If you are among the over 156 million Americans missing at least one tooth, you may find yourself looking into replacement options such as dental implants. Even though they have a 98% success rate, making sure you’re well informed before undergoing this major treatment can help you feel more comfortable with the procedure. Ask your dentist these questions at your dental implant consultation to ensure you’re making the right decision for your smile.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
One of the key factors for dental implant eligibility is patient health. Since this is a surgical procedure, it’s important to start with healthy gums and teeth. If the patient has any other oral health issues, these will need to be addressed before moving forward with the procedure. Bone density is another important factor. Your dentist will take X-rays to determine if your bone is dense enough for implants. If it isn’t, other options such as bone grafts may be necessary to proceed. Oral health habits, including whether the patient smokes, also impact their ability to have a successful implant surgery. If the tooth hasn’t already fallen out or been surgically removed, ask your dentist if they’re able to save it.
How Does the Procedure Work?
Listen carefully to your dentist’s answer to this question and pay attention to how long they say the procedure should take. Keep in mind that the answer may vary based on the above factors as well as how many implants you’re having placed. If you are getting multiple implants, you may need to visit the dentist several times. It may take up to an hour to place each implant and several months for them to fuse to the jawbone through osseointegration. Once the implant has fully healed, you’ll need to schedule a much shorter appointment to attach the crown, or the replacement tooth.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Though recovery may vary depending on the patient, expect your gums to be sore for a few days after recovery. Once you start to feel better, you can begin eating regular foods while avoiding anything sharp, tough, crunchy, sticky, spicy, chewy, acidic, or overly hot or cold. Have ice packs, pain medicine, and soft foods stocked up at home to help make recovery more comfortable. Dental implants generally last at least 30 years but, with proper care and healthy habits, they can last a lifetime.
Knowing what to ask your dentist is a crucial part of being confident in the decisions you make for your oral health. By asking the right questions, you’ll be able to get all the information you need to pick the best option for a lifetime of beautiful teeth!
About the Author
Joe Isaacson Dental is committed to providing exceptional oral healthcare that puts patients’ needs and goals front and center. Dr. Isaacson has practiced in Oklahoma City since receiving his dental degree at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 1993. He prides himself on providing comfortable, modern dentistry. He is highly skilled at placing dental implants and loves helping patients achieve the smiles they’ve always dreamed of! To learn more about dental implants, call (405) 943-8575 or visit our website.