Dental Implant FAQ's

The Dental Implant, Roseville's top choice for tooth replacement?

What is a dental implant?

Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new artificial tooth "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has fused with your bone, it will support a crown, bridge, or denture. These implants can also replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rate for dental implants is extremely high because of the biocompatible material used, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, orthopedist use titanium hip, and knee replacements.

Dental Implants have now become the gold standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and function like natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally a little higher for an implant compared to other forms of tooth replacement. Still, the long-term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional expense. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance, and well-being. It involves preserving the integrity of facial structures and replacing the look and function of missing teeth.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Dental implants prevent face altering bone loss.
  • For many people, dental implants will last a lifetime.
  • Implants won't damage healthy sounding teeth like other restorations.
  • With dental implants, you can eat and drink anything you like.
  • Implant-supported teeth won't move or get loose.
  • Implants look and feel very much like natural teeth.
  • Many implant wearers report improved speech.

Why are dental implants the best option for tooth replacement?

Dental implants can last a lifetime, but bridges, partials, and dentures require occasional replacement. Unlike bridges, partials, and dentures, a dental implant replaces the lost tooth root, which will prevent jaw bone resorption that occurs with bridges, partials, and dentures. The loss of tooth roots will cause a change in the smile and contours of the face over time. Once the standard single tooth replacement method, a bridge requires the alteration of each neighboring healthy tooth, which is cut down and shaped to accept a crown. With dental implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth. The implant replaces the lost tooth root and tooth crown, leaving neighboring healthy teeth in place.

Removable partials connect to healthy teeth by hooks. A partial hook attached to healthy teeth will create tooth stress and loosen healthy teeth over time. Full Arch Dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which, among other things, causes the appearance of premature aging.

Am I a candidate for dental implant therapy?

If you are missing one or more teeth and in general good health, you are a candidate for implant treatment. There are a few qualifying factors:

  1. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement.
  2. Uncontrollable diabetes or other medical conditions.

Overall, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment. Even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment. However, an additional procedure to add bone or create new bone may be necessary. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment.

How long do dental implants last?

The inventors designed dental implants to last a lifetime. However, a few factors may contribute to the long-term success of dental implant treatment, such as the original quality of the surgical and restorative treatment, proper home care, and regular check-up visits to your dentist or dental specialist.

Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in the medical-dental field, with documented success rates of over 95%. Dental implants have been around for over 30 years and have clinical research demonstrating that dental implants will be successful throughout a patient's lifetime. By comparison, research indicates that the average tooth-supported bridge (conventional dentistry) lasts from 7-10 years. Partials and dentures are functional for approximately five years before having to replace the appliance.

How long does dental implant treatment take?

Typical dental implant treatment may take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending upon the quality of the bone available for placement.

If additional procedures are required to augment the bone, the total treatment time may be between six to nine months.

Some implant candidates may qualify for immediate load/immediate function procedures, also known as "same-day implants."

How will my new implants look and feel?

A single tooth supported by an implant is like turning back time. The implant replaces the natural tooth root, so the jaw bone and supportive gum tissue are as vibrant as ever. Multiple single implants may support single teeth or a bridge. Dental implants may also secure the base of full-arch dentures to provide the look, feel, and function of a full set of natural teeth. Dental implant treatment is the only tooth replacement solution that prevents jaw bone resorption, which can cause your smile to look unnatural and, in some cases, change your facial appearance. The long-term esthetics of dental implants are superior to any other treatment option.

Is the dental implant procedure painless?

Most implant patients report that the discomfort is far less than expected and is no more remarkable than having a root canal or having a tooth extracted. Of course, the team will anesthetize you during the procedure, and although everyone's pain tolerance is different, most patients are very comfortable simply taking over-the-counter analgesics afterward.

Do implants require special maintenance?

You clean implants like your natural teeth. Regular brushing and flossing and regularly schedule hygiene appointments as directed by your dentist.

Home care is a little more complicated for people who have replaced all their teeth; they require special brushes and flossing.

The surgical specialist who placed the implant may ask for occasional follow-up visits in addition to your routine dental appointments. These visits, combined with proper home care, are integral to the long-term success of implant treatment.

Is age a factor for getting implant treatment?

Providing your overall health is good, there is no age restriction. The desire to improve your quality of life is frankly a more important consideration than age. It is not unusual for people with dentures to upgrade to implant-supported dentures. It provides a renewed self-confidence in their smile and speech, provides continued chewing stability, and brings back foods into their life that were once off-limits.

Am I too old for dental implants?

Leonard Linkow invented the first metal implant over fifty years ago to help older patients missing all of their teeth. Of course, your doctor will consider your overall health, but there is generally no upper age limit for dental implant treatment. Many patients well into their nineties have had dental implant treatment without difficulty.

Can a dental implant work with existing dentures?

Every patient's situation is unique; however, we can use an existing denture from time to time by altering the denture to accommodate the necessary denture attachments to fit the implants.

What is the difference between a traditional crown and bridge and an implant supported crown and bridge?

There are several differences.

  1. A dental implant preserves jaw bone.
  2. We do not have to destroy neighboring health teeth by grinding down the teeth into pegs to accept a crown.
  3. Implants last longer than traditional crown and bridge. Implants should last a lifetime, while a conventional crown and bridge could last approximately five to ten years.

Although dental implants have become the standard of care, they are more expensive than old tooth replacement methods. They are a better choice for the money; however, some dentists still recommend traditional tooth-supported bridges for patients due to their comfort level or when patients insist on having the immediate lowest possible fee for tooth replacement. Most dentists today detest the idea of grinding down perfectly healthy teeth to place a traditional bridge, and therefore, will almost always recommend dental implant treatment in these cases.

When should a tooth be extracted and replaced with a Dental Implant?

There are times when it makes sense to extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant.

  1. If a natural tooth is failing or about to fail.
  2. If a tooth has severe periodontal disease (gum disease) that has eroded the bone that supports teeth. Sometimes in these cases, it is preferable to extract the teeth; eliminate the disease and infection and replace the teeth with a dental implant.
  3. When a tooth has had a root canal (nerves have been removed from the tooth) leaving the tooth brittle and susceptible to fracture. Teeth with severe fractures are usually extracted and are ideal candidates for replacement with dental implant treatment.

How much does dental implant treatment cost?

The actual cost of dental implant treatment depends on the number of teeth to replace, the type of implant prescribed, and whether additional procedures are necessary to achieve the proper esthetic and functional result.

The only way to accurately estimate the cost for an individual patient is to have an examination and consultation with your dental specialist. The total fee is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement. However, in the long-term, implant treatment is generally more cost-effective than other options, such as bridges, partials, and dentures that require regular maintenance and a full replacement every 5-10 years.

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