Implant Dentistry

The cost of dental implants depends on several factors which include the type of implant, the preexisting dental anatomy where the implant will be placed, the type of restoration and the amount of  dental insurance  you have.

A Single implant from start to finish may range in cost from $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the aforementioned factors. The cost of full-mouth reconstructive dental implants can range from $24,000 to $100,000.

Todays research has shown that Dental implants are stronger and more durable than their restorative counterparts (bridges and  dentures). Implants offer a permanent solution to tooth loss. Additionally, implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative procedures for maximum effectiveness. For example, a single implant can serve to support a   dental crown  replacing a single missing tooth. Implants can also be used to support a dental bridge  for the replacement of multiple missing teeth, and can be used with dentures to increase stability and reduce gum tissue irritation.

Procedural advancements, including the development of narrower “mini” implants, mean that more people than ever before are finding themselves candidates for implantation. However, candidacy for implantation still varies, meaning that your dentist may determine that you should opt for an alternative restoration. Keep in mind, too, that dentists do not need a specific license by law in order to perform implant dentistry. A general or restorative dentist may perform the crown and bridge placement that is associated with implant restoration. However, our office utilizes a team approach and work closely with several specialist to complete this crucial procedure. We work with some of the best implantologist in the Bay Area and they are conveniently located close to our facility.

Are Dental Implants for You?

Now that you know what an implant costs, it’s time to determine if you are a candidate.

Our staff will conduct a comprehensive oral health examination and patient history to evaluate your candidacy. The placement of implants into bone requires extensive training and experience for success. We work with implantologist, oral surgeons, and periodontist in placing the implants that we restore.

Dental implantation, which is performed to replace missing teeth, can be done any time after adolescence or when bone growth is complete. Certain medical conditions, such as active diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease, may require additional treatment before the implant procedure can be performed.

Also, to determine candidacy for a dental implant, we must evaluate bone density and quantity. In some cases where bone loss has occurred due to periodontal disease, implants may not be advised. In certain cases, bone grafting can be derived from your bone, a synthetic bone or a bovine bone to provide the right support for the implant, but your dentist will need to determine if you qualify for these procedures.

Please note that a higher implant failure rate occurs in people who take immuno-suppressants and in smokers. You should also be aware that there are over 60 different implant companies. Therefore, if you have an implant procedure done by one dentist but go to a different dentist for a repair, that new dentist may have limited experience with or may not have access to the implants used by the previous dentist.

Success Rates of a Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implants are among the most successful procedures in dentistry. There is no guarantee that an implant procedure will be successful, but studies have shown a five-year success rate of 95 percent for lower jaw implants and 90 percent for upper jaw implants. The success rate for upper jaw implants is slightly lower because the upper jaw (especially the posterior section) is less dense than the lower jaw, making successful implantation and osseointegration potentially more difficult to achieve. Lower posterior implantation has the highest success rate for all dental implants.

Dental implants may fail for a number of reasons. The cause is often related to a failure in the osseointegration process. For example, if the implant is placed in a poor position, osseointegration may not take place. Dental implants may break or become infected (like natural teeth) and crowns may become loose.

If you are a smoker who is considering a dental implant, your dentist will likely advise you to give up smoking before undergoing the process because smokers face a higher risk of implant failure. Since the procedure can be extremely expensive, you risk wasting your money on dental implants if you do not give up the habit.

On the plus side, dental implants are not susceptible to the formation of cavities; still, poor oral hygiene can lead to the development of peri-implantitis around dental implants. This disease is tantamount to the development of periodontitis (severe gum disease) around a natural tooth.

Implant Dentistry: New Procedural Strategies

Dentists trained to perform implants, crowns and/or surgery have begun to use a new strategy for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants are placed into locations where teeth have recently been extracted. When successful, this new strategy can shed months off of the treatment time associated with dental implants because osseointegration is sped up. Candidacy for this type of early intervention is dependent upon anatomical factors of the extracted tooth site. For example, in many cases the extracted tooth site is wider than the implant, making it impossible to place the implant into the site immediately after extraction. Dental work would have to be performed first in order to create a perfect fit for the implant.

Another strategy for implant placement within narrow spaces is the incorporation of the mini implant. Mini implants may be used for small teeth and incisors.

Implant Alternatives: Mini Dental Implants

Narrower implants may be used for small teeth and incisors. Also, a narrower implant may best serve patients who require stabilization of lower jaw dentures, pre-molar teeth, or a missing tooth that was located in a narrow area. A small number of narrower implants are FDA-approved for the purpose of prosthesis stabilization, including the mini dental implant. Only certain dentists may perform this procedure.

There are some core differences between traditional implants and mini implants:

  • Mini implants are approximately half the width of their traditional counterparts.
  • The implant is not fully submerged during a narrow implant procedure.
  • Should implant failure occur, the small size (that of a toothpick) means grafting is not necessary.
  • Mini implants are less costly.