Dental implants have the potential to completely transform your health, your psychology, and even your appearance. This hugely expensive and invasive procedure has however been largely off-limits to a great many people until recently. Fortunately, the relentless march of technology and capitalism has ensured that the technology is now available much more affordably. It’s time to get the smile you’ve always wanted, and to improve your oral health in the process!
When any new technology is introduced, it will invariably come with a high price tag. This is understandable, as the tech will usually only be available from a limited number of suppliers. Moreover, the novel and new nature of the tech makes it inherently more desirable and interesting.
Then there is the matter of maturity. A new technology is less refined than an established one, and will therefore be a more expensive and involved process. As technologies develop, we begin to see them refined as newer methods, tools, and systems are introduced. This helps to lower the price and improve the efficiency of the technology.
Then there is the matter of competition. New technologies will usually only be offered by one or a few providers. This of course keeps the supply low, while driving up demand. Those few companies that offer the service can now choose how much they want to charge for the process.
With time though, competitors learn to offer products and services that are the same or at least comparable, and thus the prices are driven down.
Dental Implant Surgery: The Basics
Dental implant surgery involves the implantation of permanent tooth prosthetics. These artificial teeth are actually screwed into the gum and the jaw, which allows them to sit permanently in place and to behave just like any real tooth would.
Dental implants are ideal for those that wish to regain their old smile, and who don’t want to be forced to remove dentures at the end of every night. By combining implants with other techniques such as crowns, bridges, and more, a dentist can often reconstruct the smile in its entirety – even improving the whiteness and straightness of the original teeth!
The process of a dental implant is involved and invasive and requires multiple visits to the dentist. In some cases, you may require bone grafting. This is necessary if the jaw bone is too soft or thin, due to the huge amount of pressure placed on the tooth and jaw during chewing. Natural bone grafts from other parts of the body are a popular choice1. This can take several months to heal sufficiently.
Once this has been done, the dental implant can begin. First, the oral surgeon will make an incision to open the gum to expose bone. Holes will be drilled into this bone in order to implant metal posts. These posts will serve the role of the tooth root and must be inserted deep into the jaw.
You will then be sent away with a gap, or with a temporary removable denture. You will now need to wait until the bone grows back and unites with the surface of the dental implant. This can again take several months but will provide the solid foundations for your new tooth. After this osseointegration process finishes, you will need an additional treatment to insert the abutment: the piece where the crown is attached. This minor surgery will involve a local anaesthesia.
Finally, you will be able to choose your new artificial teeth which can be screwed and cemented into place, or kept as removable options. You’ll be able to choose the color, material, and location of these new implants.
Specific Technologies That Have Lowered Prices
There are many steps involved in a dental implant then, but specific technologies have helped to make the process quicker and more affordable.
For example, 3D printing and scanning technologies mean that teeth can now be created specifically to fit a patient. This helps to reduce waiting times, while also resulting in a much better fit. It also means that the costs have dropped significantly, as dentists are able to achieve the same result more quickly, easily and affordably2.
In short, there has never been a better time to get dental implants – and to completely change your smile and your life!