dental implants okc
How much do dental implants in oklahoma city cost?
This is one of the most common questions we get regarding dental implants. So, we came up with a simple guide to help you estimate what it could be. Read on to learn more about the value of dental implants in OKC.
We took time to break it down for you so you’ll be fully informed of the process and can better understand the pricing of dental implants.
Aside from spending time with family and the “normal” stuff, placing Dental Implants is one of the most enjoyable things I do. And that’s not just “things I do in dentistry”. I seriously, genuinely love the process of planning and placing dental implants.
There’s something I’ve said for over a decade now and that’s, “The only permanent thing I do in dentistry is extractions.” It’s a funny way to help explain to a patient that while we can get close to permanent with many treatments, there’s no such thing as permanent dentistry… except for extractions.
However, Dental Implants are the closest you can get. One big reason this is true is because implants can’t get cavities. They are the best at restoring not only form (how closely they visually resemble your natural teeth) but also in function (how well it performs at tasks like biting and chewing).
I have placed over a thousand implants in the last fourteen (almost fifteen) years. I am still surprised every time at how little pain my patients report back to me. My logical mind tells me that surely, this is going to be the patient who calls me and says, “Yeah, I had just as much pain as I expected.”
But it still hasn’t happened.
I think patients have a lot of expectation of pain because they aren’t aware of the whole process. That’s part of why I’m writing this article – to educate and inform. I hope you’ll keep reading because this article is full of great information.
Dental implants okc: an overview
A Dental Implant is a life-like prosthetic, designed to replace both the look and function of an entire tooth. Unlike a crown, the Dental Implant replaces the whole system of the tooth, not just the part we see. It also replaces the thing we don’t see. This is the thing that attaches your tooth to your jaw – the root.
When we talk about Dental Implants, we typically talk about them as a whole, just like we’d talk about a tooth as a whole. But just like there are multiple parts to one whole tooth. There are multiple parts to an implant as well.
Technically speaking, the term “Dental Implant” refers specifically to the titanium post that functions as the replacement root. These posts come in different diameters and are selected intentional, depending on the amount of bone available to which it must attach.
Depending on the spot of the implant (as well as a whole host of other factors), I’ll select the largest diameter possible. A larger diameter means a stronger hold and a longer, closer-to-permanent ability to function.
The titanium post goes directly into the bone of your jaw. This is probably why patients report only low levels of pain after the surgery. Although it sounds scary at first, it’s helpful to remember that we don’t actually have any nerve endings in bone.
The next piece to the Dental Implant puzzle is called the “abutment”.
Abutments are sort of like the middle-man of the dental implant. It attaches to the post and serves as platform for attaching the final part that we will actually see (spoiler alert the final part is called the crown).
There are two broad categories of abutments: 1) stock and 2) custom.
I only place custom abutments. Long story short, a custom abutment is created in a lab and is unique to the patient. It creates a more natural look and overall may even provide greater function and durability. While it does increase the overall cost (although only marginally), I find it my ethical duty to recommend and place these as they are the Mary Poppins of abutments. Practically perfect in every way.
The reason they look more natural has to do with the way your tooth emerges from the gums. A stock abutment is always round and much smaller than the crown. This means that when we go to place the crown, it sits on top of the gums, rather than emerging from the gum. Plus, our teeth are more square at the base, than round.
Custom abutments are more square at the base and they emerge from the gum in a way that is more similar to your natural teeth.
The final piece to the implant process is the crown. The crown is the piece we can see. It’s “the tooth”.
Crowns can be made from several materials. But our office only places ceramic or zirconium crowns, both are tooth-colored and shade matched to blend in with the rest of your teeth.
Ceramic is incredibly strong and durable and can be color matched to your other teeth. This is important because even people with very white teeth don’t have perfectly white teeth. It would look really unnatural for someone to have just one perfectly white tooth.
The crown can be secured to the abutment using two different methods. Which method depends mostly on where the implant is being placed.
The first and most preferable method is called “screw retained”. No tricks here. It is what it says. This is where the crown is secured by a tiny screw. There’s a channel that runs all the way through the tooth. I’ll use a specialized tiny driver to place the tiny screw.
We’ll then fill the channel with tooth-colored filling and the process is complete.
In some instances though, screw retained just isn’t possible. A number of factors can contribute to this but the primary reason has to do with something called “angulation.”
You see, our jaws aren’t perfect squares. They’re rounded. As such, the titanium posts have to be implanted at various angles.
And beyond that, everyone’s needs are uniquely different. There’s no “normal” way that we tend to develop. There’s only typical. But even typical is typically unique in some way. We really won’t know until we conduct a thorough exam and treatment plan.
For front teeth especially, this often means the angle points the post (and therefore abutment) outward, not straight down or backwards. So, if we we’re placing a screw retained implant, this means that the channel, through which we tighten the screw, would actually be visible on the exterior surfaces of your teeth. This would be nearly impossible to perfectly cover up and smooth with tooth-colored filling.
So to avoid this, we use the next best method: cement retained.
Note here that cement is not the same as concrete. To cement something merely means to bind or to adhere together. Here’s a little trivia for you. Concrete is actually the product of using cement to bond water, gravel, and sand together.
The cement we use is powerful and fast. It’s also long-lasting and allows us to place the whole crown, without any open channels, for a natural-looking tooth that requires no back-filling.
And that’s the final step in the process.
Timeline of Placing a Dental Implant
While there are many variables that we must consider when treatment planning and delivering dental implants, the timeline of the process remains relatively the same for most patients, in typical case scenarios.
If the tooth to be replaced is still present, we’ll need to start with an extraction. After the extraction, we’ll need to wait an additional 12 weeks. This is to allow the bone to heal. We want the bone to be in the best possible shape before placing the implant because the bone is what the implant “grips” to create stability and longevity.
After the bone has healed sufficiently, we’ll then place the implant. Remember, the implant is only part of the whole. So, we aren’t done yet. The implant is the titanium post that forms the anchor for the rest of the tooth. It’s what the abutment (middle man) locks onto so that the crown can then rest securely and naturally. Once the implant is placed, we wait again. Another 12 weeks to allow for sufficient healing of the bone.
After the implant is placed and the site has healed, we’ll need to take an “impression.” This is a mold of the implant site and will be used by the lab to create a custom abutment.
Again, there are two types of abutments: stock abutments and custom abutments. Custom abutments are bespoke to each individual patient. Everyone’s teeth are different (think CSI) and each individual tooth is certainly unique. The custom abutment successfully imitates the unique way that individual tooth emerges from the gums. It recreates the shape of the base of the crown and the result is near perfection.
The impression goes to the lab for about a month and they send back the custom abutment and crown, ready to be placed.
At this point of the investment, we’re approximately 28-30 weeks into the treatment but now we’re ready to place the custom abutment and crown! There’s no more waiting after this procedure. You’ll walk out with a near perfect replacement of your tooth.”
So, that’s the summary of detail and process. As you can see if you’ve made it to this point in the article, it’s quite a process.
But the results are worth the investment. 30 weeks is a long time to wait on something you want right now. But a dental implant will serve you for years and years to come.
Frequently asked questions
We file with all insurances and would be happy to help you. Call our office at (405) 563-7097 to get your complimentary benefits check.
We are happy to provide qualified patients with an in-house payment plan. Make monthly payments and spread out the cost over time. Not based on credit. Call our office or contact us via chat or our online form for more information.
Your comfort is our top priority. We understand that anxiety can be a major barrier to receiving the treatment you need. We offer all the traditional options plus a few more advanced like full sedation (sleep dentistry).
Unfortunately, we are not accepting SoonerCare patients at this time.
Like any treatment, there isn’t a one size fits all treatment plan. Every patient’s needs are different and planning a dental implant case is certainly no simple task. We welcome you to schedule a dental implants consultation whereafter we will be able to provide you with a customized treatment plan along with an estimate of total costs.
We gladly see child patients!
We are always accepting new patients! Schedule online or request an appointment today.
General dentistry in Oklahoma City. In 2004, Dr. Lance R. Schmidt set out to create a clinical environment that focused on both compassion and excellence.
Full sedation options, dental implants, child dentistry, same day dental crowns with CEREC®, Kor® Whitening, Myobrace®, and Invisalign® all offered under one roof.
A caring team committed to treating patients’ dental needs in the larger context of a happy and healthy life.
Changing lives through compassion and excellent dentistry. Healthy teeth and healthy mouths translate to healthy and happy lives far more readily than many realize.
It’s that moment you see yourself for the first time afterwards. Your procedure has now given to you the ability to smile confidently, eat the food you want and need, or simply go to bed without pain.
We change lives everyday.