Dental Implants

Dental Implant Questions

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a screw-like post that serves as an artificial tooth root. It is usually made of titanium and is placed into the jawbone to support a dental prosthesis, such as a crown, bridge, or denture.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

Generally, individuals with good oral health and sufficient jawbone density are considered good candidates for dental implants. However, each case is unique, and a thorough examination by Dr. Maranon is necessary to determine suitability for the procedure.

What are the advantages of dental implants over other tooth replacement options?

Dental implants offer several advantages, including improved chewing and speaking ability, enhanced aesthetics, durability, confidence, and long-term functionality. Unlike traditional dentures or bridges, dental implants do not rely on adjacent teeth for support and help preserve the integrity of the jawbone.

How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are designed to be a long-term solution for missing teeth. With proper care and regular dental check-ups, they can last for several decades, or even a lifetime. The longevity of dental implants depends on factors such as oral hygiene practices, overall health, and lifestyle habits.

Is the dental implant procedure painful?

Pain control during the placement of dental implants is usually obtained using local anesthesia. Some patients choose to have the procedure performed under sedation. The choice of anesthesia technique is dependent on the patient’s personal needs and the type of procedure to be performed. Factors that patients should consider include the level of comfort wanted, the patient’s pain tolerance, the level of difficulty of the procedure, the time necessary for the procedure, and each patient’s medical considerations. Some soreness and swelling may be expected after the procedure, but these can be managed with pain medication prescribed by your dentist.

How long does the dental implant process take?

The duration of the dental implant process can vary depending on individual cases. It involves several stages, including initial consultation, implant placement surgery, osseointegration (integration of the implant with the jawbone), and the placement of the dental prosthesis. Overall, the process can take several months, with healing and recovery time factored in.

What is dental implant osseointegration?

After the implant is placed, the process of osseointegration begins. Osseointegration is the biological process by which the dental implant fuses with the surrounding bone. This process takes a few months, as the bone cells in the jaw gradually grow and attach to the implant surface securing it in place. The exact duration of the osseo-integration process depends on a number of factors. These factors include the patient’s overall health, the location of the implant, and if there are other associated surgical procedures. Implant integration is essential for the long-term success and stability of the dental implant.

Will I be able to see the implant after it is placed?

Depending on the location, if the stability of the dental implant is optimal when it is placed, a small attachment stability that protrudes slightly from the gum tissue. This attachment may be visible but it is usually used in situations where they are not typically seen during normal function. In some cases, temporary restorations that look like teeth can be placed on the dental implants. If cosmetics are an issue or if Dr. Maranon wants to give the dental implant additional time to heal, he may choose to submerge the implant underneath your gums. Once the dental implant has integrated, a second procedure will be necessary to expose the top of the dental implant to allow for the final restoration.

What is an abutment?

An abutment is a connector that attaches to the dental implant once it has integrated. The abutment serves as a component that attaches to the top of the dental implant. From its attachment to the implant, the abutment protrudes through the soft tissue serving as a stable base for the final restoration

Are dental implants noticeable once they are restored?

Dental implants are designed to look and function like natural teeth. The crown or prosthesis attached to the implant is custom-made to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, ensuring a seamless and natural appearance. Once the healing is complete, dental implants are typically not noticeable to others.

When can my final restoration be placed and my case completed?

Your dental restoration can be attached to a dental implant once the implant has completed osseointegration. The length of time the bone must heal varies from case to case, and is a function of the bone quality, quantity, implant stability, and the type of final restoration planned.

Are dental implants easy to take care of?

Maintaining dental implants is similar to caring for natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups are essential to ensure the longevity and health of dental implants. Depending on your implant restoration, specific cleaning techniques or products may be recommended to assist you with your oral hygiene.

What is a bone graft and why might I need it?

There are dental conditions that result in bone loss in the jaws. In these cases, bone grafting is sometimes necessary before placing dental implants. After a tooth is extracted, bone around the tooth can resorbed or dissolved away. Bone grafting at the time of extraction helps to regenerate the bone and make implant placement more predictable. There are other indications for bone grafting such as when there is insufficient bone below the sinus for implant placement or to restore bone width and height when the jawbone has resorbed after tooth extraction.

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