Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have questions about dental implants. Am I a good candidate? Is it painful? What are the costs? The following information on dental implants will help you answer some of these questions.
- What are dental implants?
- What are the benefits of dental implants?
- How successful are dental implants?
- Are dental implants better than dentures?
- How much do dental implants cost?
- Who can receive dental implants?
- Are there any age limitations?
- Is the dental implant procedure painful?
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
- How often will I need to get my implants checked?
- How can I take care of my implants?
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws that serve as anchors in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. After a few months, the jawbone fuses to the implant before an abutment or “post” is screwed into the implant. Finally, a crown that’s designed to look like a natural tooth is screwed into the abutment. Dental implants replace as many teeth as needed, from one tooth to all of the teeth in an arch.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Unlike dentures, dental implants don't slip, eliminating the need for adhesives to stay secure. They function like normal teeth, not only when you smile, but also when you eat and exercise. Additionally, they prevent loss of bone in your jaw where you're missing teeth, and don't damage any teeth surrounding the dental implant.
How successful are dental implants?
Overall, dental implants work 97% of the time. The knowledge and experience of your dentist plays a big part in the success of your own dental implants.
Are dental implants better than dentures?
Yes, dental implants are better than dentures because they don’t slip and they prevent jawbone deterioration. Once you lose a tooth, your body will start to absorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere. A dental implant is essentially a prosthetic tooth root that exerts pressure on your jawbone. This pressure stops bone loss in your jaw so you can protect your oral health and avoid facial collapse.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost varies depending on several things: the experience of your doctor, the number of teeth you need replaced, and the density and quality of your existing bone. Sometimes, it is necessary to rebuild the bone either simultaneously with implant placement or several months before the implants are placed. This will be an additional cost and may lengthen the overall treatment time. This will be discussed at the consultation appointment.
Who can receive dental implants?
Almost anyone can receive dental implants, though certain medical factors prevent some individuals from receiving them. Talk with your doctor to find out if you're a good candidate for dental implants.
Are there any age limitations?
Yes. We generally wait until young adults have completed their growth cycle. Mature adults of any age can receive dental implants.
Is the dental implant procedure painful?
No. During the surgery, there should be NO pain whatsoever. Generally, most implant procedures can be tolerated very well just with local anesthetic. However, both oral and IV sedation may be available for the apprehensive patient. Following surgery, the discomfort will be similar to that experienced after a simple tooth extraction. Pain relievers along with anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed and should keep you comfortable after surgery.
Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Many insurance plans provide partial coverage for dental implants. While coverage tends to be minimal, the investment may last a lifetime. Benefits will be discussed at the consultation appointment, along with payment options.
How often will I need to get my implants checked?
They should be examined and cleaned by a trained dental hygienist at least every 6 months.
How can I take care of my implants?
Aside from the occasional examination, proper dental hygiene goes a long way. Care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth—by brushing twice a day and flossing once daily.