Dental Implants Q and A
Dental implants have become a mainstay in modern implant dentistry. They give the dentist the ability to restore and enhance smiles in a very esthetic and functional way. Implants have also proven to be over 98% successful, along with outstanding longevity with proper care. A well-informed patient is the best type of patient. When going for a dental implant consultation, you should be armed with some knowledge to understand the process and ask critical questions before undergoing treatment. A well qualified, experienced implant dentist will be happy to explain the entire process. Below is a list of questions to get you ready for your consultation.
-What Are Dental Implants?
Dental Implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium that a dentist, periodontist, or oral surgeon inserts into your jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or replace missing teeth (bridge). Implants are the perfect option for people with good oral health maintenance who are missing one tooth or multiple teeth due to periodontal disease, via trauma, or some other reason. Dental Implants use the most modern materials that dentistry has to offer.
Decades of research have gone into the dental implants in use today. Dental implants are much more tooth-friendly than traditional bridgework. Implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, nor do the neighboring teeth need to be prepared to be part of the bridgework. With optimal conditions and in the hands of a skilled implant dentist, dental implants can look as natural as the teeth you were given at birth.
–Are Dental Implants Safe?
Yes. The technology used in implants has been under research for many decades. The material is compatible with our oral tissues. The success rate is approaching 100 % when done by a highly qualified, experienced dentist. Once the dental implants integrate properly in the bone, success rate skyrockets.
-I Have Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease). Can I Get Dental Implants?
A patient with active ongoing periodontal disease is not a candidate in that state of oral health. To become a candidate with a high probability of long-term success, a patient must undergo additional procedures to ready their smile for placement of dental implants. The only form of gum disease that is reversible is the earliest stage of the disease, Gingivitis. Additional procedures will be needed to restore oral health. Gum disease treatment can include scaling and root planing, use of arestin, and increased at-home dental hygiene maintenance. A mouth free of active disease will give you the best chance of long-term dental implants success.
-Who Are Good Candidates For Dental Implants?
To be a good candidate for implants, you need to have and maintain good oral and general overall health. You also need to have adequate bone in your jaw to support the dental implant, be free of active gum disease, and have healthy gum tissues.
You may be a good candidate for dental implants if you:
- One or more missing teeth
- Adequate bone for securing the dental implant or can receive a dental bone graft
- Have healthy gum and bone tissues
- Are unwilling or unable to wear removable dentures
- Do not have a medical condition that would affect bone healing (for example, uncontrolled diabetes)
- Would like to improve your speech
- Willing to commit a few months to the dental implants process
- Do not smoke or are ready to quit
-Are All Dental Implants The Same?
No. It is essential to ask the brand of the implant preferred by the dentist. There are a few leading companies that are on the cutting edge in technology. These include Nobel Biocare and Straumann. These two companies are considered the best in the business. Beware of cheaper knock-off brands that are not made to the exact tolerances and will give poorer results. Ask before and be sure to get the highest quality for the best success!
-Will My New Implants Last Forever?
Most dental implants will last as long as you can take care of them properly. Dental implant maintenance will include regular dental visits to see both the dentist and hygienist. It will also have an at-home diligent dental hygiene regimen, including brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. If for some reason, your gum disease returns due to a lack of care on your part, the possibility of dental implant failure will increase as the disease state progresses.
It is important to remember, periodontal disease is progressive if left unchecked. Periodontal disease will cause the bone and gum tissue surrounding your implants to break down. The disease progression, in turn, will cause the implant to lose its integration with the bone, which is necessary to function correctly.
-Is Implant Surgery Painful?
While discomfort can vary from person to person, most patients report that getting their implant was much less uncomfortable than anticipated. During the surgical implant procedure, the dentist will give you an anesthetic, so you should feel minimal discomfort, if any. Some patients prefer not to be awake during dental implant surgery, which is a possibility for you.
They’ll use gentle techniques, and since the environment they’re working in is clean, there’s little risk of infection. If you follow the dentist’s post-operative instructions and take the prescribed antibiotics, you should experience minimal discomfort. Your dentist will likely prescribe you pain medication as well, but many individuals do not need them.
-Can My Dental Implants Be Removed?
Yes. In the event of a dental implant failure, the dentist can remove the implant. If an implant fails to integrate into bone following surgery, it will need to be removed, and the cause of the failure needs to be determined. The most common reason for dental implant failure is infection. If an infection occurs in the area of a dental implant, it will likely cause loss of your implant. Again it is essential to consult a well-trained implant dentist to determine if you are an ideal long-term candidate for implants.
-Will My Dental Insurance Cover Implants?
It depends on the type of insurance plan you have. Every program offers different coverage. Choosing your plan wisely and calling in advance to ensure proper coverage is crucial, so there are no surprise bills.
–How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
Implant cost is a complicated question since every patient will require different needs. A thorough dental examination will allow your dentist to learn more about your specific needs to gain an accurate answer. Only with a complete review can your dentist give you a more precise assessment of the possible costs of your implants procedure.
The cost of implant treatment will include the following various individual factors:
- The amount, quality, and location of bone
- The number of implants you will need to support the teeth
- The number of teeth that need replacing
- The type of artificial teeth the dentist will use
- The types of dental implants used
All of these factors should be discussed with your dentist at your dental implant consultation visit.
When Is Bone Grafting Required?
If there is a lack of bone density or too soft, you may need bone grafting before receiving your new dental implants. This is because of the powerful chewing forces your mouth exerts on your bone. If the bone did not support the implant, the surgery likely would end up as a failure. A bone graft can create a solid base for the new implants.
Your dentist can use several different bone graft materials to rebuild a weak jawbone. Options may include a natural bone graft from a different location in your body or a synthetic bone graft, such as bone-substitute material that can support new bone growth structures. Talk to your dentist about the various options that will work best for you.
It can take up to a few months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support a dental implant. Only minor bone grafting may be needed in some cases, which can be done simultaneously as implant surgery—the condition of how your jawbone presents determines how your dentist will proceed.
-How Long Does The Implant Process Take?
Once the dental implant placement occurs, it generally takes between 4 and 6 months for complete healing to occur. This is the time it takes for the implant to intimately connect with the surrounding bone. There will be some variability between patients, of course. Once the healing of the implant occurs in its proper position, your dentist will be ready for the placement of a customized dental crown. The new dental crown can be attached in two ways, either placed onto the implant using a special screw or placed with dental cement.
-How Do I Care For My New Dental Implants?
You will treat your implants just like your natural teeth. Implant maintenance will include regular brushing and flossing at home, along with routine visits to the dentist. Dental hygiene appointments may occur more frequently going forward to maintain proper health surrounding your new dental implants.
What follow-up care is necessary after getting a dental implant?
- Dental implants are at risk of developing a condition called “peri-implantitis,” equivalent to gum disease for natural teeth. This inflammation refers to the gum tissue and bone surrounding the dental implant.
- The inflammation of the gum and bone tissues is often due to excessive biting forces on the implant or a dental infection.
- Peri-implantitis can lead to the loss of an implant if left untreated.
- After getting a dental implant, routine dental hygiene care at home and follow-up at the dental office are essential in avoiding this condition and possible loss of the implant.
- Good oral hygiene for a dental implant at home involves regular brushing, rinsing, and flossing to keep food debris and plaque away.
- Your dentist will examine the surrounding soft, and hard tissues in the dental office, and special tools are used to remove harder calcified deposits around the dental implant.
- If needed, the bite is adjusted to ensure that the implant does not sustain heavy biting forces.
Dental implants are highly successful but come with possible challenges. It is best to stay informed and updated so there are no surprises during or after treatment. If placed and cared for properly, dental implants should give you a lifetime of smiles!!
If you are ready to replace lost or missing teeth with dental implants in Las Vegas, contact Marielaina Perrone DDS at (702) 458-2929 to schedule a no-cost dental implant consultation appointment. We cannot wait to help you with your smile makeover to create the smile of your dreams in Henderson, Las Vegas, and Summerlin, NV.