Dental Implants are used to replace one tooth, a number of teeth , or to support an entire fixed or removable bridge.
Most common is the osseintegrated implant. This implant is placed in a hole drilled into bone. Depending on the number of teeth being replaced, one or more may be required. If neccessary, a substrucure is fabricated and then the crown, bridge or denture is securely fastened to the substructure or implant.
Implants are useful in a wide variety of circumstances:
- Patients who have tried but can’t wear conventional dentures
- Patients who have lost a tooth
- Patients who have two teeth with no or small fillings adjacent to the hole and don’t want to cut the teeth down to make a bridge
Implants are usually placed in outpatient settings by periodontists, oral surgeons or trained general dentists, and have a healing period of three to nine months.
There is a significant investment involved in placing or replacing implants. The cost can reach $1,500 to $2,000 or more per implant and $1,000 or more per tooth replaced. Thus, good oral hygiene is essential. Patients must keep implanted areas healthy by brushing and flossing daily.
Below from left to right: initial implant placement, implant with healing cap, implant with abutment, implant with crown.