The loss of a tooth once you reach adulthood can lead to difficulty eating, speaking, or even lessen your self-esteem. There are several methods for solving the problem of tooth loss, but one of the best methods is the dental implant. The dental implant method utilizes a three-component artificial tooth to replace a lost or badly damaged tooth.

Dental Implant Methods

There are several different types of dental implants. The three most often cited methods are the transosteal, the subperiosteal, and the endosteal implant. 

  • Transosteal: This implant is performed by placing a rod, or post, completely through the jawbone. Transosteal means "through the bone."
  • Subperiosteal: This implant is performed by placing a light metal framework beneath the gums, but on top of the jawbone. Subperiosteal means "on top of the bone."
  • Endosteal: This implant is performed by implanting a screw, cylindrical, or blade-shaped device into the jawbone. Endosteal means "within the bone."

Common Dental Implant Practices

The process that is used most often is the endosteal implant. The endosteal implant is known as a highly reliable and cost effective procedure. It will typically have a 95% plus success rate even after five years. The average cost for a dental implant in America is $4,250, though the price can vary between $1,500 and $10,000 or more. This difference in cost is due to the variance in materials used and extra services that may be required, such as tooth extraction.

The procedure can be performed once and may never need to be performed again for the same tooth. Dental implants can last for decades, even an entire life time if maintained properly. Maintenance of a dental implant requires only regular dental check-ups and standard hygiene. The implant will not need to be removed. The endosteal process utilizes three components and it is performed over the course of three stages.

  1. Stage One: The dentist will anesthetize the location that the implant will be placed. They will then cut the gums and implant the first component, the base, directly into the jaw bone. After the implant is completed, the gums will be sewn back together and you will need to allow the area to heal until the jawbone has fully fused with the base.
  2. Stage Two: The dentist will anesthetize the area once more then cut the gums. The second component, the abutment, will be installed. This component is designed to connect the base with the crown. The gums will need to heal for a few weeks before the final component can be installed.
  3. Stage Three: The dentist will fit the implant with the third component, the crown. This component is designed to mimic the form and function of a natural tooth to a precise degree. It is not easy for a casual observer to notice a properly crafted implant due to the detailed craftsmanship of the crown. This component can be made of many different materials but high-grade materials, such as zirconium or porcelain-fused-to-metal, are preferred due to their improved durability. Cheaper materials, such as dental acrylic, can chip or crack under less stress than either zirconium or porcelain.

The dental implant process can restore your ability to eat solid foods, and speak without trouble. It can allow you to maintain a natural appearance while avoiding the headaches associated with dentures. Removable false teeth, such as dentures, can slip or cause injuries in the mouth. They have to be taken out of your mouth to be properly cleaned. A dental implant just needs to be treated in the same manner as your real teeth. Dental check-ups and proper hygiene are all that is required. Talk to a professional like Arrowhead Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for more information.