Dental implants have been booming in popularity as a superior solution for missing teeth and the trend isn’t expected to stop anytime soon. More dentists than ever before are offering dental implant services right alongside traditional restorative care, including the First Dental Associates team!
If you’re considering dental implants for the first time, you probably have many questions about this unique restorative technique. Here we’ve answered 8 of the most common questions that come up during our patient consultations.
Dental implants are more expensive than other restorative care options, but in terms of cost versus value, their numerous advantages and longevity make them well worth the investment.
Many factors can affect the final cost of treatment, such as insurance or the need for additional services. Because of this it’s hard to offer an estimate until your consultation. However, we always provide our patients with as accurate a quote as possible prior to treatment so you’ll never be caught off-guard by the final cost.
Dental implants are the most natural solution for tooth loss in terms of beauty and, most importantly, function. Implants maintain the health of your jawbone, prevent teeth from shifting, and feel just like natural teeth when it comes to chewing. They are permanent and require no special care, just a regular routine of brushing, flossing, and biannual dental checkups.
There are very few drawbacks to dental implants. Most patients are extremely happy with their decision to get one (or a few!), despite the long healing period involved.
Osseointegration, the process of your jawbone growing around your implant post, can take anywhere from four to six months before it’s fully integrated or healed. You’ll then have a healing cap placed on top of the healed post, which requires about two more weeks of healing.
Afterward, you’ll have your abutment placed (the foundation for the crown) and a temporary or permanent crown. For temporary crowns, you may wear one for a couple of weeks before the permanent is placed.
Getting a dental implant is an oral surgery procedure so there’s naturally more discomfort compared to a filling. The actual placement of the implant itself is relatively painless since you’ll be numb. Afterward, it’s very normal to feel sore and tender. Most patients with high to average pain tolerance find the discomfort very manageable, especially after the first couple of days.
Pain tolerance is a very personal matter and we do everything we can to ensure our patients with low-pain tolerance are as comfortable as possible during the healing process.
Dental implant posts can last well over 20 years or even a lifetime if you maintain a good level of oral health. The dental crown placed on your implant can last 10 to 15 years before it may need to be replaced with a new one.
Dental implants are permanent and cannot be removed. You can still get orthodontic care, Invisalign, and cosmetic services, but these options will need to work around your dental implants. For example, if you want Invisalign your dentist will design your smile plan so your aligners do not move the implant, but only the teeth surrounding it.
If you’re interested in both orthodontics and dental implants, it’s best to straighten your teeth first to make things easier.
Dental implants require a healthy amount of jawbone in order to be successful. A bone graft allows us to replace lost bone in the jaw so an implant is able to be placed. This will be done prior to the actual placement of your dental implant post to allow for healing.
You may need a bone graft if you’ve experienced damage from gum disease or decay, lost a tooth in the past and bone has been reabsorbed, or if your jawbone is very thin or soft.
Ideal dental implant candidates are older teens, adults, and seniors who have a good level of oral and overall health. Gum health is particularly important, though you may certainly be a future candidate after gum disease treatment.
Certain health conditions can negatively affect candidacy. These include suppressed immune systems, uncontrolled diabetes, and cancer. With that being said, advancements in dental implants have really opened the realm of possibilities. You may be pleased to find you’re able to get a dental implant during your consultation.
The first step to a beautiful new smile is to book a consultation appointment. During your consultation, you’ll discover more about dental implants and find out if you’re a candidate. Once your appointment is scheduled, check out the New Patient Forms page to get a head start on your paperwork.
Even if you’re not quite ready to pursue dental implants at the moment, we still encourage you to give our office a call. A consultation with Dr. Singh can help you gain a better understanding of the dental implant procedure and help you make an informed decision about your future smile.