Dental implants are the most modern and effective way to replace lost teeth. Unfortunately, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry finds that "More than 35 million Americans are missing all their teeth in one or both jaws." This condition occurs mainly due to age, diseases, or accidents. Living without teeth or with fewer teeth than…
Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions
Dental implants are the most effective and long-lasting tooth restoration currently available. They are manufactured from titanium and are designed to substitute the root of a lost tooth, offering support and stability for the prosthetic tooth.
What you should know about dental implants
Is the procedure painful?
Most patients attest that there is minimal or no pain associated with the insertion of dental implants, nor is there swelling. The dentist will apply general anesthesia if you do not want to stay awake during the surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
In many situations, the dentist can place implants and a temporary crown on the same day as tooth extraction. Otherwise, the implants will be inserted and allowed to heal for a few months before attaching the prosthetic tooth. The procedure takes an average of three months for the lower jaw and six months for the upper jaw to ensure full integration of the implant with the bone. Nevertheless, people heal at different rates, so the dentist will monitor your progress carefully.
Will I have to go on without a tooth after implantation?
You will have a substitute tooth upon insertion. If the dentist does not give you a replacement tooth right after, then a temporary prosthetic will be created. If you were using removable dentures or bridges before the procedure, you could continue using those until the healing completes.
Will I need to continue my dental appointments after getting implants?
For oral health, you need to continue seeing the dentist even after getting dental implants. When you visit, the dentist will perform deep cleaning and exams to ensure your teeth remain healthy.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants typically last longer than other tooth restorations if you maintain excellent oral hygiene through regular brushing and flossing. With proper maintenance, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Will dental implants affect my diet choices?
Dental implants give you the full function of a natural tooth. This means you will be able to eat your usual foods without restriction. Be careful though, as hard foods can damage the crown on the implant.
What if I delay treatment?
Tooth loss causes gradual bone loss, which may require a complex procedure to correct. You will also have to keep up with routine adjustments or replacements for your dentures and bridges. If you are wearing dentures, you will continually have to deal with soreness and irritation. Implants stimulate the jawbone, thus preserving the integrity of the bone.
Is there a wrong time to get implants?
No, there is never a wrong time to get implants. Aged patients have been known to undergo implantation to replace loose partial or full dentures with implant-supported restorations. They get the added stability, and most of them often wish they got the implants sooner.
What does the procedure entail?
The implant procedure is divided into three parts. First, the oral surgeon will place the implants, then the restorative dentist will make an impression of your dentition to be forwarded to the dental lab for crown creation. The crown will be designed to match your teeth structure and bite. Every step of the dental implant procedure must be thoroughly planned and executed expertly to ensure success.
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