There are many different reasons why individuals with missing teeth may want to seek dental treatment to have the tooth replaced:
- Trouble with eating
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Unhealthy diet as a result of trouble with eating
- Self esteem issues
- Avoiding smiling
From a clinical perspective missing teeth can also result in bone loss which can affect the health of the jaw and rest of the mouth.
Missing teeth can occur for a number of reasons including:
- Gum disease
Regardless of how or why there are teeth missing, it is important to consult your dentist about dental implants in order to minimise the chances of complications occurring because of the missing tooth/teeth.
Dental implants are the preferred and most common way to replace teeth. Previously dentures and bridgeworks have been used although they often can result in jawbone loss and difficulty of retention and can cause damage to the surrounding healthy teeth.
A dental implant uses a titanium screw inserted into the jawbone with a crown which will mimic a real tooth in the missing place. Dental implants need to be surgically inserted, therefore the cost and eligibility of this procedure is considered by both patients and dentists.
Before having a dental implant your dentist will assess you for eligibility and then refer you onto a specialist prosthodontist. Some patients may not be eligible for a dental implant, in which case your dentist will recommend alternative treatments. The prosthodontist will create the design and then in surgery place the screw into the jaw bone. After a few months, the crown will be placed over the top.
Dental implants require several appointments, specialists, fixtures as well as occlusal therapy and sometimes grafting. Therefore the cost is dependent on the individual case and how much care is needed.
After an initial consultation with the dentist and prosthodontist a fee schedule will be outlines, generally implants will cost about $5500-$6500 each.