What is an implant?
An implant is where a titanium screw is placed into the jaw allowing a prosthetic replacement of a tooth or several teeth.
Why do I need an implant?
An implant is a treatment option to replace single or multiple missing teeth. This can be for cosmetic or functional reasons or both.
What are my treatment options to replace a missing tooth?
When loosing a tooth, there are always four options:
- Not to replace the tooth
- Replacing the tooth with a removable partial denture
- By using crowns to construct a bridge to replace the missing tooth
- Dental Implants
Implants is the latest technique and has a certain criteria that needs to be met. The criteria is firstly, a very high standard of oral hygiene needs to be achieved before placing the implant and thus eliminating any periodontal/gum disease problems prior to placement. Secondly, there needs to be sufficient bone of the correct quality and quantity into which the implant can be placed. Thirdly, esthetic expectations of the patient needs to be managed and understood before commencing treatment. These are the main criteria that need to be met. There may be others that will need to be met depending on the case.
Who do I have to see and why?
Firstly, you need to have a consultation with your dentist who will restore the implant. From here you will be referred to a specialist who will assess you for implant placement. When both the dentist and specialist are happy with the treatment plan and all criteria are met, the treatment will start with the placement of the implant by the specialist . Once the healing phase is complete, you will return to the dentist to complete the prosthesis on top of the implant.
How much time will the whole process take?
If you have not lost the tooth yet, the process will take about 6 months. The area needs to heal for 6-8 weeks following extraction, then the implant is placed. Following implant placement, a healing phase (osteointegration) take about 8 weeks from where the implant can be restored. Construction of the crown normally takes about 3 weeks.
How much will it cost me?
The surgical fees may vary depending on the situation. This will have to be discussed with the specialist. The cost of the crown varies depending on the cost of the components needed. A rough estimate is between $2700-$3500.
Implants are a fantastic treatment option when used in the correct clinical circumstances allowing for a functional and esthetical replacement of single or multiple missing teeth.