The world of dentistry has grown to include some impressive and innovative treatments and solutions for a variety of oral health concerns. Dental implants, for example, provide you with permanent, beautiful teeth for many years to come. But what exactly is a dental implant? And how do you know if it’s right for you? We’re here with everything you need to know about dental implants, the procedure, recovery time, benefits, and how we can get you started on the road to a happier, healthier smile.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant, in its simplest form, is a replacement tooth root. Implants replace the natural root of a tooth with a strong foundation that a permanent or removable tooth is then affixed to. These artificial roots are implanted directly into the jaw, where they are able to house artificial or replacement teeth and bridges. Dental implants are a permanent solution for treating all types of tooth-loss, in a variety of people.
Procedure and Recovery
As a well-established, safe treatment option for replacing lost teeth, dental implants are common practice for dental professionals. Your dentist will perform a series of tests and exams to ensure you are the right candidate for dental implants. After creating a personalized plan for treatment, your dentist will check the condition of the jaw to ensure implants can be safely placed within a strong foundation. When it comes time for the dental implant procedure, here’s what you can expect:
- Your dentist will typically provide you with local anesthetics before beginning the procedure. Light sedatives or general anesthetics are typically only provided in cases that are much more complicated.
- Quickly and simply, your dentist places the implant within the root area of the jaw, where the missing tooth resides. As a simple procedure, implants can be placed within 1 or 2 visits. They are typically made of titanium due to the metal’s resiliency and durability, and the implant acts almost a bolt that will be used to anchor your new teeth.
After your implants are placed, you may experience some general discomfort, but that typically disappears after a few days. Your dental team will provide you with specific instructions for caring for your mouth after the procedure. Once the implant is in, your jaw will need to grow and attach to the implant. This typically takes anywhere between 2-4 months, but every case is different. When your dentist finds that the implant is stable and strong in its place, artificial teeth can be placed within the implant.
When properly cared for, dental implants can last for many years. They require regular maintenance by your dentist and routine care in your everyday life but can last at least 5 years, with some lasting a lifetime. In fact, studies show that implants have a 98% success rate at 5 years for patients all over the country. When the rare case does occur and an implant fails to work properly, it is often due to a poor foundation in the jaw or poor oral hygiene following the implant procedure
The cost of dental implants can vary greatly, depending on a variety of factors. These factors can include whether or not it is a single tooth being replaced or several, severity or length of the procedure, materials used, the type of dental insurance you have, and more. Though the cost of implants truly varies case to case, the average cost around the country is around $3,000-$4,000, per implant. While most people opt for one or a few implants, some decide on the durability of a full-mouth replacement, which can cost anywhere between $30,000-$60,000.
Who Should Consider Dental Implants
Unlike some other dental procedures, almost anyone can get a dental implant that has lost a tooth. It is best for people who have lost one or more teeth, are over the age of 18, and have a jaw that is in healthy condition. An implant may not be placed in a person’s mouth if the jaw is not thick or strong enough to support the implant. But for those with healthy immune systems and strong jaws, implants can be used to replace one tooth or your whole mouth.
At the time of the implant procedure, it is essential that your oral health is in the best shape possible and there are no other active issues looming in your teeth and gums. People with certain conditions may be ineligible for the procedure due to the risk of complications with the implants, like those with heart disease, diabetes, and some other chronic conditions.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
There are a variety of options, treatments, and procedures to treat tooth-loss. But dental implants come with a variety of great advantages, including the following:
- They are fused with the bone and therefore durable and permanent. They are also hard to damage or break after being placed.
- There is less discomfort with implants than with dentures, bridges, or other options because the implant becomes a part of you.
- They look and feel just like your natural teeth, so some may never know you’ve had dental work done.
- The procedure is generally simple and easy, with little pain and recovery time.
- Eating, chewing, and talking is possible without the pain or discomfort of dentures, bridges, crowns, etc.
- They can benefit your overall oral health. Implants do not require the treatment of any surrounding tooth or gum area, so there is little risk to any other area of your oral wellness.
- They are permanent but also convenient for those who must remove bridges or dentures from their mouths and require no extra maintenance, like glues or adhesives.
At Blue Ash Dental, we strive to provide each and every one of our patients with the best in permanent, oral health solutions. As experts in dental implants, we can help create a personalized and permanent solution for your tooth loss. For more on how dental implants could benefit you, contact our office to schedule your appointment today.