You just returned from a visit to your family dentist, and he told you what you already knew: “You need a tooth replacement.” But what does that mean? If you’re considering a dental implant procedure, you probably have some questions, so let’s take a look! Here are some questions that patients often have before, during, and after a dental implant procedure.
First and Foremost, What Is a Dental Implant?
Some people may think the dental implant is an artificial tooth, but technically, a dental implant is a metal, screw-like post that takes the place of the missing or damaged tooth’s root. The implant fuses with the jawbone, providing support and structure to hold the artificial tooth that is later attached to the implant.
Why Should I Have a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are the most natural-like and long-lasting type of tooth replacement. They maintain the integrity of the jaw and mouth structure. Implants are much more comfortable than other forms of tooth replacement, like dentures or bridges.
Am I a Good Candidate for a Dental Implant?
Most patients are good candidates for dental implants, though some may need a bone graft to make their jaw strong enough to support the implant. Some other considerations are:
- Do you have healthy gums and teeth?
- Are you in good overall health?
- Do your dentures or bridges need to be replaced or do they affect your quality of life in a negative way?
- Do you have one or more missing teeth or a tooth that needs to be pulled?
- Have your jaws reached full growth? The American Academy of Implant Dentistry states that this occurs around 16 years of age for girls and around 18 years of age for boys.
What Is the Procedure Like?
This is a fairly intense procedure and can take a few months, especially if a bone graft is necessary. If you do need a bone graft, that is the rst procedure, and it takes a few months to heal afterward. After that, the dental implant is placed in the jawbone and is given time to fuse with the jaw. The next step is attaching the abutment and the new tooth to the implant and letting it heal.
Will It Be Done in a Hospital?
No, this is all done in the dentist or implant specialist’s once. You may be sedated and will need to take it easy for the rest of the day, but it is not a long appointment.
How Long Will My Dental Implant Last? Will I Have to Have It Redone Periodically?
The beauty of a dental implant is that if done right, it should last a lifetime. You will not need to have it touched up or redone. Your dentist will explain the care immediately following and if any special care needs to be taken afterward. Basically, your implant and the artificial tooth will be just like your natural teeth.
If you would like to learn about dental implants, our experienced, caring sta and dentists at Watkin Dental Associates would be happy to speak with you. Please call us to schedule a visit or talk to us about implants or any other dental needs. We are here to help.