Tooth extraction will leave an individual with a missing tooth in their smile. Without having this tooth replaced with a dental implant or bridge, it can cause a lot of problems to occur. A missing tooth can lead to speech problems, crooked teeth, and aching in the jaw as you chew food differently. A dental implant specialist will be able to match you with the correct type of implant needed to perfect your smile and prevent future issues from occurring.
Extraction and Healing
Before an implant can be surgically inserted into the mouth, the area needs to be properly prepared. If you are having a tooth removed due to decay, it is important to visit an oral surgeon or dentist that specializes in extraction. The extraction site will need to fully heal in order to begin the process of installing the dental implant.
Titanium screws and Bone Graph Transplants
Most dental implants are made from titanium. Titanium is able to bond with your jaw bone, making it feel as though you have a “real” tooth in your mouth again. The titanium screw will need to be drilled directly into the jaw bone and must remain in place for several months as it bonds with the bone. In some cases, bone graph transplants must be done to build up the jaw before the actual process of inserting the titanium screw can begin. For some patients, this process can last for about 6-12 months.
As long as the screws are holding, the second phase of dental implant installation is relatively simple. However some patients do have trouble with the screws holding in place. Due to this, additional bone graphs may need to be done in order to make the jaw bone strong enough to properly hold the titanium screw. This could make the healing process longer and may require an extra follow up appointment for x-rays and to check on how the bone and screw are healing.
After the screws have fused to the bone and the area has been able to heal, the dentist will be able to uncover the new implant screw to create an abutment. This is where a crown will be created to attach directly to the new screw, providing you with a new tooth.
Overall the procedure of an implant doesn’t take much time, typically about 2 hours or less. Some patients may need to be given a mild sedative where others can have local anesthesia given to avoid pain during the procedure. Healing times can vary for everyone but the average is about 6 months from the time the titanium screws are fused to the jaw bone. The jaw bone itself has few nerves in it, which makes the healing a little easier as you should not experience high levels of pain. Contact us immediately if you do feel pain or experience a lot of discomfort after the procedure.
Insurance and Costs
Most dental insurance providers will not cover the cost of dental implants. Due to this, it is important that you speak with your insurance provider about the cost, and we can discuss financing the cost of the procedure through multiple options. For one tooth the average expense is about $2,000. Financing options such as payment plans are commonly used to help patients afford the expense.