What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is treatment used to replace any number of missing teeth. A number of implant fixtures are placed in the jaw bone and used to support a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture. Dental implants are the only missing teeth solution that replaces teeth at the root.
What do I need to know before getting dental implants?
The important things you need to know about choosing teeth implants is the cost and time involved. They are more expensive compared to other missing teeth treatments and the complete process time is much longer. Dentures and bridges can be fitted and fabricated in about a month while the entire dental implant process can take up to a year. You will also need to undergo at least one surgery to place the implants in the jaw bone. Lastly, you need to be committed to a lifetime of proper oral hygiene. Dental implants require a healthy environment to thrive. If you do not take care of your oral health, there is a chance your implants will fail.
Can I get dental implants if I smoke?
Dr. Patel strongly discourages smoking during dental implant treatment. Patients that use tobacco are already at a higher risk for gum disease and receding gums. Once the implant fixtures are placed in the jaw bone, they need a healthy environment to properly heal and fuse with the surrounding bone. Smoking will actually increase your implant failure rate. If your implants fail, they will need to be removed and there is no guarantee your dentist can place them again.
Does getting dental implants hurt?
There is some level of discomfort involved in getting dental implants however most people over estimate how badly it will hurt. Anesthetic will be used to make sure you are comfortable. After the implant fixtures are surgically placed, you will experience some swelling and minor pain however, it can be managed with some over the counter pain medication.
Do dental implants require special care?
All you need to do is practice good oral hygiene and take care of your dental restoration. There really is no vigorous care that is required. Visit our Fullerton, CA dentist office twice a year, brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day and your implants should last a lifetime.
Who qualifies for dental implants?
Almost anyone can get dental implants as long as they are done maturing, typically by age 18. However, to qualify for implants you must be healthy and have sufficient bone structure to support the implants. Dr. Patel my recommend a bone graft for those who suffer from bone loss. Age is typically not a deterrent, just overall health.
What type of dental restoration will I need?
The type of dental restoration you need is determined by the number of teeth you are missing. A single missing tooth is replaced by one dental implant with a dental crown secured to it. Several consecutive missing teeth are replaced by at least two dental implants with a dental bridge secured to them. A whole row of teeth is replaced by implant dentures. Between four and eight implant fixtures will be secured in the jaw bone and used to support a full set of dentures.