Cosmetic Dentistry - Dental Implants To Restore Appearance And Function

Cosmetic dentistry includes many types of procedures to improve the function and appearance of the teeth. One of the most useful procedures for improving the appearance of the teeth is the dental implant. The implant procedure comes in three distinct forms known as the endosteal, subperiosteal, and the transosteal. Among these three implant types, the endosteal implant is often considered to be the most common and successful.

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a prosthetic device permanently placed inside, on top of, or through the jawbone. These devices look like a tooth attached to a piece of metal and are used to restore the normal function of the mouth in regards to eating and speaking. They are permanent replacements for lost or badly damaged teeth. Replacing lost or damaged teeth can drastically improve both your quality of life and your overall appearance.

When teeth are missing, the structure of the face changes and may take on a sunken appearance. Dental implants correct that cosmetic issue even while restoring proper function. Each of the three implants is slightly different in design and in how they are implanted.

  • Endosteal - This frequently used implant is designed to look like a tooth sitting on a screw. It is implanted directly within the jawbone. It is the implant that most closely mimics the look and function of a natural tooth. This implant requires the patient to have a jawbone that is healthy enough and wide enough to support it. There are methods that can be used to reinforce the jawbone, however. One such method is jawbone augmentation, a method that includes adding material to the jawbone prior to the implant procedure taking place.
  • Subperiosteal - This implant is designed to look like a tooth sitting light metal framework, sort of like a tooth sitting on a fence. It is implanted on top of the jawbone, but below the gums. This implant is not used as often as the endosteal implant, and will be more frequently when a patient's a jawbone cannot support the endosteal implant.
  • Transosteal - This implant is designed to look like a small metal rod that is capped with a tooth. It is implanted completely through the jawbone and held tight beneath it. This implant is most often performed when a patient needs to have large numbers of teeth restored and it would be simpler and less invasive to create anchored dentures rather than implant each missing tooth directly. 

Out of all of these implant types, the endosteal implant is considered to be the most effective. It has a 95% success rate after five years and can last for decades if high-end materials are used. High-end materials can include items such as zirconium or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Low-grade materials, such as dental acrylic, will not last as long but can be replaced for a lesser cost whenever they wear out. The overall cost for an endosteal implant will range between $1500 and $10000, per tooth. The average cost for a high-grade implant that can last for decades is around $4250. Talk to places like Walden Square Dental Care for more information.