Tooth Loss Solutions—The Dental Implant Process

The loss of a tooth can cause many problems. You might have difficulty eating or speaking, for instance. Modern dentistry has developed methods of dealing with tooth loss in a rapid and efficient manner. The dental implant process is one of the most commonly used tooth restoration procedures. Dental implants can be placed and completed in several ways, but the most common and successful method is the endosteal implant. Read on to learn more about the modern dental implants and how the endosteal implant is performed.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a procedure that replaces a lost or damaged tooth with an artificial version. Unlike dentures, a dental implant is directly fused with the jawbone and is not meant to be removed. Dental implants come in three distinct types. The types of implant are the endosteal, subperiosteal, and transosteal. Each of these implants is designed to hold an artificial tooth in place, but use slightly different methodology. 

Endosteal Implant - This implant is placed within the bone. The screw-like base component will be anchored inside the jawbone and will fuse with the existing bone.

Subperiosteal Implant - This implant is placed under the gums but on top of the jawbone. It will fuse with the top of the jawbone and is used if there is not enough jawbone to support an endosteal implant.

Transosteal implant - This implant is placed completely through the bone. It will fuse with the jawbone and have a cap at the bottom to hold it in place. This method is mostly used when the implant will be used as an anchor for a dental bridge, but endosteal implants perform this function as well.

How is the Endosteal Implant Performed?

The endosteal implant is performed differently by individual dentists. There is a common practice that most will adhere to, or base their practice from when performed the procedure, however. The most common method of performing the endosteal implant is the 3-stage method.

The 3-stage method of implanting an endosteal implant is performed by placing one of three implant components at different stages of the procedure. The three components are the base, abutment, and crown. Each serves a specific function that is vital to the implant's success. The dental implant procedure is performed in the following stages:

  1. In the first stage the base will be installed. The base is a screw or blade-shaped component. It will be placed inside the jawbone. This will allow it to fuse with the bone and become and anchor for the tooth. This function allows it to act in a similar manner to a natural tooth's root. After the base is implanted, the jawbone will need to undergo a period of healing while the bone fuses to the base.
  2. The second stage of the implant process will be performed after the jawbone heals and fuses with the base. The abutment, a rod-shaped component, will be installed. This component will connect the base to the crown and act as a quick release in case the crown is damaged and needs to be replaced. Another period of healing will occur after this component is installed.
  3. Once the gums and jawbone have healed from having the base and abutment installed it will be time to finish the procedure. The crown, a component designed to look and function like the visible portion of a real tooth, will be installed. The dentist, like those at Fort Worth Dental, will need to adjust it periodically until it is properly set. However, once the adjustment period ends the procedure will be complete. 

How Much Does the Implant Cost?

A high-grade endosteal implant will have a success rate of 95+% after five years, and it will cost $4250 on average in the United States. However, this price can drop considerably if you choose to go with low cost measures such as a lower grade crown material or use a dental college's implant programs. The cost can also increase significantly if you need to undergo extra services such as tooth extraction or jawbone augmentation to reinforce your jawbone. The cost overall can range between roughly $1500 to more than $10000 per tooth.