Currently, dental implants are one of the most popular restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. Capable of replacing a single or multiple missing teeth, dental implants can support a variety of dental prostheses and offer patients options when it comes to smile makeovers. They are also the longest-lasting restoration method and are extremely durable.However, there are certain things that go along with getting dental implants that many people may be unaware of. If you are considering having dental implants placed to replace missing teeth, then you should also consider these five things:
The Size and Type of Implant
Before having dental implants placed, you will need to consider the size and type of dental implant. This decision is best made by discussing your individual case with your dentist to determine which would work best for you. Endosteal implants, which are implanted into the jawbone, can be fabricated as standard, wide, or mini sizes. Subperiosteal implants are the other type of dental implant, although they are rarely used.
The Type of Dental Prosthesis
Another thing to consider before getting dental implants is the type of dental prosthesis you plan on using. If you are looking to replace a single missing tooth, then this decision is made for you because dental crowns are the only option for an individual tooth. However if you are replacing multiple missing teeth, you will need to decide on a implant-supported bridge or an implant-supported denture.
Implants are Placed with Dental Surgery
No matter what type of dental implant you decide upon, both types require dental surgery for their placement. Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gums, while endosteal implants are placed into the jawbone. With endosteal implants, once the implant screw is placed in the jawbone, a connector piece will be attached. This metal connector piece will stick out above the gums, while the gums will be sutured around it. Usually a temporary restoration will be placed onto this connector.
Patient Compliance is Highly Important
Once dental implants have been placed, there is a necessary recovery period. During this recovery period, it is highly important for patients to be compliant to any and all instructions provided by their dentist. This is because dental implants must fuse with the surrounding bone in a process called osseointegration to function properly. Osseointegration takes approximately 3-6 months to complete and the implants are only considered to be successful once this process is complete.
You’ll Pay More Upfront
With dental implants, you can expect to pay more money upfront. However, because they last so long, they require far less replacements in the future and can actually save you money in the long run. Additionally, many dentists offer financing plans and some dental insurance companies offer partial coverage for dental implants. While the cost may be shocking at first, it is recommended to research your options before giving up on implants altogether.
Dr. John Batlle attended the UF College of Dentistry where he received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 1983. After graduating, he worked for the State of Florida and received his commission in the Navy Reserve Dental Corps. He was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 2002 where he served as the dentist for Detainee Operations and Navy Hospital GTMO. He recently retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve after 26 years of service.