What Are Dental Implants? Answers to 5 of Your Frequently Asked Questions

Get to know dental implants.

Receiving a dental implant represents the strongest, durable, and most effective tooth replacement option currently available. And it’s those very qualities that have made for the procedure’s surge in popularity in recent years. 

With the help of a dental implant, you can not only restore form and function to your mouth, but you can also prevent bone loss and provide support to either a bridge or a denture, replacing several teeth at once. 

What’s even more amazing is that the success rate of dental implants is estimated to be somewhere between 90 and 95%, which means the odds are greatly in your favor should you choose to have an implant placed. 

You can learn more about these amazing restorative dental procedures below. The following guide includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants and much more.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a tooth loss solution that involves the placement and subsequent fusion of a titanium fixture to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. The fixture is used to support an abutment (a connecting piece), which can then hold a natural-looking prosthetic tooth. The result is the strongest and most natural-feeling tooth replacement treatment available. 

Because dental implants are fused to the jaw bone, they are the only tooth replacement option that can act as a reliable substitute for the stimulation that induces bone growth, a process that is stunted when an adult tooth falls out. Bone loss from missing teeth can cause an individual’s facial structure to shift, taking on a prematurely aged look.

5 Frequently Asked Dental Implant Questions

Even with all of the above details in mind, there’s still plenty to know about tooth implants. And while it’s always best to discuss these things with a dental professional, it’s also a good idea to walk into your initial consultation with a bit of research under your belt. 

On that note, review these common dental implant questions (and answers):

1. Are dental implants safe?

Although no medical procedure is entirely risk-free, the odds of complications occurring with a dental implant are quite minimal. As mentioned, the success rate of these procedures falls anywhere between 90 and 95%. 

And even in the rare event that your implant falls in that other 5-10% range, the most likely remedy is to simply remove the implant, assess what went wrong, and then give the treatment another try.

Additionally, the materials used in dental implants are titanium or zirconia, and the replacement teeth can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or ceramic fused to metal. All of these materials are compatible with the human body.   

2. How long do dental implants last?

Yet another one of the key advantages of dental implants is their incredible longevity. The titanium screw implanted into your jawbone is designed to last a lifetime. The prosthetic tooth can last upwards of 20 years, possibly even more, if you provide it with the proper care. That includes a good oral hygiene routine, regular dental visits, and a little extra caution when it comes to biting and chewing. 

Compare that time frame to that of dental bridges, which last around seven years, or a denture, which generally lasts about ten, and it’s clear that the dental implant is the far superior option in terms of long-lasting results.

3. Are dental implants painful?

If you suffer from dental anxiety, then one of your biggest concerns regarding dental implants is likely centered around how uncomfortable the procedure might be. 

Fortunately, having dental implants placed generally involves very little discomfort. You’ll receive a local anesthetic to ensure that things go smoothly, and your doctor will suggest or prescribe some medication to keep you comfortable as you heal. 

And speaking of healing, recovery from the procedure can take about seven to ten days in total, but the majority of the healing will be complete after just the first few days.

4. How much do dental implants cost?

There are several factors at play when determining the cost of dental implants, including the number of teeth being replaced, the complexity of the case, the materials used, insurance coverage, and more. 

With that in mind, it can be difficult to offer accurate pricing without knowing these things. Your dentist will be able to give you an accurate figure during your consultation when they assess the best option to restore your smile. 

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that there may be financing options available to you for dental implants. Speak with your dentist about these if you’re concerned about your expenses.

5. Am I a good candidate for dental implants?

Dental implants require adequate bone structure, healthy gums, and good oral hygiene, among other qualities, to ensure their efficacy. There are ways to ensure that you meet these requirements even if you currently do not, such as a bone graft, so it’s still in your best interests to see a dental professional for a consultation, no matter what your case is like.

Dental Implants in Sioux Falls From Sensational Smiles

If you’re in the Sioux Falls area, and you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, reach out to Sensational Smiles today or visit us online to schedule an appointment.