Are you worried about tooth loss? You’re not alone. 69% of American adults have lost at least one tooth by age 44.
If you’re one of them, you have probably wondered about dental implants. They’re a permanent, natural-looking way to restore your lost teeth, but will the surgery be painful? What about the costs involved?
If you have dental implant questions, read on. We’ll answer the most common dental implant concerns and help you decide if dental implants are the right choice for you.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are artificial replacements for your tooth. In dental implant surgery, the dentist places a titanium screw into your jaw to replace the root of your tooth.
Later, the dentist can place an abutment (covering) on the dental implant and add a restoration (either a crown or another type of tooth replacement). This gives you a long-lasting, secure replacement tooth that stands up to chewing, brushing, and normal wear-and-tear.
Am I a Good Candidate for Implants?
Dental implants work best for individuals who:
- Are adults (whose jawbone will not continue to grow after the surgery)
- Have healthy mouth tissue
- Do not have issues with the bones of their jaw
- Have good overall health
On the other hand, you might not be a good candidate for dental implants if you have certain health conditions. These include pregnancy, receiving radiation treatment, smoking, or heavy alcohol use.
If you aren’t sure if you are a good candidate for dental implants for your missing teeth, high-quality dentures are a good alternative.
Can You Replace All Your Teeth With Dental Implants?
If you need to replace your entire set of teeth, you can choose full-mouth dental implants. Full-mouth implants can be more comfortable, more functional, and longer-lasting than dentures.
With full arch dental implants, you only need as few as four implants to replace all of your lower jaw teeth. Unlike traditional dental implants, which require several months of preparation, full-arch dental implant surgery can be performed in a single day.
Can Implants Improve My Appearance?
Implants offer a significant improvement to your appearance if you are struggling with tooth loss. In fact, one study found that over 90% of patients were completely satisfied with how their dental implants looked as well as how they worked.
Compared to dentures, dental implants look more natural. They never slip out of place so that you can speak more clearly. They are permanent, so unlike dentures, you never have to worry about being seen without your new teeth.
Will Dental Implant Surgery Be Painful?
Your dentist will use local anesthesia during your dental implant surgery. This means that you shouldn’t experience any pain, although you may feel pressure during the procedure.
After the anesthesia wears off, it’s normal to have some postoperative discomfort. This can be managed with pain medication until your implants have fully healed.
Gordon Dental offers sedation dentistry for patients who experience dental anxiety, which can help you feel more comfortable during your treatment.
What is the Healing Time for My Implants?
Most dental implant surgeries take at least three weeks to heal. You can resume eating normally after about two weeks.
However, if you have an underlying medical condition that prolongs healing time, you may wait months for your implants to heal fully.
Once your dental implant has healed, your dentist can attach the tooth restoration (or “cap”). At this point, you will have your new and improved smile.
How Will a Dental Implant Benefit My Oral Health?
Dental implants have many oral health benefits.
Broken and missing teeth are not just uncomfortable and unsightly, but risky to your health. They can allow bacteria to infect your gums and enter your bloodstream, leading to inflammation and infection. Dental implants replace broken teeth and remove these risks.
Dental implants also prevent oral bone loss. When you lose a tooth, the bone around that tooth can be damaged by chewing, pressure from other teeth, and no bone stimulation from the lost tooths root. This can cause the bone to break down and recede over time. When you replace missing teeth with dental implants, the bone stays strong and doesn’t wear away which helps maintain the health of your mouth and the shape of your face.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants varies depending on many factors such as:
- How many implants you need
- Where the implants will be located in your mouth
- How much preparatory surgical work you need before the implant surgery
Costs can vary from $1,000-$5,000 for a single dental implant. Since not every insurance company covers the cost of dental implant surgery, find a dental team that offers flexible financing options.
How Long do Implants Last?
Dental implants last longer when you take good care of them. They require the same care as regular teeth, including:
- Regular brushing
- Regular checkups
- Regular dental cleanings to rid the tooth and gum of bacteria
When cared for properly, dental implants can last from several decades up to a lifetime.
Who is Qualified to Place Implants?
If you’re seeking dental implants, look for a dentist that specializes in dental implant care. Successfully treating broken and unsightly teeth requires professional know-how and lots of experience, so be sure that your dentist is qualified and professionally experienced in placing implants. Dr. Gordon is a leader in implant dentistry and teaches other dentists across the U.S. how to place implants. You can rest assured you are in the best care when getting implants at Gordon Dental Implants and Cosmetics located in Leawood, KS.
As you look for a qualified dentist to perform your implants, be sure to look at their dental implant before-and-after gallery. This will give you a snapshot of their professional ability and the patients they have helped.
Find the Right Dental Implants For You
Dental implants are a permanent way to restore your beautiful smile, and now that you know a bit more about dental implants, you’ll be able to tell if they’re the right solution for your tooth loss.
When it’s time for you to find a dentist for your dental implant surgery, turn to Gordon Dental Implants and Cosmetics; Dr. Gordon’s team will take you through the whole dental implant process in one location with one dentist for a single price and no hidden fees.