The research says that 69% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have lost a tooth. Whether that tooth was lost to periodontal disease, tooth decay, or a traumatic injury, that percentage is staggering. It also means you're not alone.
If you suspect you need a dental implant procedure or you've talked to your dentist about having one, you probably have a lot of questions about dental implants. Luckily, plenty of people have gone before you and have learned the necessary questions to ask before the procedure.
Here are the most important questions for you to talk to your dentist about if you are planning to receive dental implants.
1. What Are The Types Of Implants?
There are a few types of dental implants to cover a variety of issues. They include:
- Fixed bridge
- Partial crown or cap
- Partial denture
- Full denture
These are cosmetic prostheses attached to a titanium rod that the dentist inserts into your jaw. The rod serves as the roots of your teeth and is referred to as the implant.
Your implant can either be endosteal which attaches directly to the jaw bone or subperiosteal which sits atop the jaw and is attached to the gum. Subperiosteal is typically for people without much bone height.
Once your implant is in, the dentist then attaches an abutment to the rod to position the artificial tooth onto.
2. Who Should Get A Dental Implant?
People who should get dental implants are:
- missing teeth
- unable to wear dentures to cover missing teeth
- prefer a more permanent solution to missing teeth than dentures
- have substantial damage to a tooth that requires extraction
Even if you have these conditions you may be ineligible to receive implants if:
- your jawbone isn't fully grown
- you have other oral health issues
- have a bone condition that would impair healing
- are a smoker
3. What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
The benefits of dental implants include greater comfort and aesthetic perks.
After healing from your implant procedure it will be easier to eat and speak, and you'll no longer be distracted by pain and discomfort in your mouth while doing the things you love.
You also may feel more confident in your appearance, and you won't have to worry about the root decaying again because now it's titanium.
4. Are Dental Implants Noticeable?
Modern dentistry has come so far that it's nearly impossible to detect a dental implant by sight. The prosthetic tooth will be specially made to match the exact color of your real teeth.
The only way to tell the difference is with a radiograph.
Your dentist will also fit the tooth to feel natural with your other teeth so that you won't even be able to feel a difference.
Your dentist may have examples of their previous work to show you if you are nervous about your implants being noticeable.
5. How Long After Extraction Do You Put In the Implant?
The implant procedure technically takes place in two parts. Typically, two separate appointments are needed for the full procedure.
The first appointment is for the extraction of the damaged tooth. After the initial procedure, you'll need time to heal before getting your implant. During this healing process, you may have a temporary crown to cover to compromised tooth and gum.
The total process can take between three and nine months. After your extraction, ask your dentist when your next appointment will be.
6. Is A Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
You will likely not feel any pain during the procedure because the dentist will either use a local anesthetic or general anesthesia for the duration.
Pain following the procedure can usually be handled with over-the-counter medication such as Advil and Tylenol. If the pain is likely to be more significant, your dentist may prescribe something stronger.
7. What Can I Eat After The Procedure?
For the first two days after a procedure, you may experience some soreness. You'll also want to keep the new tooth stress-free and clean.
For that reason, you should stick to soft foods that don't require any chewing such as mashed potatoes, ice cream, yogurt, and refried beans.
On the third day, you can graduate to foods that require only a little bit of gentle chewing such as pasta, eggs, soft sandwiches, and rice.
Pay attention to your own comfort to determine how long you should avoid hard foods and excessive chewing.
8. Can A Dental Implant Be Rejected?
Very few patients experience an implant rejection after the procedure. The rare cases that do usually have an allergic reaction to the titanium alloy or don't perform proper aftercare and hygiene.
9. How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Most dental implants, given the proper care, will last at least forty years. Patients who keep up their dental health by brushing, flossing, and having regular dental checkups will find that their implants last the rest of their lifetime.
Your dentist will give you specific hygiene instructions based on your dental history and genetic background. While there's no guarantee that your implants will last the rest of your life, these guidelines will greatly increase your chances.
10. How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Previously, it was very rare that dental insurance covered the cost of implants. Fortunately, more and more insurance companies are adding implants to your plan, but you may be able to afford implants even without a plan that covers them.
Call your insurance provider to find out if they cover the implants themselves or just the prosthetic teeth that your dentist will use to cover the implant.
To determine the full cost of your implants, your dentist will assess the quality of your jaw bone, the number of teeth and implants you'll need, and the materials he uses.
These will all contribute to your cost, and your dentist will be able to give you a price range.
Your Questions About Dental Implants Answered
You should feel more confident going into your dental implant consultation. Ask your dentist to elaborate on these answers and be sure to ask them any other questions about dental implants you may have.
If you'd like to make an appointment for a consultation or direct any further questions about improving your dental health to a dentist, contact us here.