If you’re interested in dental implants, you’ll want to be as informed as possible. Below we’ve compiled commonly asked questions about dental implants.
At Pembroke Dental, we offer a number of dental treatments. One of the most popular of our services is dental implants, which patients often opt for if they want to replace a missing tooth.
We perform dental implants every day at our dental practice, so we are very familiar with the process, what it entails and how to best look after them. But we also realise if you are someone new to the idea of dental implants, you likely have a thousand and one questions — and the sooner you get the answers, the better!
Over the years we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about dental implants, which we answer below. We aim to put you at ease by covering many of the following questions and more:
- What are dental implants?
- Are dental implants right for me?
- How expensive are dental implants?
- What are the alternatives to dental implants
What Are Dental Implants?
Put simply, a dental implant is a threaded titanium metal rod that is placed into the jawbone. This rod is used to support one (or more) false teeth, whether fixed or removable. The rod and false teeth are both referred to as “dental implants” and the replacement teeth are made to match your natural teeth, giving you a natural, confident smile.
Dental implants can, of course, improve your appearance greatly, but can also help with your speech, make you more comfortable, facilitate eating and boost your self-esteem. Dental implants can even improve your oral health.
When Are Dental Implants a Good Idea? Should I Get a Dental Implant?
Your dentist will likely suggest dental implants if you are missing a tooth or a series of teeth. This is because a missing tooth can do more than just give you a gappy grin — it can cause a great number of problems including shifting, as well as problems chewing or eating.
You will be eligible for a dental implant as long as you have a strong jaw bone, which is more likely if you are younger, as over time bone wears down and decays. Sometimes, patients might require a bone graft before they can undergo the process of a dental implant.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
If you’re looking to get a full set of dental implants, you maybe are concerned about how much dental implants cost. Unfortunately, dental implants can be expensive, but in most situations, the cost of a dental implant is only slightly more than the cost of a more conventional treatment involving crowns and bridges.
You should factor in that dental implants are more cost-effective in the long term, and offer better results — it has been shown that dental implants cause less disruption to your speech than traditional dentures. Dental implants should be thought of as an investment that will hold up over time.
Can Dental Implants Get Cavities?
No, dental implants do not get cavities. The implant-restored crown is made with an artificial material, and for this reason, it cannot grow cavities. Having said that, you still need to take great care of your dental implants. Have regular gum care and cleanings around the implant site to keep your implants in top condition.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
With the right care, your dental implants should last for upwards of forty years. They are a tried-and-tested treatment and can even last a lifetime if you regularly brush, floss and follow your dentist’s recommendations. These will vary from your dentist depending on your genetic history (for example, whether certain diseases run in your family) and your nutritional habits.
What Is the Dental Implant Success Rate Like? Can the Human Body Reject an Implant?
The success rate is very good for dental implants. Strictly speaking, implants can’t be rejected since they do not contain any living cells. On top of this, titanium is biocompatible and allergies are very rare. Having said this, dental implants can fail to integrate with the jaw bone when an infection develops. This can happen if you’re not taking good care of your dental hygiene. Don’t worry, though — this is very rare, and in 95% of cases, you should have a healthy dental implant that will last years.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
No, not at all. Dental implants are typically placed under local anaesthesia, given that the process means a small operation. On occasion, patients can be sedated if they are particularly nervous.
In more complicated cases, your dentist might use a general anaesthetic, but you will never feel any pain during the procedure. You might feel some discomfort in the week following the surgery while you begin to heal.
Most patients find they can easily manage pain by taking over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Yes, dental implants are entirely safe and have been used for a long time. Technology has evolved, so dental implants are now highly sophisticated devices designed by very well trained professionals. They are the strongest, and most reliable, way of replacing missing teeth.
However, as with everything in life there are risks involved, although rare. You might get an infection on the implant site. You might also suffer an injury to one of the surrounding structures, such as a blood vessel, nerve or adjacent tooth. Nerve damage might result in pain, numbness or tingling. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you are concerned.
How Long Does the Dental Implant Procedure Take?
After an initial consultation, your dentist will be able to give you a rough timescale for how long the treatment will take. Placing a single dental implant might take as little as 30 minutes, but a more complex surgery might take up to four hours.
You will then be asked to go home while the implant heals and properly fuses to your jawbone. Then, several months later, your dentist will fit the cap or crown. In all, the process should take a maximum of 8 months, unless more complicated surgery is required.
Dental Implants Alternatives
If you don’t feel dental implants are right for you, or if you are unable to have dental implants for a medical reason, there are alternatives. Some of these include full mouth dentures, partial dentures and fixed bridges. However, if at all possible, we’d always recommend dental implants as the most effective solution.
After Care of Dental Implants
You need to take care of your dental implants in much the same way you take care of your existing teeth. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist, floss and brush and eat a nutritious diet to give your dental implants a good chance of lasting a lifetime.
What Are the Odds of Dental Implant Failure?
The success rate of dental implants averages about 95%, although this can change from individual to individual, depending on your particular situation.
Dental Implants and Smoking
When compared to non-smoking patients, dental implants in smokers are 4 times as likely to fail. Smoking often leads to gum recession and gum disease, which weakens the implant structure.
Are Dental Implants Worth It?
Dental implants are a great investment. They look so natural that no one will be able to tell they are artificial, and they give you the confidence and comfort you’ve been looking for. Your dentist will match your replacement teeth to the shape and colour of your existing teeth. It’s remarkable what a new smile can do — you’ll be left feeling younger and happier than you have in years.
Pembroke Dental & Implant Centre is a family practice. We offer high-quality cosmetic surgery at reasonable prices. Get in touch today for a dental consultation.