If you have one or two teeth missing from your smile, chances are that you’ve heard about dental implants and how wonderful they can be for anchoring your dentures or replacing your missing teeth. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this life-like and super-strong teeth replacement option.
If you’re interested in getting dental implants in Ballantyne, NC, but you’re unsure if they are the right teeth replacement option for you, you’re not alone. In this piece, we will go over the things to know before getting a dental implant. We will also answer some FAQs about dental implants to help you make an informed decision about your smile.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post that fuses with your jawbone to act as a natural tooth root. This root provides a strong foundation that supports fixed or removable replacement teeth like dentures, crowns, and dental bridges. The replacement teeth can be custom-made to match the look and feel of your natural teeth to restore your smile to its former beauty.
Dental implant procedure
It is important to understand that getting a dental implant takes several months. This is because dental implants require time to heal and fuse to your jawbone. The procedures involved in getting a dental implant include:
- A tooth extraction to remove the damaged tooth
- Bone grafting, if you don’t have enough jawbone to support the implant
- Implant surgery, which is where your dentist will place the implant into your jawbone
- Temporary prostheses (temporary crowns or dentures), which will need to be worn during the healing period
- Permanent tooth restoration placement, where your dentist will attach your final dentures or crowns to the abutment to permanently replace your natural tooth
Types of dental implants
There are three common types of procedures used for placing dental implants. The right dental implant for you will depend on your preference and the health of your teeth and gums. Your dentist will conduct a CBCT scan to determine which one will give you the best results in the long term.
Endosteal implants are the safest kind of dental implant because the implant placement procedure involves your jawbone. This implant is a placeholder post that comes in a screw-like shape, which is surgically placed into your jawbone.
However, keep in mind that this implant takes the longest to heal (4 to 6 months). To be approved for this type of implant, you need to have a healthy jawbone and immune system.
Subperiosteal implants rest on the jawbone under your gums instead of being fixed into the bone like endosteal implants. The placement procedure involves placing a metal frame under the gums and attaching the implant (titanium post) to it. Subperiosteal implants usually take 1 to 3 months to heal and are typically recommended for patients who don’t have enough jawbone or those who do not want to undergo the bone grafting procedure.
Zygomatic implants are the most complicated and the least common type of dental implant. The placement procedure involves placing the implant on your cheekbones instead of your jawbone or gums. This procedure is also suitable for patients who don’t have enough jawbone. Zygomatic implants can last up to 12 years and take 2 to 4 months to heal.
Pros and cons of dental implants
- They mimic the structure and look of your natural teeth. As a result, people will only notice your smile, not your dental implants.
- Dental implants improve the quality of your life. They restore your teeth’s cosmetic appearance and function so you can speak easily, eat, and smile confidently.
- They prevent jawbone shrinkage that happens due to bone loss.
- Dental implants can help improve your speech. Missing teeth (especially the front teeth) can make it difficult to pronounce certain words accurately.
- Dental implants are considered the best tooth replacement option for missing teeth due to their longevity and their ability to restore natural dental functions.
- They help keep adjacent teeth stable and prevent premature facial sagging so you won’t look older than you really are.
- Dental implants do not provide a quick solution to replace missing teeth.
- They are costlier than other tooth replacement options.
- The procedure can involve risks such as implant failure, injury to the surrounding tissues, and damage to nearby teeth.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants are very safe and have a long, well-documented history of success. Most implants are made from pure titanium metal. This metal is biocompatible and fuses to the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. Although titanium allergies are rare, metal-free zirconia implants are another option you can choose if you prefer an alternative to titanium or have a metal sensitivity or allergy.
What is the success rate of teeth implants?
According to research published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, dental implants have a 95% success rate. This information comes from a reputable study that investigated the results of 922 dental implants in a 3-to-5-year time period.
Are dental implants painful?
You shouldn’t feel any pain while getting a dental implant. This is because your dentist will numb your gums and sedate you with local or general anesthesia before the implant surgery.
After the surgery, you might feel a little discomfort or pain when the anesthesia wears off. However, you can manage your discomfort with pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol.
How long do dental implants last?
The prostheses (false teeth such as crowns and dentures) that the implant supports are more likely to get damaged sooner. You may need to replace them every 10-15 years, but the implant itself will last far longer.
How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants typically cost between $3,500–$6,700 per tooth. However, it’s difficult to give you a specific estimate for your tooth implant cost without seeing a dentist. This is because insurance plans, individual needs, the cost of sedation, and surgical materials vary.
When you come into our office, one of our Ballantyne, NC, dentists will thoroughly examine your teeth and provide a precise estimate for your treatment costs.
Restore your smile and dental functions with dental implants in Ballantyne, NC
Missing teeth will not only dent your smile but will also hurt your self-confidence and lead to other significant issues if left untreated. Fortunately, dental implants are here to save the day and provide you with life-like and super-strong teeth that will restore your smile.
If you need the best and most affordable dental implants in Ballantyne, NC, Aten & Garofalo Dentistry is your go-to practice. Our friendly dental professionals, Dr. Deborah Aten and Dr. Anthony Garofalo, are experienced in the dental implant placement process, and they are dedicated to helping patients achieve the perfect smile even after a tooth has been lost.
At Aten & Garofalo Dentistry, we adhere to the highest standards of care for dental implants—from evaluation and planning to implant placement—to give you the best outcome. We also offer other innovative dental services to preserve your oral health, restore your teeth, and keep your smile bright!
Schedule an appointment with your Ballantyne, NC dentists today to learn more about this procedure and find out if you’re a candidate for a dental implant.