Your family dentist suggested a dental implant to replace a tooth. You immediately have many questions about dental implants including the process, total cost, and what to expect from the surgery. You can always ask your dentist these questions, but you may not think of important questions until you have already left the office. To ensure all your questions are answered before you get a dental implant, read our comprehensive list of the common questions (and the complete answers) prior to scheduling your surgery.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
A dental implant is a threaded titanium screw that is strong enough for a post to be placed inside it. Once the screw and post are placed, the dentist finishes the tooth with a cap or crown. Many people incorrectly believe that a dental implant makes up the entire replacement tooth; in fact, the implant replaces the root only. The dentist places the crown or cap on top of the replacement root.
WHY DO PEOPLE GET DENTAL IMPLANTS?
If a patient is missing a tooth or a series of teeth, a dental implant may be suggested. Missing teeth can cause a number of problems, including difficulties chewing or eating. Once these patients get dental implants, they no longer have to struggle with gaps caused by missing teeth. These people feel more confident in their smile and can attend social functions without fear of uncomfortable situations. Dental implants give patients a beautiful smile, more confidence, and the ability to resume eating solid foods without worry.
HOW LONG WILL DENTAL IMPLANTS LAST?
Dental implants last upwards of forty years if taken care of properly. They often last a lifetime for patients that regularly brush, floss, and follow the dental recommendations made at their check-ups. While a dentist cannot guarantee the long-term success of a dental implant, the dentist can provide guidelines and suggestions to better care for your teeth. These suggestions are based on proper hygiene procedures, your own genetic history (including diseases that run in your family), and your nutritional habits. Following the recommendations put in place by your dentist ensures the implant has the best chance to last the rest of your lifetime.
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF IMPLANT FAILURE?
Nationally, the success rate of dental implants averages about 95%. Ask your dentist to see what the practice’s personal success rate is and how regularly it performs the procedure. You want to go with an experienced surgeon who reaches or surpasses the national average.
DOES AN IMPLANT REQUIRE SPECIAL CARE?
Implants require the same care that your natural teeth need. Scheduling regular checkups, proper oral hygiene, and a nutritious diet are the best ways to ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime. Flossing every day is also critical to keep your dental implant healthy. Most tooth decay and loss occur because patients do not properly or regularly floss, resulting in gum decay and disease.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PUT IN A DENTAL IMPLANT?
Placing a single implant may take as little as thirty minutes, while a complex surgery requiring multiple replacements can take more than 3–4 hours. After the implant is placed, the patient schedules a follow-up appointment several months later to allow the implant to properly heal and fuse with the jawbone. Then, the doctor will fit the cap or crown over the implant.
To know more about dental implants visit us at Brooklyn Blvd Dental.