Many people have missing teeth, but dental implants are a durable option to replace missing teeth. They are more expensive than traditional dentures, but they are more stable and secure. If you would like to know more, keep reading.

1. How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants consist of the titanium implant, the abutment, and the crown, which is usually made from porcelain or a combination of metal and porcelain. The titanium implant replaces the tooth's root, and the dentist inserts it directly into the gums and jawbone. Over time, the bone fuses with the titanium.

Once the implant is secure, the abutment and crown are added. Unlike dentures, you cannot remove this artificial tooth. However, unlike a dental bridge, you can floss on either side of the artificial tooth, making it easy to keep the gums and nearby teeth clean. If you neglect to keep the implant clean, it can develop gum disease.

2. What if You Have Multiple Missing Teeth?

If your dentist has recommended partial or full dentures, ask about implant options. Implant-supported bridges and implant-supported dentures replace multiple teeth at once. With these options, unlike with single implants, you don't need one implant for each artificial tooth, so this process can save you money in the long run if you're going to replace all your teeth.

3. How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

A single implant costs about $2,400 to $3,000 for the implant, abutment, and crown. However, many patients need additional procedures like bone grafts and extractions, which can increase the price. Implant-supported bridges and dentures are more expensive, but with good care, an implant can last the rest of your life (minus the crown, which may need to be replaced from damage or discoloration).

Traditional dental bridges usually need to be replaced, and since they can strain healthy teeth, they can cause future complications if you don't care for your teeth. Dentures need to be replaced if they get damaged, but you also need a new set (or reline your current set) as your jawbone shrinks from a lack of teeth.

4. How Long Does the Process Take?

Placing the implant is a longer procedure, so expect to be in the chair for a while. You can help ease the time by asking about sedation options. Not only do these make it seem like time passes faster, but they also help you forget most of the visit.

The whole process, however, can take up to a month, depending on what you need. The more procedures you need (bone graft, tissue graft, extraction, sinus lift, etc.), the longer the process. Plus, you have to heal between each of these procedures.

Dental implants are a great option for replacing missing teeth. They are durable and don't interfere with other teeth. If you would like to know more about dental implants, contact a dentist in your area today.