In this article, we are going to give you a comprehensive overview of dental implants and everything you should know about them.
You will find out information on dental implants such as average dental implant costs, when is a dental implant needed, types of dental implants, dental implant surgery recovery, and more. Read on to learn valuable information on dental implants before you speak with your dentist or consider getting them.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant, to put it simply, is a false tooth. But unlike veneers or dentures, dental implants are when a titanium screw (like a tooth root) is surgically placed into the jaw bone just under the gum line. Dental implants cannot come loose the way a denture can, and in fact, are typically better for dental health since they don’t use any substances to attach to anchored teeth.
Are they safe?
Dental implants are a completely safe and commonly practiced treatment. Just remember that your implant, just like your other teeth, should be cleaned regularly and looked after so they stay healthy. Post-surgery, your dental implants are as safe as how well you take care of them and go in for regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
However, if dental implants are left untreated it could lead to gum infections, bleeding, or another general discomfort—the same problems you encounter with natural teeth.
A Brief History of Dental Implants
Dental implants are often regarded as one of the most beneficial treatments for replacement teeth. What’s more, the improvements in dental implant methods and technology have come a long way in just the last 40 years.
The biggest discovery was in 1960 when the modern dental implant was created using titanium, which was discovered to have the properties needed to work within the body. The first dental implant was administered in a patient in the year 1965.
Evolution and advancement of technology have brought the process of administering dental implants a very long way. At Swedish Dental, we use advanced computer technology for dental implants—allowing us to see the patient’s mouth with 3D technology before administering an implant. Our digital impressions are now more quick and accurate than before so we can perform more efficient dental implant surgeries with less chance of pain and swelling due to a minimally invasive technique with the help of technology.
Find out more about the evolution of dental implants here.
Reasons for Needing Dental Implants
There are several reasons why patients choose to go with dental implants, such as:
- Dental implants help to preserve bone and gum tissue, which starts to erode when teeth are removed or fall out.
- They do not place more biting force on existing teeth, thereby protecting your natural teeth.
- Implants cannot decay or get cavities so you will not have painful procedures on them as long as they are cared for.
- They are the most reliable form of tooth replacement.
- Dental implants have a 90% 30-year survival rate, so they are long-lasting.
Types of Dental Implants
Two main types of dental implants are considered to be the safest: Endosteal implants and Subperiosteal implants.
These implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. First, the titanium is fused to the jawbone, then, the patient comes back to connect the new tooth to the implant once the gum tissue has had time to heal.
With these implants, a metal frame is custom-fitted for the patient’s jawbone right below the gum tissue. The more gums heal, the frame is fixed to the jawbone. “Posts” for teeth are then attached to the frame and artificial teeth are then fixed to the posts.
Costs of Dental Implants
Given the longevity of dental implants and the ease of aftercare post-surgery, the cost of getting dental implants is favorable compared to other teeth replacement options out there. While the cost will depend on your specific case and the amount of work required, but roughly, replacing one tooth can cost between 3,000 and 4,500 USD. Of course, depending on what type of insurance you carry, the costs of implants might vary. Be sure to check with your insurance to see if some of the costs of dental implants will be covered.
Risks of Dental Implants
Just like any surgical procedure, dental implants come with risks. Here are important dental implant risks you should be aware of:
Sometimes the area where the implant is placed can become infected. A good dentist will check before agreeing to dental implant surgery that you have healthy gums and an oral surgeon should do everything possible to keep the gum area clean to avoid this complication.
Blood vessel and/or nerve damage
Because dental implants require an oral surgeon to drill into your mouth to attach the implant to your jawbone, there is a risk of receiving damage to nerves in the gums as well as blood vessels. Again, a highly experienced and skilled oral surgeon will be able to cut down on this risk because they are careful to avoid or minimize this risk.
Post-surgical sinus problems
You may experience post-surgical sinus problems, particularly if you are a patient already prone to sinus problems and infections. At Swedish Dental, our experienced oral surgeons can work with you to do things like elevate the sinus floor and strategically placing your implants to avoid this issue.
Smoking poses a risk for any patient undergoing surgery. Smokers often have a longer recovery period after having surgery. Be sure to consult with our oral surgeons before trying to get dental implants because depending on your unique situation, they may not be recommended.
You can get more detailed information on these dental implant risks here.
What You Should Know About the Dental Implants Procedure
Once you consult with your dentist and oral surgeon, the dental team will be able to give you a schedule of how the process will work before the implantation and treatment process. Keep in mind your process might look different to someone else’s depending on several factors including the condition of your teeth and overall health.
A simple local anesthetic will be used to take out a tooth (if necessary) and place the implant. At the time of implantation, you should not feel any pain, however, you will likely experience discomfort during the week or two post-surgery. In some cases, the dentist may put you to sleep by giving you a sedative if your case is very complicated or if you are overly nervous.
Your false teeth will either be fitted before or during the implantation process. The dental team will recommend which option is the best for you.
As each case is different, the post-surgical treatment option will be, too. Make sure you understand what treatment options will be with your dental team before having dental implant surgery.
Once your implants have been placed, the jaw needs time to fuse with them, which can take up to a few months. If you currently have dentures, you can still wear these while your implant is dealing and before the tooth is attached, however, make sure to always verify this with your dental team first.
If your dental implants are well cared for, you can expect them to last for many years. It is important to note though, that just like other types of body implants there is no lifetime guarantee with dental implants.
We hope this article has been enlightening for you and given you valuable information on dental implants, the types of dental implants, and aftercare for dental implants. If you are interested and want to ask questions about dental implants, contact us at Swedish Dental here.