|While the initial procedure takes|
one to two hours, the healing
process following installation
lasts about three to six months
To start, we begin by exploring the humble beginnings of the dental implant. It all started in 1952, when a surgeon by the name of Per-Ingvar Branemark was running research efforts to study blood flow in bone. In one of his experiments, Branemark placed a titanium chamber inside of a sample of bone. Much to his surprise, when Branemark later went to remove the titanium chamber, he found that it had fused with the bone. Today, this fusion process is known as osseointegration.
Titanium is a corrosive-resistant metal that can also be found in body piercings, sunscreen, and jewelry. It makes an ideal implant post as it is strong, non-toxic and as mentioned, capable of fusing with bone. One reason for its widely accepted application in bone is that it forms a protective oxide film in exposure to oxygen. The artificial crowns placed atop of these titanium rods can be made of anything from pure gold to porcelain.
In the initial visits regarding dental implants, a dental professional will inventory a part of the head known as the stomato-gnathic area. The word stomato refers to mouth, while the word gnathic refers to jaws. This assessment is done via x-rays and visual inspection by your dentist. The area is surveyed to determine bone strength and overall capacity for retaining implants. In addition to this, the dental professional will verify that no other infections are present which may compromise surgery.
Dental insurances typically cover less than ten percent of dental implant services. Health Insurance is a better bet for obtaining coverage for these costly procedures. To provide a ballpark estimate for costs involved, titanium rods are commonly listed at $400 to $950 while the abutment ( or middle part connecting rod and crown ) are about $250 to $500 dollars. Lastly, the crown is the most costly of all ranging anywhere from $1000 to $3000 dollars.
The services performed by your dentist are also a major factor in regards to the prices. You are paying not only for the implants themselves, but also for the trained dental professional who becomes familiar with your unique situation. Another factor playing into the price tag is dental implants require a wide range of resources outside of the dental clinic.
Dental implants require multiple dental professionals throughout the processes of manufacture, installation and maintenance. The first person, a dental laboratory technician, is responsible for the physical production of the crown. Next, a restorative dentist is responsible for the planning and setting in place of the crowns created in the laboratory. Lastly a periodontist, or oral surgeon, is responsible for the surgical installation of the titanium posts.
Dental implants require attentive care as the titanium posts can be affected by an infection unique to them, known as peri-implantitus. This condition can rapidly degenerate bone around the implant leading to the loss of bone and rod foundation. This makes meticulous dental hygiene all the more important. If the titanium rod is visible it should be addressed as soon as possible. Being able to see the titanium rod means the gum has receded and an infection could be underway. Scrupulous oral hygiene combined with routine dental appointments are vital for avoiding situations like this.
By and large, dental implants are a safe and effective choice when it comes to tooth replacement. Unlike similar dental procedures, implants need not depend on nearby teeth for foundation. In combination with this, crowns can be switched out when necessary, thus eliminating many of the hassles that come with maintaining natural teeth. With proper maintenance, dental implants have the capacity to last a lifetime.