If you're thinking about getting dental implants to replace missing teeth, you've probably got a lot of questions. But where do you start? Our dentists in North Vancouver have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from our patients. We believe client education is key to an overall effective dental experience.
What is a dental implant?
Your dental implant's artificial titanium screw and restoration (replacement tooth, denture, or bridge) are intended to replace a missing tooth. It should have the same appearance and feel like a normal tooth.
How will my oral health benefit from a dental implant?
If missing teeth are not replaced, the teeth around them may shift out of place, causing more serious dental issues. Dental implants may be able to do the following:
- Help you eat and speak more easily
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
- Improve or restore tissues in the face
A dental implant should help you improve your function and appearance, as well as your comfort. Furthermore, once you've recovered from the procedure, you'll have more confidence in your smile and won't be limited in your food choices.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implant procedures are usually one of the safest surgeries in dentistry. It is also the only restoration treatment that promotes natural bone growth beneath a missing tooth.
Does it hurt to have a dental implant placed? What is the process?
The dental implant process will usually take a few visits over several months and is performed by a dentist or periodontist.
During your first appointment, impressions (moulds) and X-Rays of the jaw and teeth will be taken to determine how much gum tissue, bone and spacing are available for a dental implant.
The area around your implant will be numbed with an anesthetic while it is surgically placed into the bone. The area must then heal and integrate with the bone, which can take up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery may be required to insert the "post" that will hold the artificial tooth in place.
Several weeks later, artificial teeth will be made to fit your mouth. This step could take up to two months to complete because several fittings may be required. After another period of healing, the dentist will attach the artificial teeth to the implant, providing stability and comfort.
How long will my dental implant take to heal?
A dental implant can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to heal, depending on your circumstances, such as whether you have any pre-existing conditions or require special procedures prior to the dental implant surgery. The bone that surrounds the implant must heal in order for it to remain in place.
How much does a dental implant cost?
The cost of your dental implant is influenced by a number of factors, including whether or not your insurance will cover all or part of the surgery and implant. Some health insurance policies completely cover the cost of an implant. Your dentist can give you a treatment plan that includes a cost estimate, appointment schedule, and follow-up appointments. Inquire about the type of implant being used and why it is the best choice for you.
How long do implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Dental implants of all kinds are improving. At the moment, there is no time limit on the lifespan of cylindrical dental implant systems.
Ask Your Dentist About Dental Implants
There is a lot to learn about dental implants, and you may have additional questions depending on your situation. Our North Vancouver dentists can answer any questions you have about dental implants.