What is an Implant?
An implant is a man-made replacement for a natural tooth. Essentially, it serves as the replacement for a tooth’s root. A dental implant is surgically placed into the jawbone and maintains the structure and function of a natural tooth. After an implant has been placed, an implant crown serves as the final restoration.
Unlike dentures or other removable solutions, an implant is fixed and can last a lifetime. There are many implant options when replacing a tooth so you and your dentist will decide which is best for your specific needs. From single implants to implant-supported dentures, we’ll find the solution that’s ideal.
In some cases, bone grafting may be required before an implant is placed. Grafting is treatment planned when there is insufficient existing width or height of jaw bone to support an implant. Whether or not a graft is needed would be determined by a computerized tomography (CT) scan following your initial consultation. Dental bone grafting is highly beneficial and after tooth loss, gum disease, or trauma restores bone to the most natural levels possible.
The most common type of graft is socket preservation. This involves filling in a recently extracted tooth site with bone material. The material acts as a scaffolding to support surrounding gum tissues and promote bone growth. Natural, highly durable bone is used in the procedure.
An implant therapy timeline is very individualized and depends on your specific needs. Typically, though, you can expect a treatment span of 6 to 8 months. If a bone graft is required, the general timeline from start to finish is 1 year.
Phase One: Implant Placement
Consultation, followed by CT scan
Phase Two: Follow-Up
Follow-up one: 1 week after implant placement
Follow-up two: 1 month after implant placement
Follow-up three: 3-4 months after implant placement
Phase Three: Final Restoration
Final impression: 2 weeks after uncovering
Delivery of permanent crown or appliance: 2 weeks after final impression
Before the final restoration is placed, patients can have a partial denture or temporary crown, if necessary. If bone grafting is required, another 3 to 6 months would be added to the timeline.
Finances and Your Insurance Policy
We’ll work with you and your insurance provider to verify your coverage. Implant therapy is a financial commitment but the end result is a cutting-edge treatment that’s an excellent solution for a lost tooth.
Implant treatments begin in the range of approximately $4,000. Higher costs are associated with bone grafting and permanent restorations like implant dentures. Your dentist will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate following your consultation and CT scan results.
If you have private insurance which considers implant treatment, you can expect to have partial coverage to a typical maximum of approximately $2,000. Our experienced treatment coordinators will submit all estimates to your insurer before beginning any treatment and will help you plan the financial timeline and details. We do offer interest free payment plans for those who qualify.
The Importance of Dental Hygiene
Hygiene is critical to an implant’s success rate. Up to 80% of implant failures are linked to periodontal issues because implants are a roughened surface. Inconsistent hygiene and/or periodontal issues can lead to bone loss and bone presence is vital to the support and longevity of an implant. It’s important to maintain regular, routine visits to your dental hygienist at the interval recommended by your dentist.
Do You Have Questions?
Let us help you book a consultation. Implant therapies are highly personalized treatments and your dentist can advise and answer questions with your exact needs in mind. We’d be happy to help you arrange an appointment.