What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a cylindrical post-inserted into the jawbone at the gum line that replaces the root of missing teeth, and which serves as the base for a replacement tooth. The procedure allows replacement of natural teeth with a crown or bridge. Using a man-made material such as titanium, the dental implant can bond to the bone below the gum line, and form a site for a dental substitute to be attached. It can take from two to six months for the dental implant to bond to the bone, and only then can the restoration tooth be attached. Once the dental implant is placed, the natural tendency of the body is to “osseointegrate”, or accept and bond the dental implant to the bone in preparation for a dental crown, a bridge, or a denture.
To facilitate the attachment of replacement teeth, a small connector called an abutment is placed on the dental implant once healing and bonding is complete. The abutment is attached to the dental implant and serves as the base for the prosthetic dental component, which is then either cemented or screwed in for its final placement. To make the new tooth (or teeth), the dentist takes impressions of our natural teeth, and then uses that to determine the shape and placement of the replacement tooth. Want to learn more about getting your dental implants in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.
What are the Benefits of a Dental Implant?
Dental implants can be for a single tooth, multiple teeth, or as a structure to attach dentures. Dental Implants can improve appearance, help speech, increase comfort, help chewing and digestion, and improve overall oral health. Dental implants have the added convenience of being very durable. While natural teeth are susceptible to decay which can lead to root canals and other dental intervention, dental implants are metal, and do not decay or need root canals. The dental implant procedure usually takes several visits, and considering healing time, can spread to a number of months.
Are affordable dental implants available in cities like Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or Las Cruces? In most areas in the U.S., they can be very expensive. A survey of dental implants in Albuquerque, dental implants in Santa Fe, and dental implants in Las Cruces ranged from $2000 to $5000. As a result, patients searching for affordable dental implants are looking at other options like Mexico. As we’ll discuss below, there are options for finding cheap dental implants in close proximity to border states like New Mexico that are both safe and of high quality.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
It is difficult to say with precision what dental implants in New Mexico cost. In general, dental services are slightly below national averages in some locales, but in Albuquerque, Santa Fe or Las Cruces, dental implants can be as expensive, or more expensive, than the national average. So the number of people looking for affordable dental implants in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces is growing along with the continually increasing costs of dental treatment in the area.
As mentioned earlier, no two patients are exactly alike, and the cost, number of appointments, and approach to restoration can vary. According to realself.com, an online website that makes doctors available for questions, costs for dental implants can be up to $4000, but other sites such as perio.org quote the cost of dental implants as high as $7500 when the crown is included. Obviously, people who need a number of teeth replaced with dental implants can be facing significant costs. As a result, they are often looking for cheap dental implants, or putting off dental treatment altogether.
In recent years, thousands of people have turned to dental tourism to find affordable dental implants. With the emergence of dental tourism companies, like Beyond Borders Dental, residents of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces have access to cheap dental implants, at very high quality, in Mexico. In fact, dental implants in Palomas, Mexico, just below the New Mexico border, are up to 75% cheaper implants than can be found on the US side. Want to learn more about getting your dental implants in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.
People often ask why dental implants in Palomas, Mexico are so much less expensive than in the US. Does this mean the quality is less, or the materials inferior? This is not the case. In fact, the dentists in Mexico use the same materials and products as used in American dental clinics. A Washington DC based health advocacy group found that 90% of people receiving treatment in Mexico rated their experience either “good” or “excellent”. That matched satisfaction with US dentists.
Cheap dental implants in Palomas are also the result of a Mexican education system that allows dentists to receive subsidized or free education in return for community service upon graduation. So dentists in Mexico do not leave school with $150,000 to $200,000 in student loans to repay as US dentists do. In addition, both rents and staff are much less expensive for the dentists in Mexico. While dentists may earn upwards of $150,000 a year in the US, Mexico dentists generally earn $30,000 to $50,000, making affordable dental implants available with the same quality as US dentists.
Dental insurance does not generally cover dental implants, although more plans cover the procedure than in the past. Some information suggests that there may be coverage available through a patient’s medical plan. But affordable dental implants in Mexico can usually save a patient more money than getting implants in the US, even with insurance coverage.
Who Needs Dental Implants and What Are the Risks?
Anyone who has lost one or more teeth is a candidate for dental implants. When a tooth is lost, the alveolar bone (the sac-like bone structure that holds the natural teeth) begins to deteriorate. In time, even the basal bone beneath the alveolar bone—the jawbone itself—begins to disappear. This causes a variety of aesthetic and functional problems that can be addressed through dental implants. Dental implants can stop this process and preserve the remaining bone structure.
However, as WebMD notes, patients should have gums that are healthy enough to accept the dental implant, and that usually means a reasonable home dental health regimen has been followed. People who are heavy smokers, or who have chronic health challenges such as diabetes, heart disease, or cancer (especially if they’ve received radiation to the head), need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Complications can arise from dental implants, although not often. There can be nerve injury, infection, and failure of the implant to bond to the bone. However, depending on where the dental implants are installed, and individual habits of chewing, smoking, and home care, most dental implants will last a lifetime, with success rates up to 98% according to WebMD statistics. Patients receiving dental implants report little pain or discomfort associated with the procedure, and in most cases, a mile pain-reliever such as Motrin is more than adequate. No two cases are exactly the same, so our Mexico dentist will carefully assess your needs, and can provide affordable dental implants in Palomas, Mexico.
What is Bone Grafting for Dental Implants?
When there isn’t enough bone in the area of a missing tooth, a bone graft procedure may be necessary in order to support a dental implant. The bone comes from four different sources;
- Autograft-from one’s own bone
- Allograft-someone else’s donor bone
- Xenograft-animal bone from cow, pig, or horse
- Alloplast-chemical bone substitute
Autografting is very involved and rarely done, but the surgeon will decide what is best, and sometimes, a patient’s preference will be weighed in as well. The bone graft does more than replace missing bone, it encourages new bone growth. Sometimes, one’s own blood is drawn so that their platelet rich plasma (PRP) can be used to encourage healing. The entire regenerative process takes four to six months.
Are there Different Types of Dental Implants?
According to perio.org, the most common type of dental implant is Endosteal meaning “in the bone”. Metal material is placed into the jawbone to hold the prosthetic teeth. Subperiosteal implants are “on the bone”, and part of the dental implant protrudes through the gum. The latter approach works better for patients having issues with conventional dentures, or those who have significant bone loss. Dental implants in New Mexico are of both varieties. Want to learn more about getting your dental implants in Mexico? Fill out a Request for Information and one of our Patient Care Coordinators will get back with you to discuss your case.