What exactly are dental implants and what can they do for me?
Implants are substitutes for teeth and they are today's best alternative to your natural teeth. They offer you a permanent or secure solution for replacing one or more teeth. They are made of bio compatible materials, just the same as hip implants or similar orthopedic devices, and function as anchors or support for traditional forms of dentistry, such as crowns, bridges or dentures. Many of our patients will tell you that implants have changed not only their smiles, their overall appearance but also even their lives! There are numerous other reasons to choose dental implants:
Aesthetically, they support teeth that look like real teeth. Functionally, dental implants feel and act like real teeth. With implants, you can eat and chew again without pain or irritation. Foods that were forbidden are now back in the diet. Implants eliminate the need for distasteful adhesives. There is no longer a need to use "glue" when your prosthesis is anchored to implants. Implants can actually improve the taste of food. With less plastic covering the roof of your mouth, you can enjoy natural flavors and sensations again. Lastly, implants can help maintain your bone structure and support your facial tissues. They can reduce or eliminate bone atrophy, which causes "shrinkage" or facial cosmetic changes.
Is the concept of dental implants a new one?
Interestingly, dental implants have been performed for thousands of years. Egyptian mummies have been found with gold wire implants in the jawbones. Pre-Columbian skeletal remains exhibit dental implants made of semiprecious stones. Recently, a Roman soldier was unearthed in Europe with an iron dental implant in his jawbone. In the Middle East, implants made of ivory have been discovered in skeletons from the Middle Ages.
Implants, as we know them today, have been in existence for at least twenty-five years. For the last ten years, however, success rates at many treatment centers are consistently over 95% with proper personal and professional care. Few forms of medical, orthopedic or dental treatment have such high success rates.
What are the benefits of Dental Implants?
Eat whatever you like! Implants improve your health with the ability to chew a wider variety of foods.Smile with confidence. Discolored or missing teeth ruin your appearance. Implant supported restorations help increase your self-esteem. People will approach you more readily. Express yourself clearly or simply be understood. Implants increase the retention and stability of your teeth. Improve your external facial structure and decrease the likelihood of continued bone loss. Your jaw and teeth will smile together.
What factors contribute to long-term success of Dental Implants?
Long-term success depends on multiple factors. Firstly, success will depend on the quality and quantity of bone. The better the bone and the more available, the greater the chance of longer-term success. Secondly, the experience and ability of the dental surgeon will be a factor. With the surgical procedure, there is no substitute for the experience and individual talent of the dentist. And finally, the quality of the restoration placed on top of the implant will play a big role in long-term success. If the design of the implant crowns or over dentures are poorly constructed, and biting forces are not balanced, even the best-placed dental implants will have a compromised survival rate.
Are there any age limitations for dental implants?
No. Any person at any age can have dental implants as long as there is enough bone available in which to place the implant.
Are implants expensive?
Initially, you might feel dental implants are expensive. However, they represent a more permanent and natural solution than dentures and partials. Thus, there is a greater initial investment. They should last for years, particularly if you have an "ideal" case. Independent surveys of implant patients show that they felt the investment was worth every penny and would do it again!
How long will it take before my implant is completely finished?
Recent advances by implant manufacturers are reducing the time for initial implant procedures. Treatment for the simple cases could take anywhere from 4-8 months, based on where the implants are placed and the type of restoration you desire. Do not compromise, because your implants and the new teeth they support should last for years.
How often do I need to have my dental implants checked?
The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist every three to four months. This hygienist should be trained in the specific procedure of maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing and flossing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
No. An effective local anesthetic and intravenous sedation (IV Sedation) is used during the surgery so that you do not have any discomfort during the placement of the implants. The mild discomfort you might experience after surgery can be controlled with medications.
When can I return to work after implant surgery?
You can go to work the next day, unless some particular surgical circumstance arises.
FAQ provided with help from www.dentalimplants.com