Everyone deserves a million-dollar smile. If you’ve lost one or more teeth, there are a variety of tooth-replacement options available—even if you aren’t a millionaire. One of the most effective and lasting solutions is the dental implant. Still not sure what dental implants are? Take a look below at our frequently asked questions:
Q: What are dental implants?
A: Dental implants are a long-lasting tooth-replacement option. The implants act as a tooth root and are usually made of titanium, a biocompatible material used in orthopedic surgery. The titanium post is shaped like a screw and topped with an abutment to connect to the replacement tooth (crown), which is customized to match the color and shape of your natural teeth. Only you and your dentist will know your implants are not your natural teeth.
Q: What is the implant process?
A: The first step of the process is placing the implant in place where your natural tooth once grew. Once the implant has fused to your jawbone, the dentist will attach the abutment and a temporary crown. The last step is topping the implant with your customized tooth.
Q: How much will it hurt?
A: We get this question a lot, and we’re happy to report that, thanks to anesthesia and other sedation options, you won’t feel a thing during the procedure. The discomfort you may feel afterward is on par with what you may experience after a basic tooth extraction. In other words, nothing that over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen can’t fix.
Q: How long do implants last?
A: Dental implants provide full functionality and all the strength of natural teeth. In some cases, implants are even stronger, and they’ve been used successfully for over 60 years. And after decades of technological advancements and improvements in the durability of implant materials, as long as you take good care of them, they can last a lifetime! Keep in mind that the crown may need to be replaced after 10 or 15 years.
Q: How do implants compare to other options?
A: As the only dental treatment option that preserves bone mass and supports the long-term health of adjacent teeth, dental implants have much better long-term results than bridges, partials, and dentures. Plus, implants look and feel natural, and they won’t slip or click when talking or eating. They’ll boost your confidence as well as your smile. Other benefits of dental implants include strength for normal chewing, sturdy support for crowns and bridges, stimulation of bone growth, and prevention of bone loss.
Q: Who is a viable candidate for dental implants?
A: Anyone healthy enough for a tooth extraction is considered viable for dental implants, but there are certain dental or medical conditions that could complicate or prohibit the treatment. That’s why your first step in the implant process is a consultation with your dentist.
Have more questions? Call us today!
At Soft Touch Dental in San Diego, total oral health and comfort go hand-in-hand. If you have more questions about dental implants or any of the other general and cosmetic dentistry services we provide, including sedation dentistry, call and schedule a consultation today.