What are dental implants?
If you are missing some of your real teeth, implant dentistry can give you new teeth that look and feel very similar to your own.
The goal of implants is to improve your health, ability to chew, and how your teeth look. Dental implants help keep your facial bone intact, while traditional dentures or other options often lead to faster bone loss and changes in how your face looks as you get older.
Dental implants are special titanium screws that are placed in your jawbone to act like a natural tooth root.
Your bone grows onto the implants in a process called osseointegration. However, if osseointegration doesn’t happen or is lost, the implant can become loose and fail.
Am I suitable for an implant?
If you are generally healthy, you’re likely a good candidate for dental implants. The dentist will use X-rays and sometimes CT scans, to check if you have enough good-quality bone for the implants to attach to.
When you’re missing teeth, the jawbone can start to shrink over time. This is especially common in people who wear dentures, and it can affect how well the denture fits.
Implants help prevent this bone breakdown by transferring the force of chewing to the bone, which stimulates its maintenance. It’s best to get implants soon after a tooth extraction to minimise bone loss and improve how your teeth look.
Are implants safe?
Implants usually work well and have a high chance of success. However, their long-term success largely depends on how well they are taken care of and kept clean.
Your bone grows onto the implants in a process called osseointegration. However, if osseointegration doesn’t happen, the implant can become loose and fail.
Does it hurt?
You will need a minor surgery to get dental implants. Most of the time it can be done at the dentist’s office.
However, in some cases, it’s better to have a general anesthesia, which means you’ll need to go to a clinic or hospital. After the surgery, any discomfort you may feel can usually be managed with regular pain medication.
If you have any concerns or questions about what to expect after the surgery, be sure to ask your surgeon for guidance.
Is treatment expensive?
To find out how much dental implants will cost, you can ask your dentist or specialist for an accurate estimate.
They will give you a quotation that breaks down the expenses. It’s also a good idea to check with your medical insurance to see what portion of the cost they will cover. The specific components and materials used will depend on the type of treatment you need.
Along with the costs of the components, there will be fees for the professionals involved and there might be additional expenses for hospital stays and medication.
How to get treatment?
Implant treatment is a special kind of dentistry and not all dentists can do it. If your dentist cannot perform the implant treatment, they might recommend you to a specialist who has the expertise in this area.
The specialist will then take care of all or some parts of the implant treatment.