All About Dental Implants

A dental implant is the most effective long-term tooth replacement solution available today. There is a lot to know about them before deciding if they’re right for you. Learn all about dental implants and see if they are a good solution for you!

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What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant consists of two primary components that come together to replace a missing tooth. The first component is a metal post, usually made of titanium, which is inserted into the empty socket where the tooth used to be. The second component is the tooth-shaped crown, which is generally made of porcelain and fastened to the post.

Preparing For A Dental Implant Procedure

When considering a dental implant to replace a lost tooth, it is important to consult with a dentist to see if it is a good solution. It is important for people to ask any questions they might have about their specific case and discuss their needs as well. If they decide to move forward with a dental implant procedure, then a dental surgery appointment will be set. The dentist will provide a specific list of instructions to follow in the days and hours leading up to the implant surgery. Most importantly of these instructions will be to fast for 12 hours before the surgery, and only consume water for 4-6 hours before the appointment. This is because of the sedation that will be used during the procedure. If this fast isn’t followed, then the surgery appointment will be cancelled and need to be rescheduled.
Dentist showing a model of a dental implant.
Woman sitting in a dental chair smiling while she talks with her dentist

Post-Surgery Care

After the dental implant surgery, comes the recovery period. Typically, it takes between 4 and 6 months of recovery time for the implant post to fuse to the bone structure and be ready for the final crown to be fixed. The dentist will provide specific instructions and for caring for the implant post, and how to handle common post-surgery effects such as bleeding, swelling, and pain. It is extremely important to follow these instructions carefully to ensure the site heals properly and the implant post isn’t rejected.

Over the course of the recovery period, you will be asked to see your dentist at regular intervals so they can assess the recovery progress, and check for any complications that need to be addressed. Once the dentist determines that the post is set and ready, a porcelain crown will be made and attached to the post, completing the implant procedure. After that, all it needs is the same regular oral care that real teeth need.

Considerations For Getting a Dental Implant

There are a few factors that need to be considered before deciding to get a dental implant. The first and most important factor to consider is cost. A full dental implant procedure costs thousands of dollars when factoring in appointments, surgery, anesthesia and materials. It is possible to have some or all of the costs of the procedure covered by employment benefits or dental insurance, but that is only if the policy covers it. In many cases, financing options are available for the procedure, and it is one that we at Yazdani Family Dentistry are happy to offer.

Another thing to consider is medical history and any medications that could interfere with the surgery, or recovery process. For example, obese people are not good candidates for dental sedation, which may disqualify them for dental implant surgery. People who take blood-thinning medications are also not great candidates for surgery as it will be harder for them to form a blood clot at the site of the surgery which is important for the recovery process. Women who are prescribed antibiotics need to be careful if they are also taking birth control medication as the antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control.

These considerations and more will need to be discussed with a dentist before dental implant surgery can be approved.

Dentist checking a woman's teeth during teeth cleaning.
Man with a beard sitting in a dental chair looking at his smile in a mirror.

Why Dental Implants Are The Best Tooth Replacement Solution

Dental implants are widely considered to be the best tooth replacement solution for a number of reasons. For starters, they are made to last a long time. If properly cared for, a dental implant can last up to 25 years or more before the post needs to be replaced. Alternative solutions, such as dentures, flippers, or dental bridges only last a fraction of that time, usually around 5 to 7 years at most. This means dental implants are actually more cost-effective than any other treatment solution despite it’s large upfront cost.

Consider the time and costs involved with appointments for checkups, adjustments and maintenance, and replacement appliances, and compare that to the upfront cost of a dental implant, and it becomes clear that dentures or dental bridges cost more over the lifetime of a single dental implant then what the upfront costs are.

Secondly, dental implants help to preserve oral health in the event of lost teeth. When a person loses an adult tooth, or multiple teeth, the underlying gum and bone structures slowly begin to deteriorate. This deterioration will lead to more teeth being lost, and the jawbone structure growing weaker and weaker, making the use of their mouth for speaking and eating harder. The titanium post serves as a replacement for the root of the tooth that will fuse to the bone structure to give it and the surrounding gums the support it needs to stay healthy. None of the other tooth replacement solutions previously mentioned provide this kind of support.