Questions About Dental Implants

If you are planning to have a tooth replaced with a dental implant, you may be concerned bout the process and whether or not you are a suitable candidate. Here are a few questions and answers to help you better understand an implant restoration:

How are dental implants installed?

Dental implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone. The dentist applies local anesthetics to ensure that you experience no discomfort during the procedure. Additionally, oral or inhaled sedatives may be offered if you feel anxious in dental settings or are nervous about the procedure. 

What are the dental implants made of?

The implants, which are actually metal rods or screws, are made from titanium, which is biocompatible. 

What makes you a good candidate for dental implants?

In order to have a good chance of implant success, you should have healthy gums. People with periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, may experience implant failure because of problems with the the wound healing properly. Also, you should have well controlled blood sugar, and you not smoke or use tobacco regularly.

Even if you are a diabetic, your blood sugar should be under control before a dental implant is placed. Blood sugar problems can result in issues with wounds healing more slowly. Additionally, the oxygen levels in the blood of a smoker may be reduced, causing wounds to heal improperly. If an implant wound does not heal well, the implant will fail.

The dentist will also verify that your jawbone is thick enough to support the placement of an implant.

Are there options available for people who desire implants but don't have enough jawbone available?

If you don't have sufficient jawbone for an implant restoration, your dentist may suggest a bone graft. Artificial bone or bone that has been harvested from another part of your body or from an animal can be added to your existing jawbone to facilitate the development of more bone. 

As an alternative, your dentist can install zygomatic implants. These implants are longer than traditional implants and are installed into the cheek bone, instead of the jawbone. The jawbone is bypassed. Zygomatic implants are often prescribed for people with too little jawbone, prior failed implants or those in need of a sinus augmentation for a traditional implant placement.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants should last a lifetime. If you lose additional natural teeth, a dental implant that was initially used for a single tooth restoration can be used to support other teeth-replacement appliances, such as implant-supported dentures.

To learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your area, such as Davis R Troup DDS PA.