Missing teeth can lead to concerns such as bone loss. Because of this, tooth replacement options such as dental implants are used to fill in the space and protect your smile. Here, our Surrey dentists talk about the importance of replacing missing teeth and answer 7 of the most common questions about dental implants.
1. What are dental implants?
Your dental implant's artificial titanium screw and restoration (replacement tooth, denture, or bridge) are intended to replace a missing tooth. One of the main benefits of this tooth replacement option is that it will look and feel just like your natural teeth.
2. How can dental implants help?
When you are missing a tooth it can cause the remaining teeth to slowly shift into the empty space causing further issues. Dental implants may be able to do the following:
- Help you eat and speak more easily
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
- Improve or restore tissues in the face
You should be able to improve your functionality, appearance, and comfort with dental implants. Once your dental implant is in place and fully healed you will be able to continue using your teeth to eat the foods you enjoy while your confidence is restored.
3. Is the dental implant procedure complicated?
The dental implant procedure is commonly performed which means you can rest easy knowing that your dentist is experienced. This is actually one of the most commonly performed treatments. It is also the only restoration treatment that promotes natural bone growth beneath a missing tooth.
4. Will you be in pain during the dental implant procedure?
The dental implant process will be completed in multiple visits over a period of time.
During your first appointment, impressions (moulds) and X-rays of the jaw and teeth will be taken to determine how much gum tissue, bone and spacing are available for a dental implant.
Your dentist will use general anesthesia to keep you comfortable while placing the implant. The area must then heal and integrate with the bone, a process that can take up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be necessary to insert the "post" that will hold the prosthetic tooth in place.
Once the implant is healed, your dentist will attach a crown to the top of the implant. Because several fittings may be required, this step could take up to two months to complete. The dentist will attach the artificial teeth to the implant after another period of healing, providing stability and comfort.
5. What can you expect during recovery after a dental implant?
Depending on your circumstances, such as whether you have any pre-existing conditions or require special procedures prior to the dental implant surgery, it can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months for a dental implant to heal. It is crucial that the bone surrounding the implant grows in and solidifies the implant in its position.
6. Is the dental implant procedure expensive?
The overall cost of your dental implant procedure will vary depending on a number of conditions including whether or not you have insurance and how much coverage you have. There are health plans that cover the total cost of implants. Your dentist can provide you with a treatment plan that includes a cost estimate, a scheduled appointment, and follow-up appointments. Your dentist will be able to discuss the dental implant options with you and what the cost of these options is.
7. Will your dental implants last for a long time?
Like most things, the better care you take of your dental implant, the longer it will last. Dental implants of all kinds are improving. Currently, there are no time limitations on the commonly used types of dental implants.
Consulting With Your Dentist
There is much to learn about dental implants, and depending on your circumstances, you may have further inquiries. Our Surrey dentists can respond to any questions you may have about dental implants.