If you or someone you love is considering dental implants, you likely have a lot of questions about the procedure, the cost and what to expect during treatment. To help patients better understand dental implants, we decided to provide answers to the top dental implant questions we receive at our office. If your question is not listed here, please contact our office or comment below to learn more and we’ll be sure to update our list.
Want to find out if dental implants are right for you? Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Douglas Hamill today and let his 20+ years of experience work for you.
What are dental implants?
This is one of the most common dental implant questions we receive as many patients are unaware of what a dental implant really is. An implant is a prosthesis, an artificial appliance, that is used to replace missing teeth. The advantages of implants include their duration and their lack of impact on other teeth. Implants can last a long time—for years or even decades. They can also replace teeth without affecting the teeth around them. Implants are composed of three parts: the part that is affixed to the bone, a post, and a crown.
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If there is a space between two teeth, especially where another tooth has fallen out, and the teeth are starting to shift, the best solution is often a dental implant. The rejection rate of dental implants is quite small; only one to two percent of patients exhibit the signs of rejection. Our office has installed hundreds of implants, and only one of our patients has ever rejected an implant. For that patient, once we replaced the implant with a similar one of a different material, the rejection ceased. Age should not play a role in determining eligibility for an implant; we worked with one patient over the age of 90, and each of the several implants that we installed were successful.
Are dental implants noticeable?
Many people don’t want others to know they have false teeth. This is why dental implants are so beneficial, because unless you tell someone, they will likely never even know you have a dental implant as they are specifically designed to match and function just like your other teeth. Nonetheless, one of the most common dental implant questions patients have is whether their implants will be noticeable.
In most cases, dental implants blend in perfectly with the surrounding teeth. They look so natural that the only way to ascertain which of an individual’s teeth was an implant would be by taking an X-ray. Installing a dental implant is essentially painless; our office administers a local anesthetic, and once the area has become numb, we place the implant in the space between the teeth. The site is usually sore for a few days after the operation, but our patients rarely report any ache or pain after that time.
How does the implant procedure work?
Another one of the most common dental implant questions is about how the actual procedure works from start to finish. Our office enlists the top oral surgeons in the Buffalo area to place the implants, and then we place the post and crown on the base of the implants. The bottom part of an implant must be screwed into the mandible or the maxilla, which are the bones of the jaw and the roof of the mouth. This process may sound unpleasant and painful, but it is necessary in order to allow the implant to remain permanently in place. We use an anesthetic to numb our patients, so there is no pain that occurs during the operation. The oral surgeon is the most experienced at placing the implant, and the material used at the implant’s base will easily and directly bond to the bone.
What habits should I avoid after treatment?
Not enough people ask about what habits they should avoid after receiving dental implants. Despite dental implants being a replacement tooth, you still have to take care of your oral health the same. This is one of hte least frequently asked dental implant questions we receive, but also one of the most important. The main habit to cut out is smoking, which can affect the way by which the implant will adjust to the body. You must try to cut down on or quit smoking. Smokeless tobacco is considered less harmful than regular tobacco, but it can still affect the quality and stability of your dental implant. The studies are not yet out on vape pens and other similar devices, however we would recommend avoiding those as well until more research can be performed on the topic and it’s potential negative health effects.
How much do dental implants cost?
The biggest challenge with dental implants is the expense. Implants are often more expensive than a simple bridge is. Our office offers our patients payment plans, which can be adjusted based on financial need. More and more insurances are starting to cover dental implants, and we expect the cost of implants to decrease in the coming years.
This educational blog post was brought to you by Douglas Hamill DDS. If you have dental implant questions, we would love to help you get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your oral health. Want to schedule a consultation? Contact our Amherst dental office today and let us put a smile on your face. We welcome the opportunity to serve you.
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