5 Important Questions to Ask Before Dental Implants

5 Important Questions to Ask Before Dental Implants

Did you know that by 2026, the number of people in America with dental implants will have reached 26%? Since their emergence 50 years ago, dental implants have steadily grown in popularity over the years.

These days, their success rate places them above bridgework and dentures. Many people have come to see the virtues of dental implants, helped along by dentist recommendations.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are an option for replacing unhealthy or damaged teeth with artificial teeth. It differs from bridgework and dentures in that the replacements are permanent. For dental implants to work, the patient must have a healthy jawbone to allow the implants to settle.

As dental implants require the bone around the implant to heal completely, it can take months to replace teeth. Dental implants are constructed from a screw made of titanium or titanium alloy or zirconia. The surgeon surgically implants the screw in the jawbone. 

Children cannot get dental implants because of still-developing facial bone structures. This type of dental surgery is not for smokers, people on immunosuppressive medication, those who have undergone radiation therapy on their head or neck, those with severe diabetes, or those who are nighttime teeth grinders.

What Type of Implants Will I Be Getting?

There are two major types of dental implants:

Zygomatic implants - This type of implant is for those with extreme bone deficiencies. This type of implant anchors in the facial bones, the zygoma. This procedure is ideal for replacing the entire upper jaw teeth.

All-on-4 implants - This procedure uses four implant posts to anchor an entire set of teeth in place. The procedure tends to be faster and more affordable. However, the implants are less responsive than natural teeth and are predisposed to wear and tear.

Will I Need a Bone Graft?

The doctor will conduct an exam before an implant procedure to determine whether there is enough bone mass. The process utilizes 3D imaging and CT scans for thorough imaging. If there is insufficient bone mass, the dentist will harvest the bone from another part of your body and place it in your jawbone. There is also the option of synthetic bone or natural donor bone.

What Are the Risks?

Dental implant surgery has risks. However, these are rare occurrences and can be taken care of when they happen. 

  • Nerve damage - This can affect your natural teeth and gums.

  • Sinus problems - This happens when implants go through your sinus cavities.

  • Infection - This can happen around the area of the implant.

How Long Will It Take?

Dental implant surgery is done in stages because it involves several steps and allows enough time for the bone to heal around the implants. The main steps are:

  • Unhealthy tooth removal.

  • Bone grafting.

  • Bone growth and healing.

  • Placement of abutment.

  • Tooth replacements.

For more on dental implants, visit Smile Institute Miami at our office in Miami, Florida. You can call (305) 590-5228 today to schedule an appointment.

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