Dental Implant FAQ's

What is a Dental Implant?

Implants are a tooth replacement option that involves placing a new "root" into the bone of your jaw. Once this titanium "root" has infused with your bone it can be used to support a crown, bridge or denture. These implants can also be used to replace partials and other forms of dentures. The success rate for dental implants are extremely high and is due in part to the fact that root-form implants are made of a biocompatible material, titanium. Because titanium is accepted so well by the human body, it is also used for orthopedic implants, such as hip and knee replacements. Dental Implants have now become the standard for replacing older dentistry and missing teeth because they look and feel like your natural teeth and have a higher success rate than all other forms of tooth replacement. The initial cost is generally higher for an implant over other forms of tooth replacement, but the long term benefits easily outweigh the difference in additional cost. An investment in implant dentistry is an investment in overall health, appearance and well being, as it involves preserving the integrity of facial structures, as well as replacing missing teeth.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Dental implants stop face changing bone loss.
  • For many people, dental implants will handle a lifetime of use.
  • Dental Implants won't harm healthy sounding teeth like a dental bridge.
  • Dental implants allow you to eat all of your favorite foods.
  • Implant-supported teeth won't move or pop out.
  • Dental implants can improve your speech.
  • Dental implants will restore your mouths full function and aesthetics so that every facet of your life can improve physical, emotional, mental even social relationships.
  • Implant-supported teeth won't move or pop out.
  • Dental implants can improve your speech.
  • Dental implants will restore your mouths full function and aesthetics so that every facet of your life can improve physical, emotional, mental even social relationships.

Why are dental implants the best option?

Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Unlike bridges, partials and dentures, a dental implant replaces the lost tooth root, which will prevent jaw bone resorption that occurs with bridges, partials and dentures. The loss of tooth roots will cause a change of the smile and contours of the face over time. A bridge, once the common single tooth replacement method, requires the alteration of each neighboring healthy tooth, which is cut down and shaped to accept a crown.

With dental implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth. The lost root and crown is replaced leaving neighboring healthy teeth in place. Removable partials connect to healthy teeth by hooks. Partials may be removed for cleaning and may need to be replaced often. A partial hook connected to healthy teeth will create tooth stress and will loosen the healthy teeth over time. Full arch dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which, among other things, causes the appearance of premature aging.

Am I a candidate for dental implant treatment?

If you are missing one or more teeth and in general good health, you are a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are a few qualifying factors that need to be addressed:

  1. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement.
  2. Uncontrollable diabetes or other medical conditions.

Overall, there are very few conditions that would keep someone from having implant treatment. Even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment; although, an additional procedure(s) to add bone or to create new bone may be necessary. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for most people who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant treatment.

You Are NEVER Too Old For Dental Implants.

Leonard Linkow invented the first metal implant over fifty years ago as a solution for older patients that were missing all of their teeth. Your doctor will consider your overall health, but there is generally no upper age limit for dental implant treatment. Many patients well into their nineties have had dental implant treatment without difficulty.

Can a dental implant work with existing dentures?

Every patient's situation is unique; however, from time-to-time we can use an existing denture by altering the denture to accommodate the necessary denture attachments to fit the implants.

What is the difference between a traditional crown and bridge and an implant supported crown and bridge?

There are several differences.

  1. A dental implant preserves jaw bone.
  2. We do not have to destroy neighboring health teeth by grinding down the teeth to pegs in order to accept a crown.
  3. Implants last longer than traditional crown and bridge. Implants are designed to last a lifetime, while a traditional crown and bridge is projected to last approximately 10 years and may need to be replaced.

Although dental implants have become the standard of care, they are more expensive than old tooth replacement methods. They are a better choice for the money; however, some dentists still recommend traditional tooth supported bridges for patients due to their own comfort level, or when patients insist on having the immediate lowest possible fee for tooth replacement. Most dentists today detest the idea of grinding down perfectly healthy teeth to place a traditional bridge, and therefore, will almost always recommend dental implant treatment in these cases.

When should a tooth be extracted and replaced with a Dental Implant?

There are times when it makes sense to extract a tooth and replace it with a dental implant.

  1. If a natural tooth is failing or about to fail.
  2. If a tooth has severe periodontal disease (gum disease) that has eroded the bone that supports teeth. Sometimes in these cases, it is preferable to extract the teeth; eliminate the disease and infection and replace the teeth with a dental implant.
  3. When a tooth has had a root canal (nerves have been removed from the tooth) leaving the tooth brittle and susceptible to fracture. Teeth with severe fractures are usually extracted and are ideal candidates for replacement with dental implant treatment.