Here is a summary of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants and their answers:
Q: What Are Dental Implants?
A: Dental implants are human-made replacements of a tooth root. A dental implant can replace a single tooth, several teeth, or can be used to permanently place full dentures in the mouth.
Q: What Are Dental Implants Made Of?
A: Dental implants are usually made of titanium and look similar in size and shape to the natural root of a tooth. Titanium is a very strong and durable material that over time can fuse to the cells within the bone of your jaw, which makes the implant even stronger. The artificial tooth that is placed on the titanium tooth root is normally porcelain.
Q: Who Benefits from Dental Implants?
A: A patient who has broken or missing teeth due to injury, periodontal disease, decay, or congenital defects, can benefit from dental implants. They can also be used to permanently fix a pair of dentures or a dental bridge in a patient’s mouth.
Q: What does the Dental Implant Procedure Entail?
A: CT scans, or three-dimensional images of the jaw, will have to be taken to help the dentist identify where the patient’s bone tissue is and its depth, as well as the locations of nerves and sinuses in the mouth. These scans will help ensure the implant is placed properly without causing unnecessary pain or complications.
When placing the implant, modern technology, such as surgical guides and computer-assisted dental planning software, ensures exact positioning and safety during the surgical procedure. This part of the procedure will involve cutting into the gum tissue and drilling into the jaw bone. Patients are given a form of anesthesia for the surgical procedure.
If the patient does not have enough bone in the jawline to support the implants, the patient may need a bone graft. Bone loss can occur as the result of previous dental work, infection, or other health conditions. Bone grafting materials are made of freeze-dried, mineralized bone that transforms into new bone as it heals.
Q: What is the Healing Time after Receiving Dental Implants?
A: The healing time for a dental implant procedure is typically three weeks. Healing time may be extended to a few months if there is an underlying medical condition or if the patient uses tobacco products. Patients who have had to have bone grafts before an implant procedure will require additional healing time.
Once the implants have healed and have begun to fuse with the surrounding bone. An abutment, a connector, will be built into or placed on top of the implant to provide something for the crown or bridge to be attach to within the mouth.
Q: What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
A: Dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth, as they fit feel and look the same as natural teeth, offering the same strength and stability that is great for restoring a lost or damaged tooth.
Empty spaces in the mouth due to tooth loss or decay can lead to additional health concerns, such as bone loss, but a dental implant procedure can actually preserve and stimulate the bone to keep growing, preventing bone loss over time.
When a patient doesn’t have enough teeth in your mouth, their face can look sunken and unnatural. A dental implant can restore the shape of the face and mouth, by giving it more support and definition.
Q: How Long do Dental Implants Last?
A: With proper care, a dental implant can last an entire lifetime without failing or causing other issues. Dental Implants may only require some periodic adjustments but typically won’t need replacement.
Q: Are there any Alternatives to Dental Implants?
A: Alternatives to dental implants include dental bridges and dentures, although these aren’t as comfortable for most patients.
If you have more questions about dental implants, contact Trevor Smith Dental today.