Dental implants can be a great solution to helping restore your confident smile and maintaining oral health. If you are thinking about getting implants done, you probably have questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist any questions you may have. The more information you have, the more confident you will be going into the procedure and afterwards.
Here are a few of the top questions you should be asking about dental implants:
Why should I go with dental implants?
Dental implants change the way people live! Patients who choose implants soon rediscover the comfort and confidence to enjoy life because implants give the same confidence as natural teeth!
Implants permanently replace missing or damaged teeth. Eating the foods you love is no longer a problem. And implants can’t shift in your mouth like dentures can. So, you don’t have to worry about that annoying click when you talk or eat.
People choose implants because:
- There is no longer any worry about teeth shifting in the mouth to fill in gaps where a tooth once was. Implants protect wearers from sunken facial features by filling in those spaces. No more bite problems or flossing issues.
- Implants keep the jaw bone from deteriorating. In fact, they stimulate the bone in the jaw.
Young adults should keep these reasons in mind, too, if they accidentally lose a tooth. There are serious consequences like the ones mentioned above to consider for their future dental health.
How are implants done?
Metal anchors are inserted into the jaw and act as tooth root substitutes. Small posts that protrude through the gums act as an anchor for the implant. These posts provide a stable foundation for artificial replacement teeth.
The actual surgery depends on the type of implant as well as the condition of the jawbone. The entire process can take six months or longer. Most patients do not find it necessary to interrupt any part of their daily life while they are having implants inserted.
How soon after tooth extraction can you have an implant?
It depends on the condition of the bone under the missing tooth. An implant needs strong bone in which to place the post so if the bone is available, it is possible to place the implants on the same day as the extraction. Generally, though, it takes 3 – 6 months before the implant can be placed.
Are dental implants painful?
Many patients report that the procedures were not painful. The discomfort was less than they anticipated, especially since anesthesia is used to insert the posts into the jaw. There is little risk of infection due to the sterile environment the oral surgeon is working in.
After the surgery, you may experience:
- Swelling of your gums and face
- Bruising of your skin and gums
- Pain at the implant site
- Minor bleeding
Most of this discomfort can be alleviated with pain medications and antibiotics. Your dental team will make sure you have those prescriptions when you go home. If you follow any post-op instructions you are given, healing will be as fast as possible. Any stitches used will most likely be self-dissolving but if not, your doctor will remove them when appropriate.
Are they safe?
Yes! Dental implants are not new. They have been used for many years and the technology continues to improve. Dentists have also made strides in putting them in place and caring for them.
What can you not do after dental implant surgery?
First on the list is smoking. You shouldn’t smoke or use any tobacco products, especially chewing tobacco. Smoking causes gum disease and recession of the gums. Also, don’t apply heat to your face. It causes swelling and works against healing. The use of straws can dislodge the blood clot that is naturally keeping the wound in your jaw closed. If the straw scrapes the clot off, bleeding starts all over and your healing is delayed.
How long do dental implants last?
Implants can last 20 years or longer, much longer than any other tooth replacement like dentures. The success rate of implants stands at around 95% and some have lasted up to 35 years.
Implants fail due to:
- Poor hygiene
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Low bone density
- Chronic gum inflammation
All of these can be eliminated with proper and thorough home dental care. Regular dental cleanings and checkups help, too.
What do I need to do after the implants?
Individual implants: Brushing and flossing as normal, at least twice a day. It is crucial to keep your gums healthy.
Fixed bridge: The bridge needs to be brushed and kept clean. There is a floss designed for dental bridges so you can between the bridge and your gums. A water flosser will flush out bits of food under the bridge.
Dentures supported by implants: A combination of brushing with a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft toothbrush is used. The implant is brushed along with cleaning around the fixture and between the gums with a water flosser.
What happens if an implant fails?
In this case, your dental team will examine the implant and the surrounding bone to determine why it failed and they will then recommend treatment. The implant might need to be removed and the bone may need a graft. After that, a new implant can be placed. Antibiotics may be all that is necessary to treat infection and then restore the bone.
How much do dental implants cost?
This is not a one-size-fits-all answer. It will depend on your specific situation. After an exam and discussing your wishes and needs with your dentist, they will give you a cost for your treatment plan.
The cost depends on factors like:
- The amount, quality, and location of bone
- The number of dental implants you’ll need to support the teeth
- The number of teeth that need replacing
- The type of artificial teeth the dentist will use
- The types of dental implants used
Will insurance cover my dental implants?
Some insurance policies pay a portion of the cost, while others don’t. Call your insurance provider and ask as many questions as you need before making any decisions.
The billing coordinator or office manager at your oral surgeon’s office may also have options for payment plans and financing options. Keep in mind that this is an extended process, so if you have to pay the bill yourself, you may be able to pay for segments of the work as it is done. Work this out before you begin.
The total cost may be shocking to you at first, but remember that dental implants last much longer than other forms of replacement. Implants last between 20 – 30 years while full dentures last only 5 – 10 years.
Vineland Dentofacial Associates Knows Implants
If you are looking for a dental implant expert or have more questions about implants and other restorative dentistry, we can help. Dr. Carlson and the dental team here at Vineland Dentofacial Associates specialize in dental implants and can offer the personalized care you are looking for.
We’re passionate about providing comfortable, high-quality dental care. Contact us today! We are here for all of your smile needs.