Dental Implants FAQ
Dental implants are the latest method of replacing teeth that are missing or require extraction. They are made of three key components – an anchor, which looks like a screw, that is inserted into the jawbone, a crown that acts as a replacement tooth, and an abutment that secures the two together.
The anchor is made of titanium, which is extremely tough and durable. Once the implant is inserted into your jaw, a process called osseointegration takes place. This is where the bone that surrounds the implant begins to fuse it, strengthening it even further. It is not until this has happened that the replacement tooth will be fitted, but once in place, your new implant will be as secure as a regular tooth.
One of the biggest reasons that people choose implants is for their subtlety. The visible part of your implant – the replacement tooth – will be color-matched so that it is the same as your existing teeth. It is also a permanent fixture, so there is no need for unsightly denture removal and you can eat and drink as normal. Both of these mean that no one need know you have a dental implant unless you tell them.
Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical deviceat around 98%. However, a robust oral hygiene routine is crucial to ensuring their results for the long-term.
he length of the treatment depends on the extent of the work that you need, but you can expect to make several visits to your dentist’s office over the course of a six-month period. Your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate treatment timeline based on your personal dental requirements.
Although dental implants have an extremely high success rate, it does in no way mean that they are right for absolutely every patient. If you are considering dental implants, then you will need to have a consultation with your dentist who will assess your candidacy based on your individual health and dental requirements. The idea candidate will:
- Have great general and oral health
- Have sufficient bone in their jaw to support the implant
- Have healthy gums
- Be committed to taking very good care of their teeth and gums
People who may not be suitable candidates for implants include:
- Heavy smokers
- Pregnant women
- Young people whose jawbones are still developing
- Those with immune conditions
- Those with uncontrolled diabetes
- Alcohol or substance abusers
- People who have received a high dose of radiation to the head or neck
(for example, radiotherapy for cancer)
- People who have a suppressed immune system
Dental implants are created uniquely to fit the specific requirements of the patient and as such there is no ‘one-size- fits-all’ cost. While they may seem like an expensive option at first, over time implants are usually a more cost-effective and reliable solution to missing teeth. You may find that your dental insurance policy covers part of the cost of your treatment, or you may be able to get additional coverage. We highly recommend that you speak with your dental insurance provider to see what your options are. Alternatively, many dentists are able to offer payment plans through third party providers.