Are you thinking about getting dental implants to replace missing teeth? If so, you might have many questions. Our dentist in Surrey shares the top questions we receive from many of our patients. You can use these to start a dialogue with your dental team.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is made up of an artificial titanium screw and restoration (bridge, denture or replacement tooth). These are designed to replace a missing tooth, which should look and function similar to your normal teeth.
How will a dental implant benefit my oral health?
When it comes to preserving your oral health, replacing missing teeth will be one of your dentist's highest priorities. This is because missing teeth can cause surrounding teeth to shift out of place, resulting in more serious dental problems. With effective and long-lasting dental implants, we'll be able to:
- Help restore or improve facial tissue
- Help you speak and eat more asily
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
In addition to improved function and appearance, you may also feel more comfortable with a dental implant and potentially regain confidence in your smile. Plus, you won't be limited in what you can eat after recovering from the procedure.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implant procedures are one of the safest surgeries dental patients can have. It's also the only restoration treatment that encourages natural bone growth beneath a missing tooth.
What is the dental implant placement process? Does it hurt?
It typically takes a few visits over several months for a dentist or periodontist to put your dental implant in place.
At your initial appointment, molds or impressions will be taken, along with X-Rays of the teeth and jaws to see how much gum tissue, bone and spacing are available in your mouth for a dental implant.
While your implant is surgically placed in the bone, this area will be numbed with anesthetic. With every dental treatment, our goal is to have patients endure little to no discomfort. The area where the implant is placed will require time to heal and integrate with the bone. This can take up to 6 months. A second surgery may be needed so the "post" that holds the artificial tooth can be placed (this depends on the type of implant you're receiving).
A number of weeks later, artificial teeth will be constructed to fit your mouth. This step can take up to two months to complete as a few fittings may be needed. Following another healing period, the dentist will attach the artificial tooth securely to the implant, leaving you with comfort and stability.
How long will my dental implant take to heal?
Depending on your specific circumstances, such as whether you require special procedures before dental implant surgery or have pre-existing conditions, a dental implant can take between 2 and 9 months to heal. The bone around your implant will also need time to heal so the implant will have a secure foundation.
How much does a dental implant cost?
There are also many factors that go into the cost of a dental implant. including whether your insurance will cover all or a portion of the surgery and implant itself. While some medical insurance plans will not cover any of the cost of an implant, others will offer varying coverage. You'll receive a treatment plan from your dentist, including a cost estimate, outline of appointment schedules and follow-up checkups. Also ask about the type of implant that will be used and why it is the best option for your needs.
How long do implants last?
If it's cared for properly, a dental implant can last decades. The technology and material in all types of dental implants continues to improve. Currently, with cylindrical dental implant systems there is no time limit of life expectancy.
Ask Your Dentist About Dental Implants
Do you have more questions about dental implants specific to your circumstances? Our Surrey dentist is always happy to address any questions you may have about dental implants or upcoming procedures.