Richard Warner, D.D.S.
Warner Family Dentistry in Council Bluffs
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At the Battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War a servant girl accidentally dumped a basin of water containing General Grant's dentures into the Mississippi River. He was unable to eat solid food until a dentist was summoned to make him a new set.
Implants are the closest thing dentistry can do to giving you your natural tooth (or teeth) back.
The replacement teeth look and feel to your tongue like natural teeth. They don't require a solid tooth on each side of the space left by the missing tooth the way a bridge does nor do they require preparing (cutting down) adjacent teeth as would a bridge. They don't have to be removed to be cleaned as does a partial denture. As a general rule an oral surgeon places the implant into the jawbone and the general dentist attaches a crown to this.
Here's the usual sequence of events:
* Consultation with the oral surgeon to make sure you are a good candidate for an implant. If you don't have sufficient thickness of your jaw bone many times the surgeon can augment this so you can still have the implant.
* The oral surgeon will perform the bone augmentation if necessary and place the implant.
* After four to eight months of healing time the surgeon will confirm the implant as integrated properly.
* Once given the go ahead from the surgeon the general dentist will take an impression and make the final crown.
Although it varies from case to case typically it takes about eight months from the initial consultation to the placement of the final crown.
The costs will vary depending upon the type of implant used (a gold crown costs more than a zirconia crown, for example) and if the oral surgeon has to perform a separate procedure to augment the ridge bone. As a general rule you can expect a total fee in the range of $3000 to $4500 for each single tooth implant.