Losing a tooth or multiple teeth can have a major impact on your life. Missing teeth affect more than just your appearance. Even the loss of just one or two teeth can change the way you speak and have an impact on the way you eat. More than 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth, making tooth loss far more common than many realize.
If you are missing teeth, there are a variety of tooth replacement options to consider, including bridges and dentures. Tooth implants are another option, one that is considered to be the most natural looking and feeling. Here's what to know about dental implants.
1. How They Work
The first thing that you should be aware of is how dental implants work. Unlike other forms of tooth replacement, the dental implant procedure involves surgery.
Dental implants are screws or brackets, typically made out of titanium, that are surgically implanted to act as an artificial tooth root. An abutment is then put in place with a crown on top in order to act as the replacement tooth.
Before the implant is put into place, your jaw must be able to support it. Bone or tissue grafts may be needed beforehand to prepare for the implant.
2. The Cost
Another thing to be aware of is that dental implants are typically one of the most expensive forms of tooth replacement available. On average a single tooth implant costs between $2,400 and $3,000. If bone or tissue grafts or other procedures are needed beforehand, costs can be closer to $4,000 to $10,000 per implant.
Getting multiple implants can be very expensive. However, it's important to note that dental implants can last a lifetime, which can make them cost-effective in the long run.
3. The Process Takes Time
If you are looking for quick tooth replacement, dentures or bridges may be the best option for you. Dental implants, since they require surgery, take some time. Healing can be a few weeks or even months.
If you require procedures such as bone grafts before the implants are put into place, the entire process can take even longer. The process of getting dental implants typically takes at least a few months from start to finish. However, for more complex cases, it can take upwards of a year.
If you are considering dental implants, there are a few things that you should know. First, it's a surgical procedure that can require months of healing. It can also cost thousands of dollars to have a dental implant put into place. From start to finish, it can take months or even upwards of a year before your implant is in place and fully functional.