Dental implants are a permanent way to replace missing teeth. They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants do not move or slip along the gums, and they require no extra daily maintenance aside from your normal brushing and flossing routine. At True Dentistry, our experienced implant dentist can create a treatment plan that will provide you with custom-designed dental implants to restore your smile with beautiful results.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
When your dental implants are healed and the restorations are placed, they should feel and function just like natural teeth. Generally speaking, the only temporary discomfort you might experience would be during the recovery process following your implant surgery; however, prescribed medication and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help provide relief as needed while you heal. The majority of our patients are typically free of any post-operative pain by the seven day mark.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants are intended to be a long-lasting—and in many cases permanent—tooth replacement solution, especially when the procedure is performed by an experienced implant dentist. There are several additional factors that can impact the success and longevity of your dental implants:
- Ensuring that you are indeed a good candidate for the procedure
- Effective treatment of any problematic dental concerns—including infection in the gums and bone tissue—prior to implantation
- Detailed procedure planning using state-of-the-art 3D technology
- Use of high-quality implant systems and durable restoration materials
- Checking for a proper bite when the implant restoration(s) are placed
- Keeping up with daily dental hygiene and twice yearly exams
- Addressing new dental concerns quickly when they arise
Dental implants with single crowns can be cared for just like your natural teeth, with twice-daily brushing and flossing. For patients who have a history of clenching or grinding, our dentist may recommend a night guard to help protect implant restorations from damage.
Additional Dental Implant FAQs
How successful are dental implants?
Dental implants are specifically made to enhance dental function and appearance with results that can last a lifetime. These procedures are known to have extraordinarily high levels of success when patients adhere to their post-treatment guidelines and take excellent care of their oral health. Dental implants are designed to replicate and mimic natural teeth in order to achieve maximum efficacy and appeal. It’s important to maintain your oral hygiene, avoid smoking or other habits that may increase risks of dental implant complications, and keep up with dental visits to get the most out of your implants.
Before dental implants can be placed, our dentist at True Dentistry will evaluate your mouth to determine if there is a high risk of implant failure based on the state of your teeth and the density of your jawbone. If dental implants are not a viable option, alternative solutions can be discussed that can improve your smile and dental health. Alternative options include implant-supported dentures, traditional dentures, and dental bridges. A bone grafting treatment may also offer a solution for patients who may be candidates for dental implants once jawbone density has been restored.
How do dental implants feel?
Worried about your level of comfort upon receiving dental implants? Our dental implants are crafted to ease any concerns about how your dental implants will feel following your procedure. Similar to the look of dental implants, once the procedure is completed, they are designed to feel like natural teeth.
Are dental implants covered by insurance?
Insurance coverage for dental implants may be available depending on the insurance plan. Once we receive more information about your specific dental insurance policy, we can help you determine whether you’re covered for dental implants.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
The process of getting dental implants is very technical and precise. Given the delicate nature of the procedure, the timetable will consist of several appointments. After your initial evaluation, the treatment plan will be developed. Then, you will have any treatments that may be necessary to ensure your oral health is ready for a dental implant procedure and to prepare the area for implant placement. The dental implants will then be surgically inserted and anchored to the jawbone. It will take at least a few months for the implants to fuse to the bone and become a permanent part of the mouth. Finally, your custom crowns can be securely attached to the implants, and any additional adjustments will be made for the best possible fit and appearance.
How do I clean and care for my dental implants?
Much like your natural teeth, cleaning is priority No. 1 when it comes to the longevity of your oral health. Fortunately, traditional methods of brushing, flossing and maintaining routine visits to the dentist are typically all that’s necessary to keep your dental implants clean and your mouth healthy for years to come.
Are there certain foods I should avoid with dental implants?
Unlike a removable dental appliance, there are significantly less restrictions on what you can consume once you’ve received your dental implants. However, it’s recommended to take precautions with certain foods that may increase the risk of damaging the crown or the implant post. It’s important to note that hard or sticky foods such as candy, popcorn, ice, and fruits or veggies that contain pits or hard seeds should be eaten carefully to reduce the chance of any incidental damage. Those with natural teeth and those who have received any treatment with dental veneers or crowns are advised with the same precautionary instructions.
Does smoking affect dental implants?
To put it simply and bluntly: yes. Smoking will have a significant impact on your teeth, whether they are natural or artificial. At True Dentistry, it is always recommended to avoid smoking, especially if you are concerned with potentially negative effects on your smile. It’s crucial that patients who receive dental implants do not smoke. Smoking can lead to dental implant failure by increasing gum and bone decay, which can greatly affect your implants. It is recommended that patients quit smoking at least one month prior to the procedure, and try to have a plan ready that enables them to refrain from smoking long after the treatment has been performed.
When is it too late to get dental implants?
For many patients, it is virtually never too late to get dental implants. There are, however, alternatives to dental implants if it is determined that you would benefit from a different procedure. Age typically doesn’t play a factor. Your oral health and your jawbone density are usually the deciding factors when it comes to candidacy for dental implants. If your jawbone density is not currently sufficient to properly accommodate an implant, a bone grafting procedure may be considered before dental implants are placed.
At what age can I get dental implants?
Dental implants can be placed at any age after the permanent teeth have developed. As noted in the section above, there is also virtually no upper age limit to undergoing these procedures. Sufficient bone density in the area of the missing tooth and oral/general health factors are usually the most important considerations for dental implant procedures.
Do I need a bone grafting procedure for dental implants?
At True Dentistry, our implant dentist will provide an evaluation of your jawbone during an in-depth consultation. If an individual does not have sufficient jawbone density and volume, it may be recommended that they have a bone graft procedure prior to placing dental implants. Transplanting a small bone graft on the jawbone in the affected area can help restore adequate strength and support. The graft should fuse to the larger bone, enhancing its foundation in order to successfully secure the implant in place. A bone graft will require some additional time to heal before proceeding with the dental implant procedure.
Are dental implants permanent?
The implant post, which acts as a replacement root for the missing tooth, is designed to be a permanent addition to the mouth once it has fully fused to the jawbone. Fortunately, this structure enables the restoration (crown, bridge, etc.) to remain for many years until a replacement restoration may be needed. With proper oral care, some patients have successfully maintained their dental implant restorations for several decades.