Living With and Caring for Dental Implants

After being involved with dental implants for over 20 years, I still find it amazing how people think they don’t even need to see the dentist any longer once they get dental implants.

Although dental implants require very little maintenance, they are not a one-and-done type of procedure.  They need maintenance throughout their lifespan.

Implant Retained Dental Bridge
Implant Retained Dental Bridge

Single Implant vs. Multiple Implant Maintenance

A single dental implant and crown located between healthy teeth are maintainable with regular dental cleanings you receive from the hygienist.  If you have had a more elaborate type of bridge or implant retained denture, the implants may require to be removed, cleaned, and then reinserted over the years.  A dentist will typically change the implant screws with new screws. Implant screw fatigue over time and may break in not maintained.

If you have an overdenture or a hybrid denture/bridge, the teeth will wear out over time, and the denture needs to be replaced.  Proper care for these prostheses will prolong your investment and delay the repair or replacement.

The best thing you can do for your dental investment is to see your dentist regularly and not wait for it to break.  The initial investment is sizable. Routine maintenance and checkups will maximize the life-cycle of your appliance and help to maintain your health.

All on 4 - implant retained denture
All on 4 – implant retained denture

The Cost Of Dental Implants and Implant Retained Dental Appliances

You should expect to pay to replace one tooth that requires an implant fixture (the screw in the bone), the abutment (the post that the crown goes on, sometimes it’s one piece with the crown), and the crown, which may cost anywhere from $3000  to $6000. An implant-retained bridge may cost $3000 per tooth. Hence a three-tooth bridge may cost about $9000. Implant retained bridges are fixed or permanent; they are not removable by a patient and do not go in and out of your mouth each day like dentures.

Implant retained dentures can range from $10,000 to $20,000 for all the implants, parts, and dentures. There are typically 2 to 4 implants that are affixed into your mouth and do not come out.  The denture “snaps” into the implants.

A hybrid denture is one type of bridge/denture. This appliance is made of denture material and screwed into your mouth; It does not come out each day. A hybrid denture usually costs $22,000 to $25,000 per arch. If you need both your top and bottom teeth replaced, the costs are between $40,000 to $50,000.

Dental Implants and Implant Retained Dental Appliances Life Span

Dental implants and their associated appliances (crowns, dentures, bridges) are an investment in your dental health and overall health.  Take care of them with regular trips to the dentist, and your implants can be expected to last a lifetime. The denture is expected to wear out in time. Wear varies with each individual.  Some people take better care of their dentures and are careful when eating hard food to break dentures. People who are hard on their dentures can break them in months.  With a little care, a denture wearer can expect to have a useful denture life cycle of over ten years.

Jeffrey S. Garelick, DDS
Ocotillo Dental Care
3165 S Alma School Rd, Ste 26
Chandler, AZ  85248, USA
Phone: (480) 855-1994
Chandler cosmetic dentist and dental implants specialist Dr. Jeffrey S. Garelick, DDS, and Ocotillo Dental Care provide complete cosmetic and family dental care.