If you are missing one or more teeth, the chances are that you may need dental implants. You may want a little background information to help you determine if it’s right for you. We’ve put together a brief list of ten questions that our patients often ask to help you know about dental implants.
1. What Are Dental Implants?
If you are missing a tooth or will have one removed, a dental implant is a replacement that is the closest to a real tooth. With an implant, you will be able to smile, laugh, eat, and do nearly everything you could do with an actual tooth. The reason these implants are so close to the real thing is that they include an embedded “root” as well as a connector and “crown” (replacement tooth.) This connection system is similar to how a real tooth works. To anyone else, your dental implant will look like a real tooth—and to you, it will act like one too.
2. Who Needs Dental Implants?
Dental implants are potentially a solution for nearly anyone who is missing one, multiple, or even a mouthful of teeth. These implants can be utilized by youth (usually age 16 or 18 or older), adults, and seniors. Only after a consultation and thorough review of your medical and dental history with your dentist will determine if dental implants are the right treatment for you.
3. How Does Placement of these Implants Work?
After you have met with a dental implant specialist to decide on the right treatment plan, there are a few steps involved with placing the implants. First, the implant “post” is put into the jawbone. It will take a bit of time, but the implant will fuse with your natural jaw to create a strong foundation for replacement teeth. The healing process may take time (usually around three months), but you will be able to proceed with everyday life during this time. Once the implant has bonded, a connector (call an abutment) is used to connect the implant to a replacement tooth. Then, a new tooth (or teeth) called crown is attached to this connector.
4. What Are Styles of Dental Implants Available?
The implant itself is usually made of titanium. The reason for this is that it has been tested and proven to be an effective replacement for the tooth root. However, there are different styles of implants utilized, depending on the shape of your mouth and other elements. Endosteal implants are the most common. These cylindrically shaped implants allow a secure connection to the jawbone. However, in some cases, Subperiosteal implants are used—usually when the jawbone will not support the traditional implant style. Both types of implants come in different sizes.
5. Why Would Implants Be Used Rather than Other Treatments?
Quite simply, implants are the best solution because they are more like real teeth than other replacements. Over time, you, as the patient, will be able to forget that you have implants. Dental implants look real, and they are designed to be a long-term solution. If you properly care for these implants, they can last a lifetime. This is in dramatic comparison to standard bridges that may only last 5 or 10 years.
6. What is Life Like After Dental Implants?
For most patients, life is much like it ever was. You can eat, smile, and do everything you would have done with your real teeth. One additional benefit is that the teeth you still have will remain healthy, and your mouth will retain its given shape. You’ll not have to worry about having your jawbone cave in or change shape. Finally, you will have to take care of your implants, but cavities will no longer be a possibility—that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about!
7. What is the Cost for Dental Implants?
This is a question that is impossible to answer. The reason for this is that no two patients are alike. The cost will depend on exactly how many teeth need to be replaced if any work must be done on the jawbone and the number of appointments required. However, in most cases, you could estimate the cost of around $3000 to $4000 per tooth. The good news is most cases. We can break down the cost in monthly payments as low as $100 to $250 per month, depending on your credit score and other factors.
8. Are Dental Implants Safe?
Ask any patient that has had implants over the last 30 years what they think! Time and time again, these implants have been proven to be a safe solution when installed by a skilled dentist in a patient that is the right candidate.
9. How Do I Care for My Implants?
Caring for implants is quite simple. The crown is bonded to the implant, and you should not have any worry about it breaking or slipping. Brush, floss, and maintain regular dental care. You and your dentist will work as a team to keep your implants looking good and feeling good.
10. Are Implants Right for Me?
You will have to discuss your situation with your dentist to find answers to this question. In a vast majority of cases, dental implants are a fantastic solution for effortless good looks and comfort. If you would like to learn more about dental implants or to schedule an appointment for a free consultation and initial X-ray, reach out to us at Houston dental implant today or call us at 713-322-7474.
We look forward to helping you with more information about dental implants.