Missing a tooth and wondering if dental implants may be right for you? Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we get in the office about this restorative procedure.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are replacement teeth, surgically implanted into the jawbone. First, artificial tooth roots, made from metal posts, are attached to your jaw. Then, a replacement tooth is mounted on the synthetic tooth root.
Implants feel and function just like natural teeth, won’t slip or move, and don’t require special cleaning or use of adhesives. In fact, you can care for implants just like you would natural teeth.
In addition, implants help restore chewing capacity, and can even preserve bone in the jaw, helping to maintain facial structure.
Are dental implants painful?
During your dental implant procedure, you’ll be numbed with local anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain. You may feel pressure at times, but it shouldn’t cause you any discomfort.
As you recover from the procedure, you may experience some mild pain and swelling. This is perfectly normal, and can be managed with pain medication. However, if swelling, discomfort, or any other problem gets worse in the days following your implant, it’s important to contact us immediately.
How long does a dental implant take?
A dental implant happens in stages, with healing time between procedures. The process involves multiple steps, including:
- Damaged tooth removal
- Bone grafting (if bone has been lost in the jaw)
- Artificial tooth root placement
- Artificial tooth placement
In total, this process can take months from start to finish. However, the amount of time required varies from patient to patient. For example, bone grafting can take 3-6 months—but if it’s not necessary, we can skip ahead to placing the artificial tooth roots, significantly reducing the length of the implant process.
How much does a tooth implant cost with insurance?
The cost of your dental implants will vary depending on your individual needs and treatment plan. If you’re considering a dental implant, we will discuss the cost of your treatment and each of your available payment options with you before we begin, so that you can make the best choice to meet your needs.
Why choose implants over dentures or bridges?
Conventional bridges and dentures are not fixed to the bone, and can therefore be unstable. This can make it difficult to eat or smile with confidence. Implants not only look more natural, but feel and act more like normal teeth, with a stronger biting force. And because they don’t directly rely on neighboring teeth for support, implants don’t compromise the health of your natural teeth.
How long do dental implants last?
With good oral hygiene, implants can last 25 years or more, making them an effective, long-term solution to tooth loss.
Have any additional questions about dental implants? Ready to schedule an implant consultation? Don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re here to help you find the best option to restore your smile.
About The Author
Dentist at Cottonwood Dental
Dentistry is a profession that requires many layers of knowledge and training. My background encompasses three post-grad degrees along with a command of aesthetics and precision. Both of those are necessary when creating the great results that we promise our patients. Being a graduate of the University of New Mexico and Marquette University School of Dentistry has provided me with a launching point for my practice at Cottonwood Dental. My ongoing research… [Read full bio]