The Top 5 Most Common Dental Implant Questions (and their answers!)
If you have one or more missing teeth, you are probably looking into different tooth replacement options. One such option that is often talked about is dental implants. Perhaps you’ve heard of them or perhaps not. Whether you have some knowledge of dental implants or you are just now learning about them, reviewing the most commonly asked questions about dental implants can help you to gain a better understanding about them. Therefore, here are the top five questions people ask about dental implants:
What do dental implants look like?
Before dental implants are placed in your jaw, they look like hollow, metal screws with an open top. The abutment, or connector, screws into the opening at the top, while the implant itself screws to the jaw. The dental prosthetic, which can be a crown, bridge, or denture, will eventually be mounted to the abutment. Once they are placed in the jawbone, dental implants cannot be seen and only the prosthetic is visible. Since many dental prosthetics are fabricated to match the appearance of natural teeth, they will provide you with a natural and aesthetically pleasing smile.
Who should get dental implants?
Dental implants are ideal for people who are over the age of 18, have one or more missing teeth, and have enough bone mass in the jaw. In some cases, dental implants can also be ideal for individuals with severely damaged or decayed teeth that are in need of extraction. In cases where you do not have enough bone mass to support an implant, your dentist may recommend supplemental procedures like a bone graft or sinus lift before having dental implants placed.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants work similarly to your natural tooth roots. By fusing with the jawbone, dental implants replace missing tooth roots, act as an anchor for the prosthetic, and provide the necessary stimulation to preserve bone mass in the jaw. In most cases when a tooth is lost, the jawbone no longer receives stimulation during chewing. This causes the bone to slowly deteriorate, which changes the facial structure. However, dental implants are able to stimulate the bone while chewing, much like natural tooth roots, so they preserve the jawbone and facial structure.
Are dental implants painful?
While it may sound exceptionally painful to have metal screws embedded in your jawbone, dental implants are actually not too painful. Yes, they will cause some discomfort during the recovery period, but this generally only lasts a few days after surgery. The reason why dental implants are not too painful is because they are placed in areas with very little nerves. A lack of nerves means a lack of pain signals to the brain, which means less pain. Not only that, but dental implants are placed using anesthetics and sedation, which means you won’t feel anything during your procedure.
Can dental implants be done in one day?
There are cases where dental implants can be completed in one day during one procedure. These cases are known as “teeth in a day” since the implants and dental prosthetics are placed at the same time. There are also cases where one or more teeth can be extracted and replaced with dental implants within the same procedure. However, same day implants can generally only be placed if there is enough bone mass present. Otherwise, additional procedures, like a bone graft or sinus lift may be needed.