Dental implants are a dental treatment option that can improve both the function (i.e., eating) and the look of your smile. It involves having a skilled provider surgically place an FDA-approved titanium root form directly into your bone. A crown is then placed on top of the root form to replace your natural tooth. If you’re wondering whether this procedure is for you, ask these four key questions:
1. Who Can Get a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are suitable for most people. However, some factors might influence whether you are an ideal candidate. For example, certain pre-existing medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis or diabetes, can influence how well the root form integrates with your bone and how quickly you heal. Other considerations can include:
- A history of gum disease.
- Whether or not you smoke.
- Any medications you take.
Depending on your clinical presentation, your dentist might have to place some initial bone grafting or other preparatory procedures before you receive your implant, due to the lack of bone. But if you’re generally in good health and don’t have other major medical issues, then you’re a great candidate.
2. Are Dental Implants Expensive?
Dental implants are a great long-term investment. When you do some comparative analysis, you can see that an implant offers incredible value.
Let’s say that a bridge costs $4,500, while an implant costs $6,000. That $6,000 may seem more expensive at first glance. But with a bridge, there’s potential for the adjacent teeth to decay. Then if the bridge breaks, you have to replace it entirely. An implant will never decay. Flossing with a bridge can be challenging since the teeth are all connected; however, you can floss an implant just like a regular tooth. A high-quality implant that’s properly done and cared for can last a lifetime, so paying a little more upfront for that convenience, durability, and longevity can turn out to be the more beneficial and economical choice in the long run.
3. Can an Implant Fracture or Break?
An implant fracturing is extremely rare. The porcelain crown that sits on the root form, however, can fracture. The great news is that this can be easily replaced with a new crown. Your dentist would simply retrieve and repair or replace it. A good implant crown will stand up to everyday eating, drinking, and talking — just like a natural tooth.
4. Will Getting an Implant Be Uncomfortable?
Getting a dental implant is a minor surgical procedure. Most patients go to work the next day with minimal discomfort. Currently, the techniques and instruments used for the implant placement process have gotten incredibly precise and predictable. That control, along with the skill of an experienced dentist, goes a long way to keep your post-op discomfort to a minimum. And, you can usually manage this simply with ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
To Move Forward With Your Dental Implant, Schedule a Consultation With Your Provider
Dental implants are a long-lasting, durable, and easy-to-care-for option for missing teeth. Most individuals are great candidates — simply discuss with your dentist your own dental habits and medical history to determine this. Thanks to advances in technology and protocols, the discomfort and recovery time are minimal.
If you think an implant might serve you well, have an open discussion about your options with your dentist. They’ll be able to give you the information you need to get that missing tooth replaced!
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