Dental Implants FAQ
Why should someone get a dental implant?
If you lose a tooth, whether because of an accident or if it needs to be extracted, the tooth typically should be replaced immediately. The reason is that there is a natural process in the mouth that causes the teeth neighboring where the missing tooth was to lean in to “fill the gap.” This causes the other teeth on the arch to lean and in the process they also become loose. It’s no wonder that 69% of Americans 35-44 have already lost at least one tooth, while 26% of those 75 or older no longer have any teeth. A dental implant is the best way to stop the misalignment process.
What exactly is a dental implant?
It consists of a biocompatible, sophisticated titanium screw that is placed in the jawbone and integrates like the root of a natural tooth with time. If implants are placed soon after a tooth loss, the rest of the teeth typically remain in place and the presence of the implant prevents the degradation of the jawbone.
Once the implant has been integrated into the bone, which usually takes 3-4 months, a crown is added onto the implant that looks like a natural tooth; the crown is typically made by a dental lab.
Can anyone get an implant?
You need to have enough underlying bone to fully benefit from the advantages of dental implants. Digital X-rays and / or CT scans are typically used to evaluate the underlying bone present before an implant is placed. If the amount of bone present is insufficient, bone grafting or a sinus lift may be needed. You can even have what is called a Dentin Autograft, which uses your own extracted teeth and heals and integrates much faster than alternatives because the material is from your own body.
How long do implants last?
There are a lot of variables, but if you do a thorough job of taking care of your implants by brushing and flossing your natural and artificial teeth every day, they could be permanent.