Dental implants are one of the best options for replacing missing teeth. They can be used to support dental crowns, bridges, or even dentures! The question is, what are dental implants made of?
Find out what dental implants are made of and how they work in our complete guide to dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
First of all – what are dental implants?
Implants are used to replace damaged or missing teeth. Your oral surgeon will insert a small, screw-like fixture into your jawbone at the site of the lost tooth. This piece serves as a support for the dental crown.
Dental implants are made up of three parts: the fixture, abutment, and crown.
Fixture - The fixture, or implant, resembles the shape of a natural tooth root and fuses with the jawbone for a permanent hold.
Abutment - The abutment sits along the gumline and screws into the implant post. Abutments support the replacement tooth and serve as connectors between the implant and crown.
Crown - Replacement teeth can be crowns, bridges, or implant-supported dentures. These implants are almost indistinguishable and function like your natural teeth.
To benefit from dental implants, you must be in good oral health and have a fully developed jawbone. A healthy jawbone is needed to support the implants.
What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
Dental implants are usually made of titanium or zirconium. These materials are unlikely to fracture, making them a strong, long-lasting solution.
Titanium - Most dental implants are made of titanium. When titanium is embedded into the jawbone, the bone naturally grows around it. This creates a stable, permanent fixture.
Zirconia - Zirconia was recently discovered for dental implant use. The ceramic material is hypoallergenic, making it a better option for patients with metal sensitivity.
As mentioned above, titanium implants are made of three pieces: the implant, abutment, and dental crown. Zirconia implants are typically one-piece implants and can be placed in one dentist visit.
The visible part of the implant, the dental crown, is usually made of porcelain or ceramic. These replacement teeth are fashioned to match your teeth so they don’t look out of place.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants work by replacing the root and crown of a missing tooth. Unlike dentures, implants are surgically placed into the jawbone. This keeps the bone stimulated and provides natural stability.
If our dentists in Omaha, NE think you’re a candidate for dental implants, we’ll coordinate the procedure with a local oral surgeon. The dental implants process takes several months to complete and is done in three phases:
Placing the implant - First, the surgeon drills holes in the jawbone and places the implant fixture. The implant is covered by your gums and left to heal for three to six months. Placing the implants takes 1-2 hours per implant.
The abutment is attached - Following this, your surgeon attaches the abutment to the implant fixture. In some situations, the implant and abutment pieces are positioned simultaneously.
Crown attachment - After a short healing period, our dentists will take impressions of your teeth and custom-order a tooth replacement. Dental crowns and implant-supported bridges are fastened to the abutment. If you’ve opted for dentures, they’ll snap onto the abutment.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
How long dental implants last depends on a few factors. However, implants last anywhere from 10 years to a lifetime for many patients.
Just because dental implants are made of durable materials doesn't mean you shouldn't look after them. Lifestyle choices, including smoking, can be detrimental to your dental implants.
Gum disease is common among patients with dental implants and could cause your implants to fail without the proper care.
We recommend brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day to keep your gums healthy! You should also see your dentist regularly to reduce the risk of infection weakening your implants.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Dental implants cost anywhere between $1,000 to $3,000 per implant. That said, this is the cost of the implant piece itself. Abutments usually cost around $275 to $450 each, while dental crowns may range from $500 to $1,500.
Factors that can also affect how much dental implants cost include:
Number of teeth replaced - Naturally, the cost of one dental implant varies drastically from a full arch of teeth. Keep in mind dental crowns only need one implant, while permanent dentures require at least four implants.
Tooth extractions - Patients with failing teeth may need to have them extracted before proceeding with dental implants. How many of your teeth require extraction may affect the overall cost of implants.
Bone grafting - Many patients with missing teeth also suffer jaw bone deterioration. Bone grafting may be recommended to rebuild the jaw bone required for implant placement.
Case severity - Placing a single dental implant is a much simpler procedure than replacing an arch of missing teeth.
Replacement type - The material of the replacement teeth may affect the cost of treatment. Dental crowns made of ceramic typically cost more than standard porcelain. Also, because titanium implants are widely produced, they tend to be more affordable than zirconia.
Dental Implants in Omaha, NE
To find out what you need done and how much it will cost, contact Eagle Run West Dental Group today! With over 30 years of combined experience, our dentists will work together to help you get the smile you’ve always dreamt of.