Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
What happens if missing teeth aren’t replaced?
Missing teeth can lead to a host of other problems, including loss of adjacent teeth. Adjacent teeth can also drift into the gap left behind by the missing tooth. It’s not difficult to predict that such shifting can lead to food getting stuck in between teeth that are now in different positions and hard to clean. This increases the likelihood of cavities. The once smooth chewing function can eventually be compromised and pain in the jaw joints can ensue. Gum disease becomes more prevalent as well.
Aren’t dental implants more costly that other tooth replacement options?
Only a dental implant is a true tooth replacement. Other options, such as a tooth supported bridge or removable partial denture, aren’t replacing the tooth root – They’re restoring the lost tooth with a prosthetic. Studies show these other tooth replacement options carry the risk of adjacent tooth loss which, of course, leads to additional cost. Over the span of twenty years, dental implants last longer than any other tooth replacement or restoration option, don’t harm other teeth and stop the bone loss that is triggered when a tooth is lost. They typically average about $5,000 a tooth. Compare the lifespan of a bridge or removable partial denture (average 7-10 years and 5 years, respectively), and it becomes clear that the dental implant is the most stable, attractive, functional and economical in the long run.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
If you’re in good health you’re likely a candidate for dental implants.
My missing tooth is in the back of my mouth. Why should I invest in an implant when no one can see the missing space?
It’s true that many people think they don’t need to replace a missing tooth that’s in the back of their mouth. For the reasons described in our Missing Tooth page, you can see that whether the tooth is in the front or back of the mouth, it’s serving a vital role in your chewing function and its loss will affect other teeth and underlying bone.
Am I too old for dental implants?
Age is not a factor. An 80 year old likes to chew and smile as much as a 30 year old and in fact, we’ve had many patients over 80 who’ve restored their teeth with several dental implants. Dental implants are a lifestyle choice, as they affect appearance, eating, confidence, smiling and overall health.
Will a dental implant be as strong as my natural teeth?
Yes, they’re often stronger.
How long will it take to receive my dental implants?
With an immediate implant, the entire tooth replacement can be completed in one day. You’ll leave with a high-quality temporary crown and just make one return visit to have it seated. If you get the traditional implants, there is healing time of about 4-6 months after the placement of the implant. Doc will make you a temporary tooth(teeth) during this time.
How successful are dental implants?