Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Dental implants are a sophisticated method to replace decayed, damaged, and missing teeth. There are many procedures and quality material that are involves in the entire treatment process. Additionally, a patients quality of life will change after they receive their new teeth. Because of this, patients tend to have a lot of questions about dental implants. We address some of the most common questions we encounter.
How do dental implants support my healthy, remaining teeth?
If you lose one or a few teeth, the remaining teeth will begin to move into the empty space. This may lead to many additional issues such as deformities, TMJ problems, and make your remaining teeth more susceptible to decay. A dental implant supported prosthesis will hold healthy teeth in their natural place along the arch and prevent any additional issues.
How long do dental implants last?
A dental implant should last your entire lifetime. However, it will require proper care and you must also keep yourself in good overall health. People who take good care of their oral health as well as their overall health have a better chance of their implants lasting forever. Dr. Reece will discuss any special care your new smile may require to remain as healthy as possible.
Will dental implants cause any damage to my other teeth?
No. Unlike when you have other restorations placed, dental implant supported restorations will only replace the teeth you are missing and does not require support from your other teeth. If you choose a dental bridge, your dentist will need to reduce the size of the two teeth on both sides of the gap to accommodate the bridge. Also, holding the bridge in place will place additional strain on those teeth.
How do dental implants prevent premature aging?
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement solution to halt bone loss in the jaw. Your natural face shape and jaw line will begin to change and shrink as the bone slowly deteriorates. This will cause your face to look sunken in and deep wrinkles will form around your mouth making you appear years older. The dental implant posts will replace the missing teeth roots and help provide enough stimulation to the jaw bone to prevent bone loss.
My dentures slip around a lot. Will dental implant solve this problem?
Yes! Many people who tried to use dentures are unhappy with how they fit. It is not too late to change your mind and switch to implant supported dentures. Since the implant posts will essentially become one with the jaw bone, anchoring the denture to them makes it very stable. The denture will not be able to slip around in your mouth causing slurred speech. You will also never have to worry about it falling out of your mouth.
How do dentures attach to dental implants?
Your denture will either snap into place on several implants or your dentist will secure it with screws. A removable overdenture will snap onto a ball or bar attachment that is connected to the implants. A screw-retained denture is the most permanent way to secure a denture. However, only Dr. Reece can remove it at his Charlotte, NC dentist office.
How many teeth can dental implants replace?
Dental implants can replace one, many or all of your teeth. Dr. Reece will analyze your tooth loss and oral health during your implant consultation at our Charlotte, NC dentist office. Then, he will create a personalized solution based on your needs. We can use dental crowns, dental bridges and full dentures that are supported with implants to replace the exact number of teeth you are missing?
How long will it take my dental implants to heal?
Many people hear that getting dental implants will take too long. While the process does take longer than other tooth replacement treatments, it really does not take as long as most people believe. The longest part of the process is the healing phase where the implant will fuse to the bone. This will typically take between 3 to 6 months. In the long run, this is a small amount of time to gain the next best thing to natural teeth.
What is the most painful part of the implant process?
For the most part, the dental implant process is fairly painless. The phase where patients experience the most pain and discomfort is after the surgical placement of the implant posts. However, it is not from the creation of the hole in the bone or placing the implant. It is due to the incision that the dentist must make in the soft tissues to access bone. In most cases, over the counter pain medication taken as prescribed by your dentist will help.
What are the risks of dental implants?
As with any medial procedure, there are certain risks that you must weigh over the benefits of the treatment. Common risks that you may face with dental implants include infection, bone loss, implant fracture, and damage or injury to nerves, blood vessels, and the sinus. However, with proper planning and placement and good after care, these risks can be prevented.
Do you have any aftercare tips once the dental implants are placed?
To give your jaw bone and gums the best chances to heal properly, we do have a few aftercare tips.
- Follow any specific directions your dentist may give to you.
- Maintain good oral hygiene however be very careful around the incision site.
- Avoid hard and sticky foods. Instead focus on a healthy diet and chew in areas in your mouth where you can avoid the surgical site.
- Never smoke or use any type of tobacco. This will delay your healing and even put you at higher risk of complications.
- Never miss a followup appointment.
- Wear a mouthguard to protect your new implants and restoration.