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Ask Dr. Silverman: All About Dental Implants

dental-implants

Missing, cracked or broken teeth? Feel good about your smile again.

Dental implants might be the right solution for you. Damaged or missing teeth make smiling or even talking in public embarrassing. Family photos, job interviews, or meeting someone new are all more stressful when you’re self-conscious about missing teeth. It helps to research dental procedures to learn what questions to ask. Of course the most frequently asked questions is “Will it hurt.” At our practice, we do everything we can to minimize your discomfort during and after the procedure.

Here’s more information about dental implants to better understand the procedure and alleviate your concerns. Call for an appointment to discuss your individual situation.  

What are dental implants?
A dental implant by itself is not a tooth! A dental implant is a prosthesis used to replace missing teeth. Essentially, it is a small titanium post/fixture that is inserted into the jawbone, on top of which a single crown (cap), a fixed bridge, a partial denture, or full denture can be attached. Once the implant integrates to your bone, a structure called an abutment is connected to the implant and then the artificial tooth/teeth are attached. Therefore, there are 3 parts to an “implant tooth”: the dental implant itself, the abutment, and the artificial tooth.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Almost anyone who is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth are candidates for dental implants. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. Everybody is unique so a consultation is the best way to determine if dental implants are right for you.

What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants are made of titanium, can never get dental decay, and can last a lifetime. They can improve your appearance, your confidence, and your ability to eat the foods you like, and participate in an active lifestyle, without worrying about your teeth.

Call for a consultation appointment and discuss how to get your best smile.

What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
Like any minor oral surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection, inflammation, and pain, but Dr. Silverman will discuss how these can be managed for your specific situation. If there is no available bone to place the implant, then bone and gum grafting procedures may be required, which can increase the cost of your treatment. However, the upfront investment can pay off in the long term.

How much do implants cost and does insurance cover the cost?
In general, the cost of replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is almost the same as replacing it with a regular fixed bridge. Dental implant treatment may qualify for some insurance coverage, but situations vary. The cost will vary by patient needs, bone quantity, and region. Dr. Silverman will make an assessment based on your unique needs.

What is the success rate of dental implants?
It varies, but for a healthy individual with good oral hygiene and good health, dental implants are predictably successful with reported success rates above 90-95 percent.

Do dental implants last?
Dental implants are not susceptible to dental disease such as decay; however, the health of the gums is vital to maintaining lasting implant success. Conscientious home care by the patient and regular professional cleanings and check-ups are essential elements for dental implant sustainability. Each patient is different, and success relies upon a variety of other factors.

What if I want “metal-free” implants?
There is no such thing as “metal-free” teeth. Almost all materials used for teeth replacements have some sort of metal ions in them. Dental implants are made of titanium alloy (similar to hip implants, shoulder implants, and knee implants), which is highly biocompatible, and an allergy to titanium is extremely rare! Currently, there are no proven alternatives to titanium dental implants.

Call for a consultation appointment and discuss how to get your best smile.

What is All-on-4®?
All-on-4® is a trademarked treatment procedure that essentially involves replacement of all missing teeth in one jaw by using only 4 implants. This procedure is especially beneficial in patients who have lost a lot of bone in the back areas of the mouth.

Can dentures be made into implants?
Dentures cannot be “made into implants.”Implants are metal screws placed into the jawbone to help anchor and support artificial teeth (dentures). It may be possible to have implants placed beneath existing dentures to aid in the stabilization and support for those dentures. This could only be done if the current dentures were otherwise in excellent condition. You should consult with your prosthodontist to have your existing dentures carefully examined.

Are dental implants removable like dentures or do they stay in your mouth?
No, dental implants are fixed solidly in the bone and allow teeth to be replaced in a manner that is closest to natural teeth.

How do dental implants help if I have full dentures or partial dentures?
Actually implants are most popularly used in patients who wear full dentures or partial dentures. Dental implants can be used to provide retention and support for a removable implant overdenture, which basically snaps on the implants! Therefore the partial or full denture does not move and reduces the dependency on denture adhesives/denture glue. Or, dental implants can be used for a fixed denture, where a patient’s dentures are fixed/bolted to the implants through titanium components. Only the dentist can remove this from the mouth.

Call for a consultation appointment and discuss how to get your best smile.

Ask Dr. Silverman about:
Dental ImplantsInvisalign & StraighteningCosmetic DentistryPeriodontal Surgery

This article is based on information from the website of the American College of Prosthodontists (https://www.gotoapro.org/dental-implants-faq/#452)