What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are a type of restoration designed to replace both the root and the crown of your missing tooth. They consist of an implant post, typically made of titanium or another biocompatible material, and an implant restoration. Implants are surgically placed into your jawbone to replace your tooth root. After the implant post has been placed, our prosthodontist will work with you to create a custom restoration (usually a crown, bridge or denture) to be fixed atop the implant post and complete your treatment.
What is an implant-supported denture?
An implant-supported denture is a denture that is anchored in your mouth by implants. There are typically at least four implant posts placed to secure the denture, though you may receive as many as eight depending on your individual needs. Implant-supported dentures may “snap on” or be permanently fixed in your mouth.
What are the benefits of an implant?
In addition to restoring your smile and your ability to chew and speak normally, implants also promote better long-term oral health and function. When you lose a tooth, the supporting bone tissue begins to resorb and deteriorate, which affects the health and stability of the teeth in the surrounding area. Implants function just like your original tooth root, working to stimulate your supporting bone structure and keep it healthy so that your teeth remain stable in your mouth.
What needs to be done before my implant can be placed?
Before providing you with a dental implant, our prosthodontist will meet with you to thoroughly examine your mouth. During this appointment, we will discuss your medical and dental history and check to make sure that you have sufficient supporting bone structure for your implant. You may need to have a bone grafting procedure prior to your implant placement to ensure that your implant will have enough support and space to be successfully placed.
How long will my implant last?
Dental implants are designed to last for a lifetime. You can keep your dental implant in good condition by practicing good oral hygiene at home and by visiting our office regularly for preventive care. Please remember that while the implant itself may remain firmly anchored in your mouth, you may need to replace the restoration at some point in the future if it breaks or wears out.
Who is a candidate for implant dentistry?
Anyone who is missing a tooth is a candidate for implant dentistry. If you have a pre-existing dental condition, such as periodontal disease or tooth decay, or if you need to have a bone graft prior to having your implants placed, you will need to receive treatment for those issues before our prosthodontist can provide you with an implant.
What is the best way to care for my implant?
You should care for your implant the same way that you would your natural teeth — with daily flossing, brushing at least twice each day, and visiting your dentist regularly to receive dental cleanings and other professional care.
Can any dentist provide my implant?
No. Dental implants need to be placed carefully in order to ensure the best results. We recommend that you choose a dentist who has received training in implant placement. Some general dentists complete the required training to perform implant placements. Periodontists and oral surgeons also typically receive specialized training in implant dentistry.
How many appointments are needed to complete my implant treatment?
Each patient is unique, and the number of appointments needed will vary depending on the number of teeth being replaced, your oral health and medical history, the health of your supporting bone tissue, and the techniques and materials used during your procedure. Some implant treatments can be completed in just a few appointments over the span of a couple of months, while others can take up to a year. Our prosthodontist will provide you with an estimated timeline for your treatment after your consultation.
What is the success rate of dental implants?
The success of dental implants depends on your oral health and home care habits. If you are healthy and practice good oral hygiene, your dental implant will most likely be successful. General success rates for implants are about 90% to 95%.
How much will my implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies from patient to patient, depending on the condition of your mouth, whether any additional treatments are needed prior to your implant placement, the number of implants you are receiving and the type of restoration that will cap your implant. Our prosthodontist will provide you with an estimate of your treatment cost after your initial consultation. Your insurance provider may cover at least some of the cost of your implant, and we recommend that you check with your provider about your benefits.