What are dental implants?
Dental implants allow the dentist to affix a crown (false tooth) to a post that has been surgically implanted in the bone below the gum line. Not long ago the only viable option for replacing a lost tooth was to build a “bridge” of several teeth anchored by healthy teeth on either end. Unfortunately, this required destroying the tooth structure of these healthy teeth to attach the bridge.
Dental implants have improved and evolved rapidly over the past few years. Initially they were considered experimental treatment in dentistry, but now they are considered the standard of care and preferred treatment for missing teeth.
There are two phases of Implant Treatment.
You will be referred to an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist for placement of the implant post(s). After a healing period your Cosmetic Dentist will take mouth impressions and prepare an Implant Crown for placement on the post.
Are you a candidate for Implants?
Candidates for Dental Implants must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. A thorough evaluation by your dentist will help determine whether you are a good candidate.
Age is not a deterrent to successful Implant Treatment. Overall health is a more important determining factor. It is quite possible that a healthy older patient may be a better candidate than a young person with complicating medical issues.
What are the advantages of Dental Implants?
Esthetic Implants feel and look like your natural teeth. When properly maintained they can often last for a lifetime.
Adjacent Teeth – With a conventional bridge, adjacent teeth must take the chewing load for teeth covering a gap. In addition, tooth material from the adjacent teeth must be removed in order to anchor the bridge. With Dental Implants there is no impact on the adjacent teeth.
Bone Resorbtion – Dental implants help preserve the function and quality of alveolar bone in the jaw. Bone subjected to normal chewing loads tends to remain healthy and functional. With conventional bridges there is no bone load beneath the replaced teeth so bone atrophy often results.
What can Dental Implants Accomplish?
1. Replace lost teeth with no impact on adjoining teeth.
2. Provide secure support for a full or partial denture.
3. Provide support for a bridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Dental Insurance cover Dental Implants?
Insurance companies are increasingly covering both the surgical and prosthetic phases of the procedure. We would be happy to check with your insurance company to determine your coverage.
2. Is the surgical procedure painful?
The surgical procedure is painless when a local anesthetic is used in combination with sedation. Post-surgical pain can vary but most individuals report only mild discomfort.
3. What is the success rate for Dental Implants?
Information from a variety of sources indicates that the success rate is currently between 92% and 98%. Success rates are impacted by patient health and proper care by the patient.
4. How many implants will I need?
Your dentist will determine how many implants are needed based on a variety of factors including your health, bone condition, and economic considerations. It is generally best to replace each missing tooth with one implant but this is not always possible.
5. Are Dental Implants Cost Effective?
According to one study of 350 patients who had Dental Implants, they felt it was worth the cost and would do it all over again. They reported that the benefit of having their chewing restored was an important factor to them. The cost of conventional bridges and their associated maintenance makes Dental Implants a good value, particularly since they can last a lifetime.