone LossSome Bone Loss
Dental HealthPreserves structure of adjacent teeth and gumsAdjacent teeth require drilling
AppearanceBest AestheticsGood Aesthetics
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How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

  • No Insurance: Without insurance coverage the cost of a dental implant will be roughly equivalent to a three unit bridge.
  • Insurance: Coverage varies widely between plans but may be as high as 80%.
  • Short term value: Depending on insurance benefits, there may be cheaper options to replace a tooth in the short term.
  • Long term value: The lifetime cost of an implant will usually be lower than other restorations since it is less likely to need replacement.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

A majority of insurance companies now have coverage for dental implants.  Our team will work directly with your insurance company to maximize your benefits. Sometimes a pre-determination will be needed prior to having an implant. Our insurance coordinators are knowledgeable in the steps and will ensure the process moves smoothly and efficiently.

 

What Are Immediate Implants?

Conventionally, implants are placed after a tooth extraction site has healed for at least three months.

However, if there is sufficient bone structure surrounding the tooth, an implant can be placed at the same time as the extraction. This would be evaluated prior to the procedure during a consultation with the surgeon.

 

Implants For Dentures

Denture complaints:

  •         Poor fit: either too loose, or cause constant sores and irritation, “they come out when I’m eating or talking.”
  •         Can’t eat a normal diet: Dentures decrease your chewing force by 75-80%! The palatal coverage on an upper denture also decreases your ability to taste food. This mean a drastic reduction in the type and quality of foods you can enjoy.
  •         “My denture gags me!”

Implant Supported Dentures (Overdentures):

  •         Denture is stable. Do not cause ulcerations. Do not come out when eating or speaking.
  •         Chewing force is significantly greater. Can enjoy a larger variety and texture of foods.
  •         With Implants, we can reduce the size of the denture  so that it no longer gags or rubs on the gum tissue.

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Implant supported dentures are an ideal solution for patients that have been struggling with dentures for years. They are also a good option if you are transitioning into a denture for the first time.  Because the procedure is minimally invasive, patients often choose implants even into their last decades.

 

Full Arch Restoration With Implants

Full Arch Restoration is also known as “hybrid dentures”, “teeth-in-a-day”, or “all-on-four”.  This non-removable restoration is secured to at least four dental implants on the top or bottom jaw. The hybrid restorations do not need to be removed at night and provide a biting force that is more natural.  This allows you to eat a relatively normal diet.

This option is popular because it is performed in only one surgery.  The implants and replacement teeth are placed on the same day as the extractions. You leave the office with your replacement teeth attached to the newly placed implants. This eliminates the normal three to six month interval of waiting for healing before placing the restoration teeth. During this healing period you will have teeth to smile and talk, but because the implants will not be fully integrated we will recommend a modified diet.

 

Bone Grafting For Dental Implants

When teeth are extracted the body will naturally resorb (or dissolve) the bone that was surrounding the tooth. Bone grafting can be done at the time of extraction to preserve the volume of bone available for future implant placement. If grafting was not performed when your tooth was extracted, Dr. Loveless can evaluate the area and discuss treatment options.

 

Is There New Technology For Implants?

Implant Brand: There are over 400 different brands of implants placed globally. Many of these are companies less than ten years old. Like buying a car there is huge variation in the cost, quality, support, and outcome of the product. At Archway Oral Surgery and Dental Implants we use only the most proven national brands that have done the research and have the clinical trials that support their success rate. This often means we pay more for our implants than others do without passing that cost on to our patients.

CBCT technology: Each surgical site is evaluated with a CT scan to measure the exact height and width and choose an implant that is perfectly fit to the tooth. Our implants are also placed with a surgical guide based on your CT scan, fabricated on a 3D printer that will allow precise placement of the implant exactly where it should be based on the anatomy of your mouth. This allows your dentist to place the crown in the ideal position for function, esthetics, and cleanse-ability.

Without a CT Scan it is impossible to see the 3-dimensional anatomy of the jaw.  Implants may be placed in positions that can cause damage to adjacent structures or decrease the success rate of the implant.