Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a permanent base for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth. If you wish to learn more about dental implants, here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you need to know.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that provide a solid foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are custom-designed to look, feel and function like natural teeth.

Dental implants can be used to replace one missing tooth, several missing teeth, or all of the teeth in your mouth. If you’re missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported complete denture can replace them to help you speak, eat and smile with confidence again!

Who is an ideal candidate for dental implants?

Though not everyone is a candidate for implants, most people in good health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason may be candidates for dental implant restoration. The best way to find out if you’re a candidate is to schedule a consultation with your dentist.

Some implant candidates may need preparatory procedures such as bone grafting to provide adequate bone structure for successful implant placement. These grafts may be taken from your own body or from a tissue bank. Your dentist will discuss the best treatment plan for you based on your individual needs and goals.

How long can dental implants last?

With proper care, your dental implant can last a lifetime. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings are essential to good oral hygiene and maintaining healthy gums around your implant. Some people with dental implants experience temporary minor irritation, which should resolve over time. You can discuss any concerns you may have with your dental implant dentist.

Are there different types of implants?

There are various types of dental implants; the main types of implants include endosteal and subperiosteal implants. Endosteal implants are surgically placed directly into the jawbone and are the most common type of implants used. Subperiosteal implants sit on top of the jawbone but are attached to the bone using metal posts. You’ll need to speak with your dentist to determine which type of dental implant is right for you.

How are dental implants installed?

Dental implants are tiny metal posts or frames that are surgically inserted into your jawbone. Your gums and jawbone will heal around these posts, which hold a replacement tooth in place. The posts act as artificial tooth roots that provide stable support for your new teeth. Caring for and caring for your new implants is similar to caring for a natural smile. You’ll need to brush twice per day and floss at least once per day. You’ll also need to visit your dentist regularly to ensure that your new teeth are in good condition.

Do dental implants hurt?

No, most patients report that they feel little-to-no discomfort during the dental implant procedure. Local anesthesia is used to numb the gums and jaw before the dentist places the implant into the jawbone. Once the implant is in place, the patient can return home and begin healing! Some patients report slight soreness or tenderness in the gums during the healing process, but this can be remedied with over-the-counter pain relievers. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities within a day or two of getting dental implants. Of course, we recommend brushing your teeth with a soft toothbrush and avoiding biting or chewing directly on your gums during the healing process. This will ensure proper healing and comfort for the life of the implant.

The dentist will also recommend a soft food diet for the first several days after your surgery. During recovery, your body will need a lot of nutrients to heal properly; however, hard foods can cause damage to the sensitive gum tissue around your new implant. We recommend sticking to soft foods like pasta, mashed potatoes, soup, yogurt, smoothies, scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, oatmeal, applesauce, and more!

If you’re interested in finding out more about dental implants and how they can help you, we’d love to help! Give our office a call to schedule your consultation today.