Dental implants are one of the biggest advancements in dentistry over the past 40-years. If you’re missing teeth, dental implants provide a sustainable solution that gives you a natural looking smile. Implants are made from titanium and other materials compatible with the human body. They’re surgically placed into the upper and/or lower jaws and function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth.
While there are a lot of flashy ads around dental implants, especially as they relate to the speed in which the process is done and the longevity of the implant, it’s important to understand that like other aspects of dentistry; there are parts that are unique to the person having the procedure. This blog is not designed to sell you on implants; it is to establish an honest understanding of what to expect from the process.
What’s The Process?
Once the patient has the implants surgically placed by a dentist who has had advanced training in implant placement, the bone around the implant needs to heal. What makes an implant secure and sturdy is that the bone grows around it to hold it in place. Like many dental procedures, you might need some rest and be required to alter your chewing habits after the surgery and while the bone is healing.
Depending on the patient, some may need to wait up to several months before the replacement teeth can be attached. Some patients can have replacement teeth and implants done in the same visit. This varies patient to patient and site by site.
The surgeon will verify when the implant will be ready for restoration. At that point, one of our restorative dentists will complete the process of fabricating the crown, bridge or denture required to restore your smile. These restorations are made for you, custom fit and colored to blend with your natural teeth. Since the process could take a few weeks or months, a temporary restoration may be fabricated in the meantime depending on your aesthetic requirements.
How Long Do They Last?
Time is a critical distinction that anyone interested in dental implants should understand. The dental implant itself is designed to last forever. However, crowns and bridges will not last a lifetime and that should be considered when determining your course of treatment. While you may see ads with “lasts a lifetime,” the dentist is usually referring to the implant, not the crown.
Is Everyone Eligible For Implants?
While many patients are excellent candidates, patients who suffer from certain chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, or leukemia may have complications with success. Be sure to speak to your dentist about any past or present medical conditions and medications.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
In general, yes. However, dental insurance varies provider to provider. Please discuss options with our dental office and your dental insurance provider.