Dental Implant FAQ
Losing your teeth has a significant effect on your entire life. Tooth loss makes simple tasks like eating and speaking much more challenging. Difficulties with biting and chewing can impact your digestion and overall nutrition. Your smile suffers, as does your confidence. Losing teeth even affects the health and shape of your jawbone. At Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center, we provide dental implants to meet some tooth loss needs.
What are Dental Implants?Dental implants are a unique treatment for replacing missing teeth. With implants, we surgically place small titanium posts into your jawbone. As you heal from surgery, the bone fuses to the posts, a natural process called osseointegration. This process stabilizes the posts in your jaw so they can provide secure support for your dental restorations.
Am I a Candidate for Implants?Candidates for dental implants are missing at least one tooth. Because they require surgery, it is important that you be in good overall health. Oral health issues like gum disease need to be treated first. Chronic health conditions need to be well managed. If you smoke, use other tobacco products, or drink, it is recommended that you quit. To determine if treatment is right for you, a consultation is performed during which we go over your medical history and conduct a thorough oral exam.
How Long Does Treatment Take?The exact amount of time it takes for your implant surgery to fully healing from surgery and the placement of your implant restorations depends on many factors. Surgery itself generally takes about 30 minutes to complete. There are many factors that determine your total treatment time, including the number of posts being placed if you need a bone graft first and more. Typically, treatment can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete. With a thorough oral exam, we can help to provide you with an estimated total treatment time.
Do Implants Hurt?Getting implants requires surgery. Surgery is done under a local anesthetic, which helps to prevent discomfort during the procedure. Sedation can also be provided to relieve anxiety. Some pain and swelling are common following surgery. Pain can often be managed using over the counter or prescription pain relievers. This pain should fade over time.
How Much Do Implants Cost?The exact cost of your dental implants will vary based on several factors. Common factors include if you need a bone graft, how many posts are being placed, the total number of appointments, and more. Today, more and more insurance companies are beginning to provide at least some coverage for dental implants. Check with your insurance provider to see if treatment is covered.
How Long Do Implants Last?Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution to tooth loss. They can be permanent. The posts stimulate your jawbone just like the roots of your real teeth, triggering the body to send essential nutrients required for jawbone health. However, it is important that you take care of your implants to ensure their longevity.
How Do I Take Care of My Implants?Your dental restorations can, and should, be brushed and flossed just like your real teeth. Even if all of your teeth have been replaced, these habits are still crucial. Although ceramic does not decay, it can still collect plaque and bacteria. These substances can irritate your gums, leading to gum disease. Untreated gum disease can compromise the integrity of your dental implants.
What if My Jawbone is Too Weak?Your jawbone is crucial for the stability of your dental implants. However, after tooth loss, the bone begins to lose mass. This causes the bone to become weak. If the bone is too weak, your jaw cannot properly fuse to the posts. In the event that your jawbone lacks sufficient mass, a bone graft can often be performed to restore strength. If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, you may also be a candidate for the All on 4 treatment concept, which can help to avoid the need for a bone graft.
With dental implants, we can help to greatly improve your overall quality of life. For more information, and to find out if you are a candidate, call Susquehanna Oral and Facial Surgery and Dental Implant Center today at (570) 323-1900.