Dental Implant FAQ
Why should I consider dental implants?
Whether you are missing a single tooth or several, as a general statement, replacement with a dental implant is the most reliable, long term way to regain chewing ability, improve your smile, and keep teeth from shifting. While there are other ways to replace missing teeth, like bridgework that requires preparing and connecting to other teeth and removable partial dentures, which also use adjacent teeth for support, unless there are problems that preclude treatment, replacing missing teeth with implants is the best dentistry has to offer in this day and age.
How successful are dental implants?
Since the modern age of dental implants began in North America in the early 1980’s, the overall success rate for dental implants has been at and above 95%. Implants, while they don’t decay or need root canal treatment, do require maintenance, like natural teeth. But with regular dental visits, problems such as bone loss or component loosening can be found early or prevented.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
A simple answer to this question is that most people are candidates. Some patients do not have an ideal amount of bone in which to place the implant and they can be helped with grafting techniques performed either at the time of implant placement or beforehand to prepare the area. Certain medical problems may not allow dental implants to be placed but most chronic, well-controlled conditions do not pose significant problems.
Will I need temporary teeth while implants are healing?
While there are a number of situations where implants are placed and teeth put on them immediately, staged treatment, which allows the bone to heal and strengthen around the implant screw before pressure is applied, is generally our favored and more common approach. During the time of implant healing (3-6 months), several choices are available to provide temporary teeth when needed and these can be inserted immediately or very soon after surgery. Quite often, though, the missing tooth area is minimally visible and can be left as is until healing is complete.
Are implants expensive?
Implant dentistry is the best that the profession has to offer. The opportunity to have a third tooth or set of teeth with 95% success is remarkable, but not inexpensive. Many, but not all dental policies will cover the surgical placement of implants, subject to a copayment, but many exclude that service. Most insurers, though, will pay towards the tooth restoration even if they don’t cover the surgery. Unfortunately, most implant insurance benefits are limited as are yearly maximum allowances. While there are numerous companies worldwide producing a variety of implant designs at reduced cost, we have used and continue to use components from only the top manufacturers… because we believe our patients deserve the best.
What do I do if my stitches loosen or come out?
Stitches in the mouth frequently get loose and can start to come out, in some cases, soon after surgery. If a portion of the thread is dangling, it will probably come out as you begin rinsing. If a suture “tail” is irritating, it can be carefully snipped with a small scissor. Provided there is no excessive bleeding, losing a suture should not affect the healing. Certainly, if there is any concern, call us to schedule a check-up.