What is Dental Implants?
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Missing, fractured or decaying teeth not only have a significant impact on a person’s physical appearance, but also on self-confidence and long-term health. Your surgeon may recommend dental implants if you have:
- One or more missing teeth
- Severely decayed teeth
- Fractured or damaged teeth
- Congenital tooth defects
Following surgery, patients regain the ability to smile, speak and eat with confidence. Dental implants are made to replicate the appearance and full function of your original teeth. They are also able to preserve your natural facial structure, and prevent bone deterioration and tooth decay.
Dental implants are intimately connected to the underlying gum tissue and bone of the mouth. Soft tissue or bone grafting may be recommended if you do not have enough gum tissue or bone to hold dental implants. The best way to find out if you can benefit from dental implants is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hlavacek.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR SURGERY
Dental implant surgery typically requires two surgical procedures over the course of 6-8 months. During the first surgical procedure, the implants (tiny titanium posts, which serve as root substitutes) will be surgically inserted into your jawbone. Over the next several months, your jawbone will gradually grow around the implants, creating a strongly bonded infrastructure for your replacement teeth. During the bonding phase, you will need to wear temporary dentures.
Once the implant has become fully integrated, the second phase of surgery can begin. Your surgeon will attach small connector posts to your implants. These posts are designed to securely hold your new teeth. Replacement teeth, called crowns, will then be anchored in place. Your replacement teeth will be created in advance of this procedure, based on impressions taken of your natural teeth.
AFTER YOUR DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
Immediately following surgery, your discomfort should be minimal. You may experience some swelling in your gums and face. Minor bleeding, as well as bruising near the treatment area is also common. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to make this process more comfortable. An ice pack may also be recommended to ease swelling and pain.
Most patients are able to resume work and most other normal activities the day after surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with specific aftercare and oral hygiene instructions. It is essential that you follow your surgeon’s instructions and practice meticulous oral hygiene. Failure to floss or brush properly may result in infection or implant failure. Heavy smoking can also cause implant failure.
UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS OF DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
All surgical procedures, including dental implant surgery, have risks involved. Some risks may include bleeding, scarring, swelling, slow healing or nerve damage. On rare occasions, implant failure may occur. It is estimated that implant failure occurs in 1-5 percent of procedures. All of these risks will be discussed in depth your consultation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the benefits of implants over other tooth replacement options?
Dental implants offer superior aesthetics, stability, and durability compared to dentures or bridges. They provide a natural look and feel, preserving jawbone density and avoiding compromise to adjacent teeth. Unlike dentures, implants are a long-term solution, offering lasting confidence and functionality.
How long does the dental implant process take?
The dental implant procedure, encompassing consultation, placement, healing, and crown attachment, typically spans a few months. Healing, crucial for osseointegration, varies based on factors like bone health and individual considerations. The treatment timeline can be adjusted for additional procedures, ensuring a personalized and successful dental implant.
Are dental implant procedures painful?
Dental implant procedures prioritize pain management and procedure comfort. Various anesthesia options, including local anesthesia and sedation, ensure patients experience minimal discomfort. This emphasis on pain control enhances the overall comfort of dental implant procedures, promoting a positive and stress-free patient experience.
How do I care for my dental implants?
Oral hygiene maintenance is vital for implant success. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings are crucial. Avoiding tobacco and adopting a healthy lifestyle further contribute to implant health. Specific implant care instructions based on individual needs ensure the longevity of dental implants.
Can dental implants help preserve jawbone and facial structure?
Dental implants aid in jawbone preservation and prevent facial structure alterations by stimulating bone through chewing forces. This process is vital to bone loss prevention as it preserves jawbone density and overall facial structure, distinguishing implants from traditional alternatives like dentures.
What are the potential complications or risks with dental implants?
While generally safe, dental implants carry potential risks, including infection, implant failure, nerve damage, or sinus issues. Prioritizing patient safety involves proper assessment, postoperative care adherence, and regular follow-ups to minimize these risks, ensuring a successful implant experience.
How much do dental implants cost, and are they covered by insurance?
Dental implant costs vary based on factors like location and the number of implants needed. Insurance coverage may apply to certain aspects, like crown placement, but full coverage is uncommon. Checking with the insurance provider helps understand specific coverage details and financial considerations.
How do you compare standard vs. mini implants?
Standard implant types, with their larger diameter, provide greater stability and are suitable for most cases. On the other hand, mini implants, due to their smaller size, are specifically chosen when limited bone volume or certain restoration types necessitate a more tailored approach, ensuring optimal suitability.
Can dental implants be used for full mouth reconstruction?
Yes, dental implants, especially with the All-on-4 technique, offer a comprehensive solution for full mouth reconstruction. Strategically placed implants support a full set of teeth, addressing extensive dental issues and improving oral health and quality of life.
Consultation with a qualified implant dentist, such as Dr. Michael Williams, determines the suitability of dental implants for full mouth reconstruction
IF YOU’RE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Contact us to schedule a consultation for dental implants. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to review photos and discuss details such as the cost and expected recovery time.