As an adult, losing a tooth can be traumatic. But it's more common than you think. Nearly half of all adults 30 years or older show signs of gum disease, a leading cause of tooth loss. Sudden impacts can also cause the loss of one or more teeth. By age 74, 24% of adults have lost all of their teeth. Complications of tooth loss can include rapid bone loss, issues speaking or difficulty chewing.
If you've lost your teeth, dental implants can help you restore your confidence and your smile. Dental implants are surgically inserted devices that provide support for artificial permanent teeth.
While dentures can move around or make noise, dental implants stay fixed in place. These titanium dental implants fuse with your jawbone, making it easy to talk, chew and swallow.
Picking the right surgeon
Be sure to choose a surgeon who has experience in both traditional dental implants and zygomatic implants – a form of dental implant for people with weak or missing bone in the upper jaw. In the Omaha metro, oral and maxillofacial surgeon Jason Untrauer, MD, DDS, is the most well-known zygomatic implant surgeon.
Dr. Untrauer has several years of surgical training in addition to his dental and medical degrees. As an associate professor of surgery, Dr. Untrauer stays up-to-date with the latest surgery advancements and innovations. He's a member of several surgical societies, including the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.
What to expect when getting dental implants
"At the first appointment, I'll use X-ray imaging to assess bone structure and make a recommendation," says Dr. Untrauer. For some people, traditional dental implants make the most sense. But if your upper bone can't support traditional dental implants, zygomatic implants are a great alternative.
Dr. Untrauer coordinates your dental care with a prosthodontist, or restorative dentist. Together, you'll make a plan for the surgery that works with your schedule.
Both traditional dental implants and zygomatic implants are outpatient surgeries, meaning you'll go home the same day. You'll be under general anesthesia for the surgery, so you won't remember or feel a thing. Dr. Untrauer can perform surgeries at any of our outpatient locations:
Either the day of the surgery or the next day, your prosthodontist screws in a temporary denture while you heal from the surgery.
Cost of dental implants
Dental implants feel more comfortable and look more natural than dentures. If your dentures slip out constantly, cause excessive saliva or irritate your mouth, you might consider dental implants worth the price.
Dental implants are an investment, but they can save you money over the long run. While dentures need replacing every five to ten years, dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Dental implants are also easier to maintain than dentures, requiring fewer trips to the dentist.
Insurance typically doesn't cover dental implants – it's an out of pocket procedure. The total cost for preoperative care, x-rays, surgeries and postoperative care ranges between $10,000 and $15,000 for four implants. "We put together a package price for patients and go through all the details beforehand," says Dr. Untrauer.
Depending on your income and expenses, you may qualify for financial assistance, and we also offer some financing options. You can schedule an appointment with a financial counselor to get started.
"I've had a lot of patients tell me these dental implants changed their life," says Dr. Untrauer. "They love the results."
Call 800.922.0000 to schedule a dental implant consultation.