A dental implant is a process of replacing a missing tooth with an artificial tooth. In this procedure, the surgeon will insert an implant into the patient’s jawbone with the help of screw-like devices. This implant is also called a crown because it acts as an anchor for an artificial tooth. The surgeon then uses a special device called an abutment to connect the dental implants with the artificial tooth. Moreover, the crown is made according to the patient’s natural teeth. Dental implants in Los Angeles can be expensive but it is worth it.
The cost of a dental implant
The average cost of a dental implant in Los Angeles ranges between $2100 to $3200. This includes extra charges for the crown and abutment. And, patients who undergo dental implants can benefit a lot such as:
- Dental implants have a higher success rate
- Are more comfortable and natural
- Have a lower risk of cavities to nearby developing teeth
- Reduce sensitivity in nearby teeth
- Improve the function of chewing
- Does not need to be removed every night for cleaning
- Have good maintenance of bone at the lost tooth site
However, dental implants are not for everyone. That’s because the patient needs to have a healthy jawbone for bonding the implanting device with the jawbone. Therefore, people with healthy jawbones can only undergo implant surgery.
Types of dental implants
Dental implants are of three types.
- Root Implant
- Plate Form Implant
- Subperiosteal Implant
The most effective and commonly used dental implant is root dental implants because they mirror the same shape and size of the patient’s natural tooth. Usually, root dental implants are as strong as the natural healthy tooth.
In this procedure, the surgeon inserts the implant or artificial root into the jawbone while you are under anesthesia. This procedure takes some time to heal because the implant needs to integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is done, the dental implants and the jawbone are integrated. This entire procedure may take 3 to 8 months to complete.
Plate Form Implant
The dentist uses a plate-form dental implant only when the patient’s jawbone cannot support a root dental implant. Plate-form implants are flat, thin, and long implant that is set under the gum and on top of the jawbone directly. Eventually, the tissue and bone around this implant will grow, thus securing it more.
In this procedure, the surgeon will insert the implant the same way the root implant is inserted. Most of the time, the dentist does not wait for the healing process to be completed. The dentist will fit with the plate-form implant with the new artificial teeth immediately.
Subperiosteal implants are not very common compared to root dental implants. This implant is recommended only when the patient’s jawbone is so weak that it can’t support other dental implants. This procedure consists of a metal frame that is made according to the patient’s jaw.
In this procedure, the surgeon fits this metal frame into the patient’s jawbone using small posts. This post will protrude through the gum line to support the artificial teeth. Depending on the patient’s preference, the dentist can make these artificial teeth removable or fixed.
Risk of dental implants
As mentioned earlier, dental implants are not for everyone because people with the following conditions can be unsafe from a dental implant. It includes:
- Uncontrollable metabolic disease
- Acute illness
- Soft tissue or bone infection or disease
However, if these conditions are resolved, you can undergo dental implant surgery. Sometimes, dental surgeons do not operate on people with the following conditions. This includes:
- Psychiatric or behavioral disorder
- Parafunctional habits, such as clenching or grinding
If people with these conditions undergo dental implant surgery, there is a high chance of failing the implant. Moreover, dental surgeons do not operate on people who are still undergoing treatment such as:
- Radiation therapy on the neck or head
- Bisphosphonate drug treatment
Complications of dental implants
The following are the complications of dental implants:
- Infection on the implant
- Movement of the implant
- Nerve damage in the surgical area (altered sensation)
- Exposure of the implant beyond the gum line
- An opening of the incision
So, if you experience exposure or movement of the implant, then you may need to undergo an additional surgical procedure. This will help in improving the health of the gums and bone or replace or remove the implant.
How to know that a dental implant is unsuccessful?
Your dental implant is unsuccessful if you have the following symptoms:
- Feeling pain while tapping the implant
- Secretion of fluid or pus from the surgical site
- Progressive, rapid bone loss
There is some maintenance that a person who undergoes dental implant surgery should follow. This includes brushing and cleaning their teeth regularly. That’s because artificial teeth do require the same maintenance and care as original teeth.
Moreover, you might need to visit the dental office regularly to check your implant. This will make sure that your gums and teeth are healthy. Also, you might need to visit the dental clinic for professional cleaning every 6 months.