Patients with teeth that have been damaged by injury or disease may benefit from implants; dental technology today has advanced to the point where prosthetic teeth are virtually indistinguishable from natural ones. This is a service that your Invisalign dentist can provide in addition to other services that range from dental exams and professional cleaning to bridge work and whitening, as well as braces for teeth.
The History of Dental Implants
Dental implantation has been around for over 1,400 years; back in the day, the Mayan Indians of southern Mexico and Central America devised ways to use carved bits of seashell to replace natural teeth. Today’s implantation techniques actually grew out of orthopedic surgical techniques and the use metal in operations such as hip and knee replacement. During studies in the early 1950s, it was discovered that titanium was an ideal solution when it came to working with damaged bones; as bone tissue grows, it actually adheres to this particular metal.
It didn’t take long for dental surgeons to adapt these techniques and materials to their own patients. The first workable dental implant was invented in Italy in 1959; a patent for a dental implant was filed in the U.S. ten years later.
Modern Dental Implantation
Since then, the science of dental implantation has advanced to the point that when done by a skilled, experienced surgeon on a suitable patient, the procedure has a success rate of 95%.
The procedure begins with a thorough dental examination and general health evaluation. Once it is determined that the patient is in good overall heath and there are no possible complicating factors, the dental surgeon will start out by drilling a small pilot hole, then gradually widen the opening little by little so as not to damage the bone. Once the hole is of the correct size, a titanium screw – which serves as an artificial tooth – is inserted and a temporary cap is set in place.
Once the bone has had a chance to grow around the screw and anchor it in place, the patient returns to receive the prosthesis. This artificial tooth is made from ceramic (which is actually a very tough and resilient material that is used on high-end brake pads) and is custom designed for the individual patient to match the other teeth.
Are You a Suitable Candidate for Prosthetic Teeth?
The ideal candidate for implants is one who is in otherwise satisfactory health and refrains from the use of tobacco. If you are a transplant patient who must take immuno-suppressant or anti-rejection drugs, dental implants are not the best option for you. Patients who have had periodontal, or gum disease are usually not good candidates for implants either.
It is important to continue conscientious oral hygiene when it comes to implants, because gum disease will negatively affect it.
Costs of Dental Implantation
The cost of dental implants range from $1200 – $3000 per tooth. These costs are usually not covered under private dental insurance plans, so it will be necessary to arrange some kind of financing through your dentist’s business office. However, payments can be arranged to fit most budgets.
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