Dental implants are an attractive option for people who have lost teeth and are not particularly thrilled with the prospect of wearing dentures or partials. For a variety of practical and medical reasons, one needs to discuss the process in detail with a dentist. These scenarios, however, represent the most common cases where someone will be a candidate for dental implants.
A Single Missing Tooth
When a person has lost one tooth, dental implants are often a preferred option. A single-tooth implant typically costs around $1,200 to $2,500, depending on the complexity of the potential procedure. Single-tooth partials can develop play in them and cause friction that may undermine neighboring teeth, and this makes the implant option particularly desirable.
All Teeth Gone
Losing an entire set of teeth can be especially upsetting, but all-on-four dental implants offer a chance to install two sets of arches that mount to four implanted posts for upper or lower teeth. Someone replacing all their teeth would need a total of four arches and eight posts. These arches are made from materials similar to the ones used to create dental bridges. Many practitioners also offer same-day options where all-on-four implants are installed immediately following the total removal of an upper or a lower set of teeth.
Dental implants are sometimes chosen when someone needs a bridge, but there won't be a tooth present to support one end of a bridge. A traditional mount point can be installed at one end using a capped natural tooth as an anchor. The dentist then installs an implant post to provide support at the other end of the bridge.
Bone Density Issues
The amount of bone between the jawbone and where the new artificial tooth will go is a major consideration when adding an implant. The implant's posts will be inserted into the bone structure. It has pores that encourage bone to grow into and around the post in order to make the mount point more solid.
People often experience a significant reduction in dental bone density once a tooth has been removed. For this reason, it's considered very desirable to have implants put in as soon as possible following the removal of a tooth. The gums will need time to heal in most cases, but a qualified professional can usually get work on dental implants moving within four weeks to two months after teeth are removed.