Dental implants are a great option for patients who want a long-term solution to replace missing teeth. While these artificial tooth roots are one of the best ways to restore smiles, many patients still have questions about the procedure. Our team of Dallas dentists is here to help you learn more about dental implants so you can make an informed decision about your smile.
Want to talk to our team directly? Schedule a dental implant consultation with Drs. Mihir Patel and Shaun Sigurdson at Lakewood Dental Group in Dallas, TX. Get started by calling (214) 827-1885 now!
In today’s blog post, our team addresses 20 of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants. Our goal is to demystify the process and provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for your smile.
What are dental implants?
Simply put, dental implants are artificial tooth roots. Typically, they look like little, titanium screws. Dentists can insert these screw-like posts directly into the jawbone, where they fuse with the bone tissue during the healing process.
Once fully healed, these artificial tooth roots can host a custom-made restoration, like a crown, bridge, or even a full set of dentures. The result is a completely restored smile that looks as great as it feels.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Most individuals with good oral and overall health are candidates for dental implants. However, a thorough examination by a dentist or oral surgeon is necessary to determine eligibility. Always consult a skilled dental professional before proceeding with dental implant surgery.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are supposed to last an entire lifetime. Indeed, most patients report continued success with their dental implants, even after several decades. Regular dental check-ups, sufficient oral hygiene practices, and a healthy lifestyle contribute to their long-term success.
Is the implantation procedure painful?
Dental professionals perform the implantation procedure on patients using local anesthesia, which ensures a pain-free and comfortable experience. However, some pain after the procedure is common. Luckily, patients can easily manage discomfort with either over-the-counter or prescribed medications.
How long does the dental implant process take?
From start to finish, most patients can expect the entire process to take several months. Factors such as healing time, bone integration, and the type of restoration needed influence the overall timeline.
Are there any risks associated with dental implants?
While complications are fairly rare, risks may include:
- Implant failure
- Nerve damage
Choosing a skilled and experienced dental professional minimizes these risks.
Can cigarette smokers get dental implants?
The research is conclusive – smoking is harmful to our health. And when paired with new dental implants, smoking can lead to disaster.
Smoking can increase the risk of issues and complications, including implant failure. However, with proper oral care and cessation of smoking before and after the procedure, individuals who smoke can still be candidates for dental implants.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies based on factors such as location, the number of implants needed, and the type of restoration. Generally, implants are an investment in long-term oral health.
Does insurance cover dental implants?
It depends. Some insurance plans do not cover implants at all while others may partially or fully cover the procedure. Therefore, it is essential to check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage.
What is the success rate of dental implants?
One of the major perks of dental implants is their success rate. Indeed, studies indicate remarkable success rates of 95% or higher, even decades after the procedure. Proper patient selection, skilled professionals, and adherence to postoperative care contribute to this success.
Can seniors get dental implants?
Age is not a strict barrier to getting dental implants. As long as seniors are relatively healthy and have enough bone density, they can be candidates for the procedure.
How do I care for dental implants?
Dental implants and their accompanying restorations are, basically, just like natural teeth. This means that regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are key to keeping them healthy and strong. Additionally, avoiding smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle further contribute to implant success.
Can dental implants replace several missing teeth?
Yes, patients can use dental implants to replace single, multiple, or even all missing teeth. Various implant-supported restoration options (such as bridges and dentures) cater to different needs.
Is bone grafting always necessary for dental implants?
Bone grafting (a preparatory procedure to build up weakened jawbones) may be necessary before implant surgery. However, it isn’t always required. Luckily, advanced imaging helps our dentists determine the need for bone grafts during the treatment planning phase.
How long is the healing process after implant surgery?
Healing times vary from patient to patient. However, patients often need three to six months for proper osseointegration. The osseointegration process (during which the implant fuses with the bone) is crucial for the long-term success of the implant.
Can dental implants fail?
While rare, implant failure can occur. Usually, it happens due to factors like infection, poor bone integration, or improper placement. Following postoperative care instructions and regular check-ups reduce the risk of failure.
Can I eat normally with dental implants?
Dental implants offer unsurpassed stability, which means that patients can eat a wide range of foods without many restrictions. However, our Dallas dentists recommend avoiding excessively hard or sticky foods to prevent damage to the implant or restoration.
What is the All-on-4® dental implant technique?
The All-on-4 technique involves placing four implants into the jawbone strategically to support a full arch of teeth. This approach reduces the need for extensive surgery and accelerates the treatment process.
Are there alternatives to dental implants?
Yes, common alternatives may include traditional bridges or dentures. However, these may not offer the same stability and longevity as implants.
Can I get dental implants if I have gum disease?
It is important to treat and control gum disease before implant surgery. Once gum disease is under control, then patients can move forward with treatment planning.
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation in Dallas, TX
If you have further questions or are contemplating dental implants, consult the team at Lakewood Dental Group. You can request an appointment online, or you can call Dr. Shaun Sigurdson and Dr. Mihir Patel at (214) 827-1885.