For more than 30 years, dental professionals have been using dental implants in tooth replacements. This is one of the most popular tooth replacement options following tooth loss or extraction. In fact, more than 5 million implants are placed each year. Dental implants are just one of the options for tooth replacement that we offer at Rainier Ave Dental in Seattle, WA.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jawbone to provide support for a restoration, such as a crown, bridge, partial denture, or complete denture. This option looks, feels, and functions the most like natural teeth.
A dental implant consists of three components:
Implant/screw: artificial root
Abutment: post that connects the prosthetic tooth to the implant
Crown: a prosthetic tooth that attaches to the abutment, and matches the appearance of surrounding teeth
There are several benefits associated with dental implants, including:
Allows you to speak normally
Allows you to chew normally
Improves self-esteem because it resembles natural teeth
Offers independent support, reducing the stress on remaining teeth
Reduces appearance of aging by preserving jawbone
Easy to clean and maintain
Long-lasting with proper care
However, there are also a few disadvantages:
Does not whiten like natural teeth
Expensive, but benefits outweigh the cost
Bone graft or sinus lift may be necessary if you do not have adequate jawbone density
Dental Implants Step-by-Step
Dental implants do require oral surgery, but it is outpatient. You will be able to go home the same day. The entire procedure can take several months to a year or more due to healing between steps. Both Dr. Jiyon Kim and Dr. Sang Kim have the knowledge and expertise to place dental implants.
Below we will explain what you can expect your dental implant process to look like:
The very first step in any dental procedure at Rainier Ave Dental is consultation. During this visit, we will examine your mouth and take x-rays and possibly CT scans, to determine your condition and needs. Then, we will create a treatment plan based on our findings.
If the damaged/decayed tooth is still in your mouth, we first need to extract it. If the tooth is already missing, this step will be skipped.
Bone Graft/Jawbone Prep
Patients who have thin or soft jawbones will need to undergo bone graft surgery. It is important to note that not everyone will need this step. However, for those with poor-quality bone, it will improve the quantity and quality of the bone to ensure that the implant will not fail. Typically, it takes several months to heal from bone graft surgery.
Placement of Implant
Next, the implant will be placed in the jawbone. This is done by making a small cut in the gums to expose the jawbone. We will then use a dental drill to make a small hole in the bone to place the implant, which will serve as a root for the prosthetic tooth.
If we are replacing a front tooth, we will fill the gap with a temporary, removable solution while the implant heals. If it is a back tooth, we will not place anything.
Once the implant is placed, osseointegration will begin. This is the process of the jawbone healing around the implant to create a stable base for the prosthetic tooth. This step typically takes several months.
Placement of Abutment
Once osseointegration has taken place, we will schedule an appointment for you to return to have the abutment placed. This is a post that will extend above the gums to allow placement of the prosthetic tooth. We will do this by cutting open the gums to expose the implant and then attaching the abutment. Once the abutment is placed, we will take new impressions of your mouth to ensure that the crown will be the appropriate size and shape.
Placement of Crown
The final step in the process is the placement of the dental crown. The crown is created in a dental lab. It will be designed to look like your natural teeth and will attach to the abutment. It will be the only part of the implant that is visible.
We will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication to be taken while you are healing. In addition, it’s important to follow a soft foods diet and make sure that you’re practicing proper oral hygiene. For best results, you may want to restrict the use of tobacco and the consumption of caffeine and alcohol. You will need to schedule regular follow-ups for the first few months to ensure that you are healing as expected. You will also want to keep up with oral hygiene and regular exams and cleanings following surgery.
How much are dental implants?
On average, single-tooth dental implants cost around $1,000 to $4,500 per tooth. Full-mouth dental implants may cost up to $30,000. During your consultation, we will provide you with a detailed breakdown of the fees that are included.
There are several factors involved in determining the cost of dental implants, including the following:
Number of Implants
First of all, you can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full set of teeth with dental implants. The more implants you require, the more it will cost. For example, one arch of All-on-4 dental implants costs more than $30,000.
Provider’s Experience Level
Dental implants may be placed by a general dentist with implantology training, or an oral surgeon, prosthodontist, or periodontist. Surgeons with many years of experience will usually charge more than those who are just starting out. If you are replacing a tooth that is visible or you’re getting several implants along with other procedures, you may need to find a dentist with more experience- which means you’ll pay more.
Location of Provider
The cost of living is higher in some areas than in others, which will impact the cost of your treatment. If you’re working with a dentist in a major metropolitan hub, you’ll pay more than if you see a dentist in a rural or suburban area.
Type of Implant Used
The quality of the materials used in the crown influence the price. Most dental crowns are made of zirconium or titanium. There are also several size options, as well as coatings and connectors that your provider will choose from based on your needs.
A porcelain crown is the most expensive- but it also resembles natural teeth more than other options. A resin crown is cheap and will not last as long as other options. In fact, most providers agree that resin crowns typically only last about 5 years. The team at Rainier Ave Dental will explain your options to determine which one best fits your budget.
The abutment will also play a role in the cost of your dental implant. Custom-made options typically cost more than pre-fabricated ones.
Cost of Diagnostic Tests
Diagnostic tests such as x-rays and CT scans will be used to create your treatment plan and where the implants should be placed. These tests typically cost between $25 to $200.
Preliminary Procedures Required
If our exam and diagnostic tests indicate that you need additional procedures, those will add to the cost as well.
If you require extractions, these typically cost between $75 to $650 per tooth. You may also require bone grafting, which typically costs between $300 to $800 per tooth. Some patients also require a sinus lift, which moves the sinus cavity up to create room for a bone graft.
Type of Anesthesia Used
Typically, if you are only having 1 to 2 implants placed, local anesthesia should be enough to keep you comfortable. However, if you are having a significant number of extractions, sinus lifting, or bone grafting- or if you have dental anxiety, we may recommend general anesthesia, which is more expensive.
Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Some dental insurance plans will cover dental implants. The friendly office staff at Rainier Ave Dental will contact your insurance provider to determine coverage. If you do not have insurance or your plan does not cover dental implants, we can help you with payment options or tailor your dental treatment to fit within your budget.
We strive to provide our patients with affordable, quality dental care. When we are discussing your treatment options, we will have an outline of the applicable fees and will inform you of all costs before starting. You will need to pay your portion at the time of treatment. We accept cash, checks, and debit/credit cards. In addition, if you qualify and need to, we accept CareCredit. This financing option will allow you to pay for your treatment upfront and make smaller, more manageable payments over time.
Are Dental Implants Worth It?
Dental implants are the most expensive tooth replacement option. However, due to the many benefits they offer, you are making a wise investment. When you get dental implants, you will see an improvement in the appearance and functionality of your teeth.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you are missing one or more teeth or you have teeth that are damaged or decayed beyond repair, you may want to consider dental implants as a tooth replacement option at Rainier Ave Dental in Seattle. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to give you the smile you always dreamed of. Our office hours are Monday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Friday by appointment only. We look forward to helping you get your smile back.
Dental Implant FAQs
At Rainier Ave Dental, we pride ourselves in making sure that our patients understand our procedures. Here are some of the most common questions we hear about dental implants:
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, with proper care and maintenance. You may have to replace the crown (prosthetic tooth), but the implant itself should not have to be replaced.
How much are full top dental implants?
A full set of top dental implants can cost up to $30,000 or more, depending on how many implants are used and any other procedures required.
How soon after extraction can I get a dental implant?
As long as there are no complications, it is possible for dental implants to be placed on the same day as the extractions. On the other hand, some patients must wait for several weeks to months before placement can occur. It is important that you do not wait too long or the remaining teeth may begin to shift and the jawbone may begin to deteriorate.
What happens if I do not get an implant after extraction?
If you do not get an implant after having a tooth extracted, you risk complications including the remaining teeth shifting to fill in the gap. This will affect your bite and can also be painful.
What is the success rate of dental implants?
According to statistics, dental implants have a 95% success rate. However, you must make sure that you follow proper dental hygiene guidelines and visit the dentist every 6 months for exams and cleanings.