Twenty years ago, when a tooth or several teeth were missing, the only option to replace those teeth was a bridge or a denture. With technological advances, dental implants have become a dependable and successful treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Now dental implants are the ideal treatment of choice to replace one or several missing teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. The implant must heal for several months for the bone to fuse to the implant. Once healing is complete, a crown is placed on top of the implant.
Why choose a dental implant?
Unlike a bridge
, which involves removing enamel from two natural teeth on either side of the missing space, dental implants allow the adjacent teeth to remain untouched. This enhances the health and improves the long term prognosis of the adjacent teeth. Therefore, dental implants are a one tooth solution for a one tooth problem.
Why are dental implants so expensive?
Dental implants involve the collaboration of the specialist who places the implant, the lab technician who fabricates the crown that is placed on top of the implant, and our office where we oversee the esthetics, placement of the crown, and maintenance of the implant. We only refer our implant patients to oral surgeons or periodontists who have advanced training and extensive experience in placing dental implants.
Although the upfront cost of a dental implant is more expensive than a bridge, research has shown that after 7 years, you hit the “break even” point of the cost of an implant versus a bridge. The reason for this is that bridges need to replaced on average every 7-10 years, usually this is due to decay. Replacing a bridge involves replacing the entire bridge, and frequently may require additional treatment to the teeth that support the bridge. On the other hand, implants have a much greater longevity than bridges, and when the crown needs to be replaced, the cost is for only one crown, instead of 3 or 4 for a bridge.