We think it is fair to say that no other procedure has changed the face of dentistry over the last 25 years like dental implants. Although there are different ways to replace missing or severely damaged teeth, implants are particularly popular, and for good reason too.
Instead of traditional dentures, dentists recommend dental implants because they look and function just like your own teeth—they are durable, convenient, and they prevent bone loss.
Dr. Sadeghi at First Dental Associates in Reading, MA, has not only restored people’s smiles with implants, but she has also given them back their lives. With extensive knowledge in implantology and years of experience, we asked her to share everything she knows about this procedure. Here are the top ten things she shared.
1. A dental implant is a root replacement.
A lot of people think a dental implant replaces missing teeth, but it actually replaces the root of a missing or damaged tooth. A titanium implant is inserted into the jawbone, and a crown is then secured onto the new root.
Dentists use titanium because it is incredibly durable and light, but more importantly, it is biocompatible. This means the metal can co-exist with living tissue and won’t be rejected by your body.
2. There are two types of dental implants.
Not many people are aware that there are two types of implants available, namely endosteal and subperiosteal implants. Of the two, endosteal implants are the most common, which is where the screws are placed in the jawbone.
In cases where patients don’t have sufficient jawbone height, subperiosteal implants are a better option. This procedure uses a metal structure that protrudes through the existing gum and holds the tooth in place.
3. Dental implants are more affordable than you think.
Dental implants might not be covered by your insurance, which means the cost is often a deciding factor. First Dental Associates understand this, which is why they offer different payment options. Their in-office insurance coordinator will assist with any queries and even file insurance claims on your behalf.
4. The procedure is not as painful as it sounds.
We agree, the process sounds like an incredibly painful one, but we can assure you, it isn’t. Most patients experience minimal discomfort.
Of course, every patient is different, but according to Dr. Sadeghi, any post-procedure pain is eased with over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen.
5. Dental implants can’t be whitened.
Unlike your natural teeth, dental implants can’t be whitened. Your dentist will match your prosthetic tooth to your existing teeth, so they look natural.
If your teeth are stained or discolored, you can ask your dentist about whitening them before you get your implant.
6. You needn’t worry about cavities or decay.
One of the most significant advantages of dental implants is that you don’t have to worry about cavities. However, this doesn’t mean you can forego brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.
Even though your implants are safe from decay, without good oral hygiene, you are still at risk of gum disease, which will affect your natural teeth.
7. Dental implants won’t damage your other teeth.
Dentists recommend implants because your remaining teeth are not damaged in any way. In fact, the crown or bridge that is attached to the titanium root protects the surrounding teeth.
8. You can eat whatever you like.
Unlike dentures, you don’t have to worry about the types of food you eat, within reason, of course. Because your implants function as well as your natural teeth, you don’t have to avoid certain foods.
9. Dental implants keep your jawbone healthy.
Losing teeth can affect your jawbone, leading to bone loss, which in turn leads to sagging jowls and excessive wrinkles. Implants actually stimulate your jawbone and won’t impact your facial features.
10. Be prepared with our dental implant tips.
There are a few things you can do to help with your recovery according to Dr. Sadeghi.
- Make sure you have a variety of soft foods available.
- If you are prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection, make sure you take them.
- Don’t have anything else planned the day of your procedure.
- Give your dental implants time to heal.
Are you thinking about dental implants? Make an appointment with Dr. Sadeghi at First Dental Associates today to find out more.