Cherrywood Dental Ask the Experts 2016
Ask the Expert: Cherrywood Dental
Topic: Dental Implants
Q: What are dental implants?
A: Dental implants are titanium posts that go into your bone. Implants are used to restore function in areas that are missing teeth.
Q: How do I know if I can have an implant to replace my missing tooth/teeth?
A: In order to assess if you are a good candidate for an implant, you need to have an x-ray to evaluate the bone in the area. The type of gum tissue is also evaluated, as are the teeth around the space. Prior to having an implant placed, you might need a bone or tissue graft. These procedures help ensure the success of the implant process.
Q: Do implants last forever?
A: Although dental implants have a high success rate -- over 90% -- nothing lasts forever. But the actual implant in your jaw should last as long as natural teeth do. And that is determined in part by your habits, such as whether you smoke or grind your teeth. And that is determined in part by the natural bacteria in your body and the specific qualities of your bone. Some medical conditions, such as diabetes, also affect how long an implant will last. Finally, as your implant ages, you may need to replace or repair the crown that was placed on it. But for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are extremely similar to natural teeth.
Prior to having an implant placed, you might need a bone or tissue graft. These procedures help ensure the success of the implant process.
Q: Are implants expensive?
A: The cost of a dental implant depends on the bone quality, the number of implants, and the type of crown or restoration that is placed on it. The cost is similar to a bridge for a single implant, which is often the other option under consideration. But unlike a bridge, implants do not require the teeth around the space to be cut down by the dentist, so more tooth structure is retained.