Many people consider replacing missing teeth with dental implants. They are the closest procedure to getting natural-like teeth back when teeth are gone. The process is relatively common, however, every patient needs to understand what to expect.
Let’s take a look at the some common questions people ask.
1. What is a dental implant? A dental implant is a procedure that replaces missing single teeth, missing multiple teeth, and has the ability to stabilize complete denture and partial dentures. Dental implants act as an anchor or new root that osseointegrates with the jaw bone.
2. Can anyone get an implant? A person must be a candidate to receive a dental implant, as healthy bone and gingiva are necessary prerequisites for success. However, sometimes a procedure can be performed to improve the bone or gingiva. A dentist will take a look at your health history and discuss any habits, such as smoking that can reduce the likelihood of success.
3. Will I have temporary teeth? Temporary teeth can be made in most cases.
4. Is the implant procedure painful? While some discomfort is always present after surgery, every situation is different. Most people report minimal discomfort after surgical placement.
5. What are the risks with surgery? Although implants have been in use for decades proving them safe and effective, rare complications can occur. Risks after the surgery include but are not limited to; pain, infection, damage of adjacent teeth, migration of the implant, nerve damage, numbness, tingling, inadequate jaw bone to support an implant, and implant failure. Infections generally will respond to medications.
6. How long does it take from start to finish to restore teeth with dental implants? Patients generally have a good understanding of the estimated time to complete the implant procedure given at the initial consultation. The number of missing teeth, medical and dental histories, jawbone condition, technique and materials will each play a role. Single tooth implants once surgically placed generally take 3 to 6 months to osseointegrate with the bone. Implants can be placed and loaded with a tooth in a single surgical appointment, or a dentist may choose to wait 3 to 6 months to place the tooth on top. Complex procedures can take over a year.
7. What is the cost of a dental implant? Dental implant treatments vary from patient to patient. At the initial consultation, a treatment plan will be devised according to specific needs, since the costs can vary significantly. An estimated patient portion after insurance will be calculated, so patients understand the financial responsibilities.