Dental Implants: Frequently Asked Questions
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are tiny titanium screws. After a thorough oral health exam and strategic treatment planning, your implant or implants will be surgically placed into a healthy root socket in your jaw. Over time the implant will fuse with your jaw creating a permanently stable and secure base for a dental restoration. Once healed, your implant will be capped with a custom-designed restoration for a natural-looking and comfortable prosthetic tooth.
Is it medically necessary to replace a missing tooth?
A missing tooth doesn’t just affect your self-esteem; it also affects your oral health, which can lead to issues with your overall health. If a gap is present anywhere along the arch, the remaining teeth will begin to shift towards the gap. This leads to painful TMJ complications and can cause issues with chewing food and speaking. Also, people with missing teeth may have complications keeping their teeth and gums properly clean. This can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath.
How many teeth can dental implants replace?
We can use dental implants to replace one tooth, multiple teeth, or a full set of teeth. An implant-supported dental crown can replace one tooth, while an implant-supported denture can replace the entire top or bottom arch. We can replace several consecutive missing teeth with an implant-supported dental bridge.
To learn which type of implant restoration will work for you, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stevens at his Greenwood, IN family dentist office. Here, he will examine your teeth and oral health to devise a solution customized to your unique needs.
Why are dental implants the best solution for tooth replacement?
A dental implant-supported restoration is the only available solution that replaces the tooth at the root. This effectively prevents bone loss in the jaw. Bone loss in the jaw can alter your facial features causing your mouth to sink into your face, your chin to look more pointed, and wrinkles to appear.
People who choose traditional dentures and bridges will have to deal with the consequences of bone atrophy. Dentures also cause slurred speech and embarrassing moments when they slip around in the mouth or even fall out. Dental bridges require the neighboring teeth to be permanently reduced, damaging them. A dental implant-supported restoration is the next best option for natural teeth.
Are they safe?
Yes, they have been around for many years and have only improved as dental technology advances. Placing dental implants into the jaw bone is now a fairly routine procedure and yields a 95% or higher success rate. The implant posts are made out of the biocompatible material titanium. The human bone tissue will grow around the titanium implant and fuse to it.
Are there any downsides?
The time involved in completing the dental implant process is fairly long, especially compared to other solutions like dentures and dental bridges. The difference is several months versus several weeks. Exactly how many months your case will take depends on many factors discussed at your consultation with Dr. Stevens at his Greenwood, IN family dentist office.
Also, you should expect to pay more for implants. However, dental implants may save you money in the long run. Fixing, replacing, and general maintenance for dentures and bridges may exceed the cost of an implant-supported restoration over the years. Implants are an investment in your health and offer a much higher quality of life, and it’s hard to put a price tag on that.
How much do dental implants cost?
It is difficult to estimate, especially since the cost can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Many factors go into the cost of implants, such as the number of teeth missing, the types of implants used, the location of the missing teeth, whether or not pre-treatments are necessary, and the current state of your oral health. The best thing to do is schedule a consultation with Dr. Stevens, where he can take a look at your case, figure out what you need, and our helpful team can give an estimate of your treatment.
What is the success rate of a dental implant?
Dental implants are almost 98% successful in maintaining tooth function. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. Dental Implants require healthy bone and gum tissue to remain stable, so proper oral hygiene is key in maintaining your dental implant. Brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings can help keep your dental implants and natural teeth healthy for years to come.