Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably seen an ad about dental implants. You may have a lot of questions. Everyone here at Dakota Prosthetics and Implant Center understands and wants to ensure you have all the necessary information before you talk to your prosthodontist.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are prosthetic teeth implanted into your mouth to work like your natural teeth. Depending on your dental needs, they can be a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire mouth.
Are Dental Implants better than a bridge?
Short answer, yes. Like other body parts, your bones have a “use it or lose it” attitude. Every time you bite down, the pressure goes through the root of your tooth and into the jawbone. Where the root is missing, either through missing teeth or a bridge that doesn’t reach the jaw, your bone is not getting its workout. Over time, your body will absorb the unused bone, and your jaw will become weaker.
But what if I lost teeth a long time ago?
Whether you plan to have a tooth extracted next week or lost a tooth years ago, you may be a candidate for dental implants. First, your prosthodontist will measure the jawbone to ensure it is strong enough to accept the implant. Then, in some cases, your dentist may suggest a bone graft, where your prosthodontist will pack the area with tiny grains of calcified material that your body will use to build new bone.
How long does it take to get a dental implant?
Depending on the type of implant you need, it may take weeks or even months between the tooth extraction and the dental implant. After tooth extraction, your prosthodontist will need to give your bone time to heal before implanting the base of the implant. Then the bone will need to heal around the base before adding the final implant.
How do I know if I am a candidate for Dental Implants?
Your prosthodontist will ask medical questions and check your mouth and bones to see if you are ready for a dental implant. You must be in good overall health. You may have to be able to tolerate several dental procedures, depending on your oral needs. You also must practice good oral hygiene since this will help your mouth heal and protect the teeth around the final implant.
If you are thinking about dental implants, talk to our experts at the Dakota Prosthetics and Implant Center. We can help you decide if dental implants are right for you.