What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant consists of a metal rod (usually made of titanium) that is surgically implanted into a patient’s jawbone, where it fuses with the bone over a period of a few months. The end result is an extremely strong, durable, artificial tooth root. After the metal implant has fused to the bone, the dentist affixes a crown to the top of the implant. The crown (usually made from dental porcelain) is created to exactly match the shade of the patient’s natural teeth – assuming that the patient has natural teeth remaining – and looks and functions exactly the same as a regular tooth.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Although the procedure involved in getting a new dental implant takes several months, most patients believe that it’s well worth the effort for many reasons:
- Not only does a dental implant look and function like a natural tooth; it also feels like a natural tooth to the patient. Because the implant is permanently inserted into the jawbone, it is just as sturdy as any natural tooth would be.
- Unlike some other tooth replacements, implants don’t require any special care – the patient simply brushes and flosses as usual, using regular toothpaste and floss.
- There are no dietary restrictions with dental implants; since they don’t slip or move around inside the patient’s mouth, the person is free to eat all foods.
- Because implants don’t slip, they don’t affect how a person speaks (something which can be an issue with other tooth replacement methods).
- Implants are extremely strong and durable. In fact, with proper care, an implant can last for the lifetime of a patient.
- Dental implants actually help to keep the jawbone strong and intact.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
What Are Typical Dental Implant Prices?
Dental implant prices vary greatly depending on the individual dental practice and the types of materials used, and this range can be quite broad. Including everything involved in getting a new dental implant – the procedure, the office visits, the materials, etc. – the typical price range falls between $3,000 and $4,500 per implant. That may sound expensive, but it’s important to remember that those prices vary greatly depending on the patient, and your price may fall well below that range.
It’s also important to remember that unlike dentures and other tooth replacement options, the initial price of dental implants is usually all you’ll have to pay for the tooth replacement. Once you have your implants, you simply need to make regular trips to the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings. On the other hand, dentures and other tooth replacement options often have a much lower initial cost, but you’ll need to visit the dentist more often and have periodic work done on the appliances over time. And unlike dental implants – which can last for the lifetime of the patient – dentures and other appliances need to be replaced after a few years.
What Are Dentures?
Dentures are the most traditional method of replacing teeth. Generally speaking, they come in two categories: full sets and partial sets. Full sets are designed to replace all of the patient’s teeth, while partials are intended to replace just a few teeth. Full sets of dentures rest directly on the patient’s gums. Partials typically include brackets on either end that attach to a person’s existing natural teeth.
There are two types of dentures typically available to the patient:
- Immediate dentures – These are complete sets of dentures that are fitted for the patient immediately after the teeth are extracted and before the gums heal. The obvious advantage to this type of denture is that the patient can have a full set of teeth right away. But immediate dentures need to be relined (or even remade) in short order since gum tissue changes shape as it heals.
- Conventional dentures – This more traditional type of denture is fitted for the patient after the teeth are extracted and the gum tissue is completely healed (a process that usually takes a few months).
What Are the Advantages of Dentures?
Some dental patients prefer dentures to replace their missing teeth for several reasons:
- Dentures are typically less expensive initially, although in the long-term this is not always true since dentures require additional trips to the dentists, need to be relined periodically, and will eventually need to be replaced (usually every 3 to 4 years).
- Patients don’t have to wait long for a new set of dentures if they choose the immediate type.
- Modern dentures are quite attractive and relatively comfortable.
- Although dentures do have a tendency to slip and move inside the patient’s mouth, they can be secured by dental implants that act as anchors for the appliance.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dentures?
What Are Typical Denture Prices?
The price range of dentures is enormous – even more so than dental implant prices – because there are so many different styles available and the quality varies. You might be able to find an “economy” set of dentures for $500. On the other hand, if you choose a quality set of dentures anchored by dental implants, the price could be $15,000. The only real way to get a close estimate of the price of dentures is to talk to your dental professional.
For more information about dentures and dental implant prices, call your Austin, Texas dentist today!