Types of Implants
There are two main types of implants:
- Endosteal: These dental implants are placed in the jawbone. Typically made of titanium and shaped like small screws, they are the most commonly used type of implant.
- Subperiosteal: These dental implants are placed under the gum but on, or above, the jawbone. This type of implant may be used in patients who do not have enough healthy natural jawbone and cannot, or do not want to, undergo a bone augmentation procedure to rebuild it.
If your jawbone is not able to support dental implants, several techniques can be used to rebuild bone, restore your natural jawline and provide a sturdy foundation for implant-supported teeth. These include:
- Bone augmentation. This involves restoring or regenerating bone in your jaw when it is not able to support implants otherwise. Research shows that using bone additives and growth factors to fortify the bone generally achieves the best results.
- Sinus lift. Also called sinus augmentation or sinus elevation, this involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where the natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.
- Ridge expansion. If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space, created along the top of your jaw.
Alternative Dental Implant Techniques
Depending on the health of your jawbone and your specific needs, your dental implant dentist may suggest some alternative treatment options in addition to the traditional multi-step dental implant procedure. Options may include:
- Immediate Load Dental Implants. Also called same-day implants or Teeth in a Day®, immediate load dental implants allow placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as your dental implant placement. This may be a good option if you have enough natural bone and an implant secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth.
- Mini dental implants (MDIs). Also called small or narrow diameter implants, these toothpick-sized implants are narrower than most commonly used dental implants. They are placed through less-invasive techniques and are used primarily to stabilize a lower denture. (Source)
- All-on-4®. All-on-4 is an alternative to placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth, called a full arch. Four dental implants are placed in the available bone, avoiding the need for bone grafting. Special abutments are used so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. You follow a modified diet while the gum tissues heal and the implants bond with your natural bone. After about six months, the permanent replacement teeth will be placed and you can resume a regular diet. (Source)
Cost of Dental Implant Procedure
There are several factors that could influence the cost of a dental implant, but the average cost that you could expect to pay ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 for just one implant. Hold on, though, we’re not done. Then you have to add in the abutment and crown, and those could cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000. That brings the total cost of your dental implant to anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. Wow, that’s a big range!
If you are in need of more than one dental implant, the cost could be anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 (yes, you read that right). And if you want to avoid dentures, you could opt for a full set of implants that could cost upwards of $30,000, with the price potentially going up as high as $90,000. Whoa!
So, as an example, you might end up spending up to $2,000 for having one implant installed, plus another $400 for the abutment, and another $2,000 for the crown, bringing your total cost to $4,400. But if you need x-rays, extractions, bone grafts, and other extras, you should expect to cover additional costs for those procedures as well.
This article has not been paid for by any advertiser. This content is intended for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice or analysis.