What are dental implants?
Dental implants are made of titanium, and are shaped like a bolt. They screw into the jawbone, and serve to anchor dental appliances in the mouth of the patient. Titanium is the same metal that is used in hip and knee replacements, and has proven to be a material that is compatible to the human body, and to which the bone will attach itself, bonding and growing to the implant. This is a technology that has been around for more than 25 years, but as the technology has improved, it has become increasingly popular for tooth replacement.
Benefits of dental implants:
1.One of the chief benefits of replacing a tooth with a dental implant, rather than a fixed bridge, is that with an implant in place, it will conserve the bone. When a tooth is extracted, at first the root holes begin to fill in, but at a certain point, the bone begins to dissolve away, and the patient suffers bone loss. This bone loss will eventually compromise the adjacent teeth. An Implant, much like a natural tooth root, stimulates the jaw bone, and helps to stop bone loss. 2.Another benefit is a tooth replaced with an implant, stands alone. With a fixed bridge, the adjacent teeth have to be ground down and capped. The missing tooth is replaced with a “pontic” crown that is connected to the abutment crowns on the adjacent teeth. With an implant, the adjacent teeth are not needed and are not ground away to fit inside a cap. 3.A dental implant in Tijuana is cost effective. While an implant, abutment and crown cost a little more than a fixed bridge, it is not that much more, and the benefits are worth it. If you are looking at have the procedure done here in Tijuana, it is certainly well worth it, at the low prices we charge.
Time required for dental implants:
While the end result of an implant is much more beneficial that a fixed bridge, the main negative is that it takes longer before you have a finished permanent tooth. We can make a fixed bridge in just three days, but implants take a couple of stages, over months to complete. Generally, the rule of thumb is 4 months healing time for upper teeth, and 3 months healing time for lower teeth. This healing time is required for the natural bone to adhere and bond to the implant. If the implant has pressure on it before the bone bonds to it, the bone will not adhere. This is one reason that we will not use immediate load implants, aka “teeth in a day”. With the “teeth in a day” system, the implants are being loaded right away, and so the bone will never completely adhere to the implant. The result is, the implants will work loose in 5 to 8 years. We guarantee our implants for life, but immediate load implants will always eventually work loose, so Dr. Vazquez will not use them.
Dental implants come in three parts. There is the actual implant, or screw that goes into the bone, the abutment that is later attached to the implant, and then the crown. In the case of dentures, instead of an abutment, a locator top is put on the implant, and an “O” ring connector placed in the denture.
For individual tooth replacement, in the US you can expect to pay up to $2600 for the initial implant, and an additional $800 for the abutment placement, and then up to $1200 for the crown. The average price for implant, abutment, and crown in the US is $3900 per tooth. At Implant Art Center, you can see by our price list, the total is $1220.
Multiple implant applications:
1.One way that multiple teeth can be replaced with implants is by using a fixed bridge seated on a couple of implants. Depending on the condition of your bone, we can often use two implants to hold a 4 tooth bridge on front teeth. For premolars, and molars, we can place a 3 unit bridge on two implants. Using this method, we can reduce the costs for multiple tooth replacement. 2.Another way that multiple teeth can be replaced with implants is through the use of dentures. Instead of an abutment being set on top of the implant, another type of top, called a locator, is placed on the implant. The locator has a nipple on top. The nipple will fit into an “O” ring connector that is set into the denture. In this way, you will have a denture that snaps on to, and is held firmly in place by the implants. It can be popped off when you want to remove it for cleaning, and then easily snapped back on to continue to use it. For those who have already gotten used to wearing a denture, the difference in having implants holding the denture in place is like night and day.
Dental Crowns, Bridges, and Veneers
There are three different materials that we use for crowns and bridges.
The standard porcelain crown is (PFM), porcelain fused to metal. A pfm crown is white porcelain on the outside, but the inner crown is made of a silver colored base metal. This has been the standard crown dental crown for many years, and they still make a good, long lasting crown. They come in two versions. The basic crown has a metal margin, and is best used on molars. The edge, being metal with no porcelain, is thinner, and it fits better under the gum, and where you have the pressure of chewing, the metal edge seals better, and you will have less problems with food getting in under the gum. The second type is called a collarless, which has a porcelain margin. This is best used for teeth that are in the front and are visible when you smile. Because the edge or margin is covered with porcelain, then is never a problem of a black line becoming visible, if your gum recedes.
An E.max crown, or veneer, is made entirely of porcelain, and has no metal. It is very aesthetic, and has great luminescence. They work best for the front teeth, where teeth are visible in your smile. E.max are not the best for molars, as they could fracture when chewing. Because the porcelain has some transparency, if there are metal posts, or abutments, they could show a shadow, and so they will not work well for implants.
The difference between a crown and a veneer is this: a crown will cap the whole tooth, while a veneer mainly covers the front surface. Also, a crown is more chip resistant, and is less prone to being knocked off. However, a veneers require much less grinding of the tooth down in order to prep the tooth for the porcelain cover.
Zirconium crowns are the best, crowns we offer. They are high tech, and will have the longest life expectancy. These crowns have very good luminescence, and are very aesthetic. They have the additional benefit of being very strong and not so fragile as an e-max crown. Because they are high tech, they have the best seal, as they fit with computer precision. The way a zirconium crown is made is by first doing a 3 dimensional laser scan of the cast made of the abutment tooth, and then input the data into a computer cad/cam program. The computer will run a milling machine to cut the zirconium cap to fit with computer precision over the abutment. Porcelain is the laid on the zirconium to add depth, and then it is fired to make it hard. The tooth shape is the adjusted by the tech, and the final cap is glazed. The result is a crown that is both beautiful in appearance on the outside, and extremely precise in the way it fit over the tooth, making a great seal.