What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of artificial tooth roots, providing a sturdy base for replacement teeth. Whether you have lost a tooth to decay or injury, dental implants can be a great solution. They will stop further jaw bone loss in its tracks, help you maintain your proper facial structure, and give you the confidence to smile again.
These implants are metal posts placed into the jaw bone below the gums. Once the implant is in place properly, our dentist will place a tooth replacement on top of the implant. Implants are a way to provide permanent, stable support for your replacement teeth and help you avoid certain dental issues in the future.
Who Needs Dental Implants?
Dental implants are not for everyone. The easiest way to determine if you are a candidate is to schedule an appointment with our dentist for a full evaluation. If you are not a good candidate for dental implant surgery, we will give you the proper recommendations moving forward based on your unique needs.
If you aren’t missing any teeth and have no oral health problems, you are likely not a candidate for dental implants. However, here are a few signs that someone may be the right candidate:
- You have a missing tooth or teeth and are otherwise in good overall health.
- Your teeth are deteriorating and need to be removed and replaced.
- You have enough natural bone in your jaw to support the implant properly. If not, then you may need bone grafting before you can receive implants.
- If you are a smoker, you are willing to quit. Smoking can impair the integration between your jaw and implant.
- You have difficulty biting and eating because of a missing tooth.
- You have current oral issues that can be addressed and corrected before the procedure. If we place dental implants in a patient with gum disease or oral decay, the implantation process may not be as successful.
- You can commit to the process, which may take months or up to a year.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Tooth loss isn’t fun for anyone. Luckily, there are many benefits of dental implants for patients.
- They act like and look like a natural tooth.
- They don’t move or shift around.
- They are permanent and do not need to be replaced like dentures.
- They can give you confidence while eating again because they are so strong and stable.
- A full arch replacement is possible.
The dental implant process takes time. How many dental visits you need will largely depend on your unique treatment plan. Factors that may lengthen your dental implant process are:
- If you need a bone graft.
- If you need to have a tooth or teeth removed first.
Once your mouth is ready to receive the implant, it will be installed using anesthesia. Before the replacement tooth is placed, your mouth will need to heal from the implant placement surgery. Typically, you will wait three months before your new tooth is installed.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
As with all procedures, there are risks. Dental implants are likely to be less effective if you are a smoker or have poor oral hygiene. While rare, gum disease may occur as a result of the procedure if the patient did not have enough bone or gum going into the surgery. Infection, nerve damage and sinus problems may occur as well.
Another unfortunate drawback is there are also dental practitioners that do not properly place implants. In the long term, it is not always best to go with the most affordable option. It may even result in having a second implant surgery down the road to correct issues. An experienced oral surgeon or dental practitioner will know exactly what they are doing, leaving you confident and secure in the work that was completed.
Ready to learn more about your treatment options in Mesa, AZ? Schedule an appointment with our experienced dentist for a consultation!
What is the time frame for this procedure?
In some cases, the implant can be placed at the same appointment as the tooth removal. In other cases, grafting may be needed or additional time required if an infection must be resolved first before the placement of the implant. Usually about three months are required from when the implant is placed until crown procedure is started.
From start to finish, the average dental implant treatment procedure takes three to four visits over the span of about four months.