There’s no denying it. When some patients begin contemplating a dental implant, cost can be a major worry. I often hear, “Doctor, why are implants so expensive?”
Let me assure you, when you evaluate the long term benefits of a secure, functional and natural looking tooth, an implant is definitely worth your time and investment. Here’s a short overview:
HOW AN IMPLANT WORKS
A natural tooth consists of a crown (the part of a tooth you see above the gum) and the root (the part hidden under the gum). The root in the jawbone holds your tooth in place. A dental implant is a small titanium fixture that serves as a replacement for the root of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the bone of the jaw, and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth. After the bone has grown around it, the implant will hold a crown in the same way one of your roots holds a natural tooth in place. Osseointegrated implants are effective in over 96% of all patients treated.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS
When we begin the implant process, you’ll see how highly customized your treatment plan will be. I use state-of-the-art Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) for my pre-surgical assessments. The CBCT scanner rotates around your head, collecting nearly 600 distinct images. I get an amazing amount of information from the scans, which I use to meticulously plan your procedure.
Once I’ve ascertained you have enough bone to successfully hold an implant, (if not, we’ll discuss a bone graft), we place the implant in your jaw. After this initial surgery, we wait four to six months to ensure the bone and implant have fused properly. The second surgery begins with an incision to expose the heads (tops) of the implant. A collar, called a healing cap, is then placed on the head of the implant. The collar stays in place for 10 to 14 days. This holds the gum away from the head of the implant. After the tissue heals around the collar, it is removed. Then, an abutment is screwed into the implant and a final impression is made. The abutment acts as a connector between the dental implant and the crown. When the abutment is attached to the implant, I place a temporary crown on the abutment. That stays in place for four to six weeks, as the gums heal. The permanent crown is the final restoration of your implant. It fits on the abutment and resembles a natural tooth – in both function and appearance.
EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT
There are many assessments that must be made before the process can begin. I take into consideration the current condition of your mouth – your overall oral health. Do you have a strong jaw and healthy gums? Will I need to do any sort of bone graft? The variables are seemingly endless. That’s why you won’t see published prices for a dental implant from reputable dentists. Each case is very different. Your treatment plan will be highly personalized.
LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO CareCredit
CareCredit is a healthcare credit card for your health and wellness needs. It’s a smart way to pay for a dental implant with convenient monthly payments. Take a moment to visit the site, and use their handy Payment Calculator. https://www.carecredit.com/payment_calculator/
As always, my office staff and I are standing by to answer all your questions, and offer help throughout your decision-making process.