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Dental Implants

 


 

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Due to the biocompatible properties of titanium, a dental implant integrates (fuses) with the bone and becomes an anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace single or multiple missing teeth.

Why dental implants?

There are a number of reasons why you should consider a dental implant:

Without the root structure of a natural tooth present, the jawbone can shrink. This shrinkage will make your face look older than it is.
There are no loose parts to worry about. The dental implant is a stable and comfortable tooth replacement option. 

Are dental implants successful?

With more than three decades of clinical experience and over a million patients treated, statistics confirm a success rate of nearly 95 percent for individual dental implants* and implant supported bridges.

* Results based on dental implants and dental bridges remaining and in function over a five-year period. 

How much do dental implants cost?

The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have a doctor examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, your periodontist, in coordination with your general dentist, will recommend the treatment that is best for you.

Who is a Candidate?

Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. Some of the determining factors are the amount of available bone, your dental needs, and your medical status. Your periodontist is the best person to evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you.

Is age a problem?

Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. H  owever, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Your periodontist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history.

What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?

Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn’t.

Preserve natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.

Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. This means that you can eat and drink whatever you choose. But most importantly, dental implants often improve quality of life in a very concrete way. People who have felt embarrassed and worried because of their tooth problems are often overwhelmed by what new permanent teeth can do for their self-esteem and appearance.

Will my new teeth look natural?

When dental implants are used in combination with modern restorative dentistry, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth.

Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?

Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth.

How much time is required for a dental implant placement?

The conventional process can take from three to six months. First, the periodontist  places the dental implant, which is left for three to six months to heal and integrate with the jawbone. During the healing period, you may be given a temporary prosthesis until the permanent crown is put in place. Again, your periodontist and your general dentist will together coordinate your specific implant needs.

Is treatment painful?

With any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Placing a dental implant normally causes less discomfort than having a tooth extraction. Anesthesia is administered to eliminate any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. 

How will I feel after the treatment?

It may be normal to have some bruising and swelling of the gum and soft tissues. Usually the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.

How will I care for my dental implants?

Your new teeth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush, floss and use a water pik as recommended by your dentist, periodontist or dental hygienist. See your dental professional every six months, or more frequently if so advised.