by Dr. Amy Wilson
TRINIDAD — Answers to your dental questions:
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are a threaded titanium metal post that is sized specifically for the tooth or teeth that it can replace.
How does it stay in?
Because implants are titanium, they stimulate your own body’s ability to make bone. That bone attaches to the titanium and creates an extremely strong union between you and the metal.
Does it hurt?
Implants can be placed with local anesthesia which means only the location that we are working in is numbed. The patient cannot feel the procedure. Patients can also opt for IV sedation which is administered by our oral surgeon right in our office. You fall asleep and when you wake up the procedure is done.
Does it hurt after you’re done?
Often when the anesthesia wares off, patients have very little if any discomfort. We usually recommend over the counter ibuprofen for any discomfort. It is very common for patients to report no pain.
How many do I need?
Implants can be used to replace on or more teeth. They can also be used to attach partials or dentures. They can also be used to make the dentures where they do not come out of the mouth at all.
How do I clean my implants?
They are cleaned very much like your own teeth. Normal brushing and flossing are recommended along with periodic exams and cleanings by your dental professional.
How many do I need to get my dentures to stay?
Dentures can stay in with as few as four implants. If the dentures are going to be placed permanently, we generally recommend six or more.
How do I know if I am a good candidate?
We can take a three dimensional x-ray that will show us the height, width and general bone quality. It also shows where important structures are, like your sinuses. Based on this information we can actually treatment plan how many and where those implants are placed.
How long does it take?
The implant placement can be done in a matter of minutes. After the implant is placed, it needs to heal for up to six months to allow the bone to heal around the threads of the implant. After that the final crown or partial or denture can be placed. During the healing process a temporary may be used to replace the missing tooth.
How long will the implant last?
Implants need to be taken care of and examined regularly. Provided they are well done and well taken care of, they can last for decades. Like anything else in the body, they can fail. Overall, implants have a long track history. There are patients that have the original implants that were placed over 50 years ago.
Why would they fail?
Your implants could fail for a variety of reasons. We highly recommend that you not be a smoker or have a long history of smoking. We recommend very good oral hygiene to help take care of your implants. Your implant could develop an infection or the bone quality could not be sufficient for the implant to integrate properly causing you implant to fail. Improper use of your implant cold cause damage as well. However, with proper care and attention, your implants can last many years to decades.
What happens if an implant fails?
When an implant fails, often the areas can be healed by placing new bone in the area. After that bone has healed, a new implant can be attempted. In many cases there may be a different location that the implant can be placed so that the treatment can move forward.
How much does an implant cost?
Implants can be fairly affordable these days. Our office offers a reasonable cost for the implant under $1500 per implant. We offer cash discounts as well as financing options that can make your implant choice an affordable way to restore your function and smile.
Will my insurance pay for the implant?
Most insurance these days will pay a portion of your costs. Almost all dental insurances have a yearly maximum that is usually up to $1000.00 However, they usually only pay a percentage of the total cost of the implant. We can estimate what we think your company will pay. For your out of pocket costs, financing is available. Our staff has many options and can help you find the best one to meet your needs.
While these are not the answers to life’s burning questions, they are answers to many of the questions we get on a daily basis on our office. We are happy to have a discussion about the possibility of using implants to restore your smile. Call us for a complimentary consultation 719-846-7387.
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