Are you thinking about getting dental implants? If so, then you probably have a bunch of questions regarding the treatment. Having questions about dental implants is completely normal for individuals who are considering the procedure and your dentist will likely encourage you to voice these questions, as well as any concerns you may have. In the meantime, here are the five most common questions regarding dental implants to get you started:
What do dental implants look like?
Dental implants are small, titanium screws that are implanted into the jawbone to act as artificial tooth roots. Since the implant itself is inserted in the jawbone, it will not be visible. However, the small, metal connector known as the abutment will protrude out through the gums. This piece is only visible when the dental prosthetic is not in place, otherwise it is hidden by the crown, bridge, or denture that is supported by the implant itself. After having an implant placed, the final result maintains a natural appearance and blends well with the surrounding teeth.
Who should get dental implants?
Dental implants are recommended for individuals who have one or more missing teeth. They are also recommended in cases where an individual’s natural teeth are severely damaged or decayed and are in need of an extraction. Since there are different types of prosthetics that can be used with dental implants, they can be used to replace one tooth, an entire mouthful of teeth, and everything in between. In order to be a candidate for dental implant placement, however, you will need to have enough bone mass in the jaw. In cases where you have low bone mass, your dentist may recommend supplemental procedures like a bone graft or sinus lift.
How do dental implants work?
While other tooth replacement options, such as bridges and dentures, function as tooth replacements, dental implants work as artificial tooth roots that support fake teeth. Since they are placed in the jawbone, dental implants will eventually fuse with the surrounding bone and become a strong anchor for the prosthetic. This allows for almost a complete restoration of natural chewing function that simply cannot be obtained with a bridge or denture alone. Additionally, dental implants provide the necessary stimulation to the jawbone to ensure it does not deteriorate over time like it normally would with missing teeth.
Are dental implants painful?
One of the biggest concerns people have about dental implants is the fear that they are extremely painful. Luckily, this is not the case. For starters, dental implants are placed using dental anesthetics while you are under dental sedation, so you will not feel anything during the procedure. Furthermore, the areas where dental implants are placed do not have very many nerves, meaning there is not much postoperative pain. In fact, most patients only experience minor discomfort for the first few days after their procedure and can generally manage this with over the counter pain medications.
Can dental implants be done in one day?
While this may surprise you, dental implants can be placed in a single dental appointment in one day. If you are in need of a tooth extraction, some dentists will even allow you the ability to have your implants placed during the same procedure as your extraction. Once your implants have been placed, a temporary tooth or set of teeth will be loaded onto the implants. This is known as “teeth in a day”. However, it is important to note that you will still need to heal and allow the implants to fuse with the bone before returning to your usual diet. After the implants have fused, then your dentist will place your permanent teeth.
While these are the five most commonly asked questions about dental implants, chances are you now have a variety of other questions. For this reason, it is recommended to speak with an implant dentist even if you are still undecided about dental implants. Consulting with an implant dentist will allow you to ask all your questions and get information about how dental implants will work for you. Then you will be able to make an informed decision.
Dr. Sadati possesses extensive experience in all aspects of advanced restorative dentistry, with an emphasis in cosmetic and implant dentistry. He has attained Accredited Fellow status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the most rigorous, demanding credentialing process in the world. He is the only AACD Accredited Fellow in South Florida.