Are you considering replacing one or more missing teeth with dental implants? Make sure you’re armed with the correct information moving forward. To help educate you about your options, Dr. Amy Farmer of Crossroads Dental in Longmont, CO answers commonly asked questions about dental implants here.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant replaces a missing tooth or tooth that needs to be extracted. The implant consists of a titanium post or screw which is implanted in the jawbone, where it fuses to the bone. After the post or screw has healed, an artificial tooth is mounted to the top of it.
How is a dental implant placed?
The dental implant placement process takes place in three stages. The first stage is the oral surgery procedure to install the implant post or screw in the jawbone. The second stage is the osseointegration healing process, when the post or screw integrates with the jawbone. The third stage is the implant restoration phase, at which point the post or screw is topped with an artificial tooth.
How long does the implant placement process take?
The entire dental implant placement process can take anywhere from three months to a year.
How many teeth can be replaced with dental implants?
Dental implants can replace virtually all of the teeth in the upper and lower jaws. A single implant post can support an artificial tooth (i.e., crown) and several implant posts can support a bridge. To anchor a denture appliance that replaces all of the teeth, four to six implant posts are normally required.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Dental implants replace the look and feel of a natural tooth. Because the implant post fuses with the bone, it provides a sturdy foundation for the artificial tooth, so the tooth won’t shift or move around in the mouth. Once in place, the dental implant allows for complete chewing and biting function. With the proper care, your implant can last a lifetime.
Does the implant placement process hurt?
The surgical procedure to install dental implants is not painful. Your mouth will be completely numbed to prevent any pain, and you may receive special medication to help you relax during the surgery.
Some dental implant patients have mild discomfort the first day after implant placement, but medication is provided to help relieve any pain.
Am I a good candidate for a dental implant?
Prospective candidates should be evaluated one-on-one by a qualified implant dentist. Generally, you may be a good candidate for a dental implant if you:
- Are missing a tooth
- Have adequate jawbone to support an implant post
- Are in good health and not immunocompromised
- Do not smoke
Where can I learn more about dental implants?
To learn more about dental implants and the placement process, contact us today to request a consultation with Dr. Farmer.