Twin Aspen Dental Center is Parker’s resident dental expert and resource surrounding dental implants.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are recognized as one of the best options for replacing missing or badly broken-down teeth, with over a 90% success rate over the past 30 years. Dental implants provide a long-term solution due to ongoing technological advancements and more durable implant materials. Composed of titanium metal, dental implants integrate with the jawbone and either secure a denture in place or are covered with a crown to create a strong and natural-looking smile.
Are dental implants as strong as natural teeth?
The main advantage that dental implants have over natural teeth is that implants cannot decay. Gone are the days of having to deal with cavities and then possible root canals. Dental implants consist of a titanium post and crown. Titanium is one of the most durable metals and has been marked as “fracture resistant.” Though a natural tooth is always best, dental implants certainly are stronger than decaying natural teeth!
What are the benefits of dental implants?
- Dental implants are the most natural-looking and feeling replacement for missing teeth. They were devised for one replacement up to a handful of teeth. Since implants are surgically implanted into the jawbone, they integrate with the bone and take on the functionality of real teeth. Dental implants act just like real teeth, so you can talk and chew comfortably without any complications.
- Dental implants serve as a substitute for the root of the tooth, ensuring they stay in place no matter what the situation.
- Dental implants are not only long-lasting, but they also promote better oral health. When a tooth falls out, dental implants work to fill the remaining hole, so there is no room for infection or a decrease in bone volume.
- Dental implants have a longstanding success rate. Though the initial investment may be higher than other alternatives, the long-term is far less costly, and they are considerably more predictable.
Does the dental implant procedure hurt?
During the procedure, you will be given an anesthetic that will eliminate any feelings of pain. If the thought of implant surgery still worries you, we offer different levels of sedation tailored to best suit your needs. Once the dental implant surgery is complete, and the numbness wears off, you may experience some discomfort. Though this soreness varies depending on how many implants are placed and how long the surgery takes, there are some steps that work to combat this pain:
- Choose a reliable dentist – Dr. Richter is committed to taking great care of his patients by providing professional service on an individual level. Don’t rely on just any dentist for your dental implants, as they should be placed carefully to minimize complications or implant failure. Dental implants are refined dental devices that require implant experts’ competence, training, and education for successful and pain-free treatment.
- Follow post-procedure instructions – We give patients detailed instructions after procedures, so they experience the least amount of pain possible. Following these instructions ensures less surgical pain and a quicker recovery.
- Medication – To help with any discomfort following your procedure, it is best to combat pain and inflammation with an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), such as Ibuprofen, which is an analgesic with anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Ice – Icing the area will not only help in reducing pain, but it will also work to bring down natural swelling.
- Saltwater rinse – Since your regular brushing routine may be painful at first, gently rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help fight pain and infection-causing bacteria.
- Soft foods – Stick to foods that are relatively soft and easy to chew. We recommend smoothies, yogurt, or anything pureed during the recovery process.
While many patients don’t experience any discomfort at all, dental implant pain should not last longer than a week to ten days. If you still feel pain after this period, contact our office right away.
How long do dental implants last?
In numerous studies over the past several decades, it has been concluded that dental implants can surpass 25 years. Just like your real teeth, dental implants can last for the remainder of one’s lifetime if properly maintained. This is influenced by a variety of factors, such as:
- Daily brushing and flossing
- Visiting our dental office every six months
- Avoiding chewing on hard items, like jawbreaker candy or ice
- Avoiding opening things with teeth
- Age at the time of the procedure, lifestyle and overall oral health
How do All-on-4 dental implants compare to traditional dental implants?
Dr. Richter works with a periodontist when doing all-on-4 implant procedures. This extra eye and knowledge make for a fast, efficient, and lasting implant solution. There are a few ways all-on-4 implants compare to traditional implants. These include:
- All-on-4 treatment requires four to six dental implants that are strategically placed across the dental arch to support a full denture. This denture is permanently affixed in the mouth and can only be removed by the dentist. This is a more predictable and practical treatment option than single tooth implants replacing all of the teeth in the mouth.
- Do those ads on TV discussing getting teeth in a day sound too good to be true? Well, you are correct in thinking that they are. All-on-4 dental implants can be completed in as little as one day but like traditional dental implants, take multiple visits and six months to fully complete treatment.
- Traditional dental implants and All-on-4 implants both require a strong bone structure to support normal, everyday chewing forces.
Will my insurance pay for my dental implants?
Since dental insurance companies sometimes consider implants a cosmetic option rather than a necessity, some insurance plans cover dental implants, and some do not. Patients should discuss the extent of their tooth replacement options with Dr. Richter prior to any procedure. With this being said, here are some other scenarios to keep in mind:
- Contact your medical or dental insurance companies to ensure you understand what is covered through your plan.
- If your insurance policy does cover dental implants, make sure to review your plan’s annual limit, as there may be additional payments that will need to be paid out-of-pocket.
- The crown that goes on top of the implant itself can be covered under many insurance plans.
- Many medical insurance plans have begun covering aspects of the dental implant procedure since medical complications can result from tooth loss.
If you have any further questions regarding the dental implant process, all-on-4 dental implants, or if your insurance can cover the costs, contact us today! We look forward to providing you with the individual care and comfort you deserve.