Dental implants are a solution to restore missing teeth and improve your oral health. Dental implants are a commitment; once installed into place, they are a permanent foundation. Read below for answers to questions or concerns you may have before meeting your doctor for a consultation.
Q: What are dental implants?
A: Dental implants are medical devices surgically implanted into your jaw. The implants restore your ability to chew, improve speech, and enhance your appearance. When a tooth has been damaged due to disease or an injury, it typically results in bone loss, defective speech, and changes in chewing patterns. Not fixing the damaged tooth will cause discomfort in your mouth and cause insecurities. Dental implants are molded to fit your natural tooth line. Replacing an absent tooth with an implant can improve your quality of life and oral health.
The implant body essentially will act as the tooth’s root and be implanted into the bone. It will pose as the foundation for the two other appliances.
The second piece is the abutment. The abutment is attached to the implant body by a screw and extends through the gum into the mouth.
The final step is to secure the crown onto the abutment designed to fit your specific measurements.
Q: What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
A: The main drawback to dental implants is time. It takes time for bone to heal and grow around the implant, making it stable enough to support the crown. It can take about 8 months from the time a tooth is lost to the time you have a new implant crown to chew on. It just comes down to how fast the body heals. In the big picture it is a short amount of time for the benefits of eating and smiling for years.
Q: Can anyone get dental implants?
A: Yes, most of the time anyone can get dental implants. The exception is if you have unhealthy gums or lack the necessary volume of bone to accommodate the dental implants. If necessary, procedures like bone grafts can be done to make someone a better candidate for implants. Alongside those two factors, you must be committed to having good oral hygiene to avoid disease and decay.
Tobacco use, along with chronic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease, or patients on radiation therapy need to be evaluated on an individual basis to evaluate the potential for implant success. Talk to your dentist or schedule a consultation with us to figure out if an implant will work for you.
Q: Does insurance cover it?
A: More and more dental insurance companies are covering all or part of the dental implant procedure. Just like any proposed treatment we will review your personal treatment plan with you along with any reasonable alternatives and costs including your personal investment and expected insurance contribution prior to proceeding with any treatment.
Q: Are they painful?
A: As with most dental procedures you are numb for the procedure and a few hours afterward. You should expect some discomfort afterward, but most patients report that it is less painful than a tooth extraction. As long as you eat, take your medicine, and relax, you will be back to normal in no time.
Q: How do I care for the implants?
A: Dental implants require the same amount of care and time as your natural teeth. They are tended to by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash at least twice a day. Keep up with your regularly scheduled dental checkups and have X-rays of them taken to make sure they are treating you well.
Q: What are the advantages?
A: Dental implants have many advantages, including the following:
- Improved appearance
- Improved speech
- Better oral health
- Better chewing
Q: How successful are dental implants?
A: Dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%, and with the proper care and attention, the implants can last a lifetime. The success varies depending on where in the jaw the implant will be placed. Within the last decade, however, technology and innovative techniques have led to higher success rates than ever before.