If you’re reading this post, you probably know that dental implants are the most effective form of tooth replacement. That’s because they mimic natural teeth.
The components of a dental implant include:
- Artificial root – A root form, usually made of titanium, is surgically implanted in your jawbone. It’s a simple procedure.
- Abutment – This connector is attached to the artificial root to support a crown.
- Dental crown – A dental crown is attached to the abutment.
Questions to Ask Yourself before Dental Implants Are Placed
1. What are the implant dentist’s qualifications?
Although many dentists offer dental implants, not all of them meet the following qualifications:
- Post-graduate training in implantology
- Regularly place dental implants
- Use advanced technology, including 3-D images to ensure optimal implant placement
- Provide natural-looking dental crowns or implant overdentures
2. What are my other options?
Dental implants are the best form of tooth replacement, but they are also the most costly. If they are not within your budget, you should be aware of the following:
- Other options, e.g., dental bridge, partial denture, implant overdentures
- Cost of the options
- Longevity of your options
- Results you can expect
3. What’s involved with getting dental implants?
Dental implants have a 98% success rate, but they require diligent oral hygiene. Ask yourself if you’re willing to do the following:
- Brush your teeth twice daily and daily floss between them
- Keep appointments for regular dental cleanings and checkups
- Quit smoking or tobacco use—or avoid those habits before and after dental implant surgery to allow proper healing
4. What Are My Long-Term Goals for My Smile?
If you have multiple smile goals, dental implants can be added to the treatment plan. But timing is everything. Your dentist will let you know at what stage dental implants will be scheduled in your overall treatment. For example, if you want your teeth whitened or aligned, let you dentist know before you receive dental implants.
5. Am I Willing to Wait?
- Surgery and healing – Receiving dental implants is a process. After the implants are placed, it takes three to four months for the implants and your jawbone to fuse and provide a solid anchor for dental crowns or dentures. Meanwhile, you will wear temporary crowns or dentures.
- Bone grafting – If some of your teeth have been missing for an extended period, your jawbone might be shrinking. Adequate bone is needed to support dental implants. If you don’t have enough bone, grafting might be required. The grafts need to heal before dental implants are placed.
A successful outcome requires patience. Don’t expect a quick fix with dental implants.
6. Am I Willing to Consult with More than One Dentist?
Much of the success of dental implants depends on the training, skill, and experience of the dentist. We recommend that you schedule consultations with more than one dentist. Only schedule consultations with providers who have post-graduate training in implantology, years of experience in placing implants, and many patients for whom implants have been provided.
During your consultations ask each dentist about the following:
- Advanced training and credentials
- Years of experience
- How many dental implant cases he or she has completed
- Before-and-after photos of patient cases
- Cost of the entire procedure, including surgery, bone grafting if needed, and crowns or dentures
- How he or she ensures accurate placement (3D imaging, computer-guided placement, etc.)
Cost alone should not determine which provider you choose for dental implants. Compare all of your options and weigh them carefully.
This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA accredited cosmetic dentist
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