If you have a missing tooth that gives you a gap in your smile, then a tooth implant helps to give you an attractive smile that can last a lifetime. Low maintenance and secure, dental implants are a great option for permanent tooth replacement.
People lose teeth for a variety of reasons. They can be knocked out in an accident, the tooth’s root may die after injury, or due to neglect/ poor genetics, the tooth may need to be extracted. Whatever the reason, a missing tooth:
- Is unsightly and can change the way your face looks
- Can cause speech problems
- Allows the other teeth to shift into the gap which creates crookedness
- Decreases ability to chew food by 10%
- Increases chance of gum disease and decay in healthy teeth
- Bone resorption removes calcium from bone in the area as the body recognises it’s no longer needed to support a tooth
- Causes stress on other teeth as they compensate for the missing tooth
Because the outcomes can be so negative, choosing when to decide to have your tooth implants is important. Addressing the issue sooner rather than later will help to avoid the unpleasant outcomes. As soon as you lose a tooth, make sure you speak to your dentist about replacement options. One of the solutions that has the best outcomes is a tooth implant.
What are tooth implants?
A tooth implant is the most secure, durable and long-lasting way to replace a missing tooth. A titanium post is inserted into your jawbone, and a permanent imitation tooth is screwed onto it. This method offers a range of benefits:
- The post in the jawbone fuses with the bone which helps to minimise bone loss
- Attractive tooth for a confident smile
- Looks and feels natural
- Holds the other teeth in place
- Helps maintain good oral health, minimises the chance of gum disease and cavities
- Strong and durable replacement allows you to eat most things you would normally
How much do tooth implants costs?
While the cost of tooth implantation can be high, the cost of not getting it done will be higher over time. If you decide to delay or omit the tooth replacement, then you risk causing irreparable damage to your other teeth which will be expensive or impossible to resolve.
An individual tooth implant in Auckland can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000 depending on a range of factors. If you require a tooth to be removed or if there is gum disease, that will need to be treated first. If there is low bone density, a bone graft may be needed to help the jaw fuse around the titanium implant.
Why do tooth implants cost so high?
The process of replacing a tooth can take up to a year. It’s an intricate, detailed process that requires a skilled and qualified practitioner, cutting-edge precision technology and high-quality materials. While it may seem expensive, this is a solution that will last your entire life. You want to invest in a smile that looks good, allows you to eat all the foods you normally do and is long-lasting.
While medical tourism promotes cheap and quick solutions, professional dentists do not recommend this option. Quality of the treatment cannot be guaranteed, unlike in NZ where there is a regulatory authority. If something goes wrong, the cost of rectifying it can far outweigh the cost of the initial treatment. Communication with your dental professional overseas can be problematic and if post-surgery directions are not followed perfectly there can be disastrous complications.
In New Zealand, tooth implants cost may be covered by ACC. If your tooth was damaged in an accident, then treatment may be paid for or partially paid for by ACC or your insurance company.
Single or multiple implants are no problem
If you have more than one tooth that needs replacement, that is not an issue. Replacing all the problematic teeth at once may present cost benefits as there is only one surgery, and there are time savings when work is all done at once.
Tips to look after your tooth implant
You should maintain good oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day and flossing once. Take care around your implant and use interdental brushes for any hard-to-reach places. Continue to visit your dentists every six months for implant checks and general tooth and mouth health.
Stop smoking in order to maintain good bone structure. This is especially important to ensure implant success. You will need to be mindful of what you’re eating – hard foods like ice and chewy things like candy may damage your implant.
Is a tooth implant the right choice for you?
Contact your dentist to find out if a tooth implant will be appropriate for you. They will likely do imaging of your mouth and tooth, assess your general health (implants have a higher risk of failure in people with diabetes) and talk to you about the possible complications and outcomes. Ask them about the risks and possible implications so you make an educated choice.
While the cost of a tooth implant may seem a lot, remember that this is a one-off procedure that, when looked after correctly, will last a lifetime. You’re investing in your future, and it is worth it.