A: Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth; however, they are not right for everyone. In order for dental implants to be successful, a patient must have enough bone under their gums for the implants to fuse to. When someone loses teeth, the bone under their gums begins to wear away. Some people cannot have dental implants because they have lost too much bone. Dentures are still a good option for tooth replacement in cases where implants are not possible.
A: Implants can replace any amount of missing teeth. Individual implants can replace one or a few missing teeth, and full implants can replace all the teeth for people who have none. Some types of implants involve an arch, like a denture, that can be permanently attached to a series of metal posts. Other implants involve one artificial tooth per post.
A: Implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone through the gums. Soreness after the procedure can be expected, as it can for any surgical procedure.
A: because there are multiple procedures involved in getting implants, the entire process can take several months to a year.
- Consultation and implant procedure planned and laid out.
- Implant surgery to place implants.
- Placement of abutments, the connector piece between the implant and the artificial tooth (the crown.)
- Placement of crown.
A: In the short term, implants have a higher cost than dentures. In the long run, savings on dental adhesives and cleaners that are necessary for dentures may make implants more cost effective.
A: Yes, but a gentle, non-abrasive toothpaste is recommended. Caring for dental implants involves normal brushing and flossing.
A: Problems can occur with implants just like they can with natural teeth, but with proper care and regular dental checkups, implants can last a lifetime.