Dental implants serve as an alternative to bridges and dentures, and they are often considered when there is injury, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. Dental implants replace the tooth roots and give a durable foundation for replacement teeth that are replicated to match an individual’s natural teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
There are many benefits to having dental implants, and some of the most common include:
Better oral health: Your nearby teeth are not changed to support the dental implant. You have more teeth that remain intact, which leads to better long-term oral health.
Enhanced appearance: Dental implants have the appearance and feel of your real teeth. They were created to integrate with the bone, which makes them become permanent.
Durable: Dental implants are incredibly durable and are made to last for years to come. As long as they are properly taken care of, they can have a lifetime shelf life.
Who Are Dental Implants For?
Typically, patients who are healthy and can endure oral surgery or a routine dental extraction are good candidates for a dental implant. Individuals should have an adequate amount of bone and healthy gums. They must also agree to go to regularly scheduled dental visits and have good oral hygiene.
What Are the Risks?
Dental implant surgery can present some health risks. Issues are rare, and if they do occur, they can be easily treated. Some of the risks are:
- Nerve damage
- Damage or injury to the nearby structures, including blood vessels and other teeth
- Infection at the site of the implant
- Sinus issues
What Can Be Expected?
Dental implant surgery is often performed in an outpatient setting and is conducted in stages. Patients are given time to heal between the procedures. The process can take months from beginning to end with a large amount of that time focused on healing and the growth of new bone in the jaw. There are multiple steps involved with installing a dental implant, such as:
- Jawbone preparation
- Bone growth and healing
- Removing a damaged tooth
- Placement of an artificial tooth
- Placement of the dental implant
Are Dental Implants Painful?
Local anesthesia may be used during the dental implant procedure. Most patients experience mild discomfort. Following the dental implant, patients may experience mild soreness that can be treated with medications such as Motrin or Tylenol.
Are Dental Implants Covered by Insurance?
Most of the time, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance. There are some instances in which coverage may be available under a medical plan, depending on the cause of the tooth loss and the type of insurance plan. Specific questions regarding your insurance should be addressed with your insurance carrier.
How Do You Prepare?
Since you may need to go through one or multiple surgical procedures for dental implants, you must undergo a comprehensive evaluation to prepare. The evaluation process includes:
Medical history review: During your medical history review, you will need to inform your doctor about any medical conditions you have and all of the medications you take.
Dental exam: Your dental exam may involve X-rays, models made of your teeth and jaw, and 3D images.
Customized treatment plan: The treatment plan is customized to fit your situation. Certain factors will affect your plan, including the condition of your remaining teeth and jawbone, and how many teeth need to be replaced.
Schedule An Appointment
If you’re considering dental implants and would like to learn more, schedule a consultation with a dentist today.