If you're thinking about getting dental implants to replace missing teeth, you've probably got a lot of questions. But where do you start? Our dentists in Burnaby have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from our patients. We believe this is a good place to start when it comes to communicating with your dental team.
What is a dental implant?
The artificial titanium screw and restoration (replacement tooth, denture or bridge) that make up your dental implant are designed to take the place of a missing tooth. It should look and feel just like a normal tooth.
How will my oral health benefit from a dental implant?
Replacing missing teeth is one of our top priorities when it comes to maintaining oral health. If missing teeth are not replaced, the teeth surrounding them may shift out of place, resulting in more serious dental problems. With effective and long-lasting implants, we might be able to do the following:
- Help you eat and speak more easily
- Prevent surrounding teeth from shifting
- Improve or restore tissues in the face
A dental implant should help you improve your function and appearance, as well as your comfort. Furthermore, once you've recovered from the procedure, you'll have more confidence in your smile and won't be limited in your food choices.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implant procedures are usually one of the safest surgeries in dentistry. It is also the only restoration treatment that promotes natural bone growth beneath a missing tooth.
Does it hurt to have a dental implant placed? What is the process?
The dental implant process will usually take a few visits over several months and is performed by a dentist or periodontist.
During your first appointment, impressions (moulds) and X-Rays of the jaw and teeth will be taken to determine how much gum tissue, bone and spacing are available for a dental implant.
While your implant is surgically placed into the bone, the area around it will be numbed with an anesthetic. During every dental procedure, we strive to make our patients as comfortable as possible. Following that, the area must heal and integrate with the bone, which can take up to six months. Depending on the type of implant, a second surgery to insert the "post" that will hold the artificial tooth in place may be required.
Several weeks later, artificial teeth will be made to fit your mouth. This step could take up to two months to complete because several fittings may be required. After another period of healing, the dentist will attach the artificial teeth to the implant, providing stability and comfort.
How long will my dental implant take to heal?
Depending on your circumstances, such as whether you have any pre-existing conditions or require special procedures prior to the dental implant surgery, a dental implant can take anywhere from 2 to 9 months to heal. For the implant to remain in place, the bone that surrounds it must heal.
How much does a dental implant cost?
Several factors influence the cost of your dental implant, including whether or not your insurance will cover all or part of the surgery and implant. Some health insurance policies exclude the cost of an implant entirely. Your dentist can provide you with a treatment plan that includes a cost estimate as well as an appointment schedule and follow-up appointments. Inquire about the type of implant that will be used and why it is the best option for you.
How long do implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Dental implants of all kinds are improving. At the moment, there is no time limit on the lifespan of cylindrical dental implant systems.
Ask Your Dentist About Dental Implants
There is a lot to learn about dental implants, and depending on your situation, you may have additional questions. Our Burnaby dentists are available to answer your questions about dental implants or upcoming procedures.