You probably have a lot of questions if you're thinking about getting dental implants to replace missing teeth. But where do you start? Our dentists in Richmond have compiled a list of the top seven frequently asked questions by our patients. We believe this is a great place to start when communicating with your dental team.
What is a dental implant?
The artificial titanium screw and restoration (replacement tooth, denture or bridge) that make up your dental implant are designed to take the place of a missing tooth. It should look and feel just like a normal tooth.
How will my oral health benefit from a dental implant?
Replacing missing teeth is one of our top priorities when it comes to maintaining oral health. If missing teeth are not replaced, the teeth around them may begin to shift out of place, resulting in more serious dental problems. With effective and long-lasting implants, we can do the following:
- Help you eat and speak more easily
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
- Improve or restore tissues in the face
A dental implant should improve your function and appearance while also providing you with greater comfort. Furthermore, once you have recovered from the procedure, you should regain confidence in your smile and will not be limited in what you can eat.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implant procedures are usually one of the safest surgeries in dentistry. It is also the only restoration treatment that promotes natural bone growth beneath a missing tooth.
Does it hurt to have a dental implant placed? What is the process?
The dental implant process will take a few visits over several months and is performed by a dentist or periodontist.
During your first appointment, impressions (moulds) and X-Rays of the jaw and teeth will be taken to determine how much gum tissue, bone and spacing are available for a dental implant.
While your implant is surgically placed into the bone, the area around it will be numbed with an anesthetic. With every dental treatment, we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible. Following that, the area must heal and integrate with the bone, which can take up to 6 months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery to insert the "post" that will hold the artificial tooth in place may be required.
Several weeks later, artificial teeth will be made to fit your mouth. This step could take up to two months to complete because several fittings may be required. After another period of healing, the dentist will attach the artificial teeth to the implant, providing stability and comfort.
How long will my dental implant take to heal?
Depending on your circumstances, such as whether you have any pre-existing conditions or require special procedures before the dental implant surgery, a dental implant can take between 2 and 9 months to heal. For the implant to be secure in place, the bone surrounding it must heal.
How much does a dental implant cost?
A variety of factors will influence the cost of your dental implant, including whether or not your insurance will cover all or part of the surgery and implant itself. Some health insurance policies will not cover any portion of the cost of an implant. Your dentist can provide you with a treatment plan that includes an estimated cost as well as an outline of appointment times and follow-up appointments. Inquire about the type of implant that will be used and why it is the best option for your specific needs.
How long do implants last?
Dental implants can last for decades if properly cared for. All types of dental implants are improving. At the moment, there is no time limit on the life expectancy of cylindrical dental implant systems.
Ask Your Dentist About Dental Implants
There is a lot to learn about dental implants, and depending on your specific situation, you may have additional questions. Our dentists in Richmond are always available to answer any questions you have about dental implants or upcoming procedures.