Are you considering dental implants to replace missing teeth? If so, you may have many questions, but where should you start? Our dentists in Delta BC list some of the most popular questions we receive from patients.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is made up of an artificial titanium screw and restoration (crown, bridge or denture) and is designed to replace a missing tooth. It looks and feels similar to a normal tooth.
How will a dental implant benefit my oral health?
When it comes to preserving oral health, replacing missing teeth is one of our highest priorities. Not replacing missing teeth can lead to misalignment in surrounding teeth and more serious dental issues as a result. With long-lasting, effective implants, we can:
- Improve or restore facial tissues
- Help you speak and eat more easily
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
In addition to improved appearance and function, a dental implant can also help you feel more comfortable. An implant can also help you regain confidence in your smile and enjoy your favourite foods again after you recover from the procedure.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implant procedures are the only restoration treatment that promotes natural bone growth beneath a missing tooth. They are one of the safest surgeries in dentistry.
How long do implants last?
If cared for appropriately, dental implants can last decades. All types of dental implants continue to improve. There is currently no time limit of the life expectancy for cylindrical dental implant systems.
Does it hurt to have a dental implant placed? What is the process?
The placement process takes a few visits over several months and can be performed by a dentist or periodontist.
At your first appointment, molds (impressions) and X-rays of the jaw and teeth are taken to find out how much gum tissue, bone and spacing will be available for the dental implant.
The area will be numbed with anesthetic and the dental implant will be surgically placed into the bone. The goal with every dental treatment is to have our patients experience as little discomfort as possible. This area will require time to heal and integrate with the bone, which may take up to 6 months.
A second surgery may be needed to place the "post" that will hold the artificial tooth in place, depending on the type of implant used.
Several weeks later, artificial teeth will be constructed to fir your mouth. This step can take up to 2 months to complete since a number of fittings may be needed. After another recovery period, the dentist will securely attach the artificial teeth to the implant, giving you excellent stability and comfort.
How long will my dental implant take to heal?
Your individual circumstances factor into your healing process. If you have any pre-existing conditions or need to have special procedures before your dental implant surgery, your process might be a little longer. A dental implant can take between 2 and 9 months to heal. The bone around your implant will need time to heal for the implant to rest securely in place.
How much does a dental implant cost?
Many factors will determine the cost of your dental implant, such as whether all or part of the surgery and implant will be covered by your insurance. Some medical insurance plans will not cover any part of the cost of a dental implant. Your dentist will be able to provide you with a treatment plan, including an outline of appointment schedules and follow-up checkups, and a cost estimate. Also, ask about the type of implant to be used and why it is the best option for your needs.
Curious about dental implants and how you can benefit from this treatment? Contact our Delta dentist today to book a consultation to receive personalized advice.