Losing a tooth (or teeth) can be a blow to your self-esteem. It can also cause some emotional impacts. The entire ordeal may have you wishing you could bring the tooth back. The good news is that you can! Well, sort of. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth. It’s certainly a treatment that can help. It’ll give your beautiful smile the second chance it deserves.

With that said, the procedure isn’t for everyone. In fact, there are a variety of things to consider. Below are six important questions to ask your dentist if you are thinking about dental implants.

mature woman relaxing on her couch at home, smiling

1. What Are Dental Implants?

This is likely the most important question of them all! Dental implants bond to your jawbone. The root is titanium, which can fuse directly to your bone. It’s strong enough to withstand all the biting and chewing you do throughout the day. There’s a coating within the outside of the titanium root that doesn’t rust.

Lastly, the crown is placed on top of the implant root. This is made of robust ceramics. As well, it functions and looks just like a real tooth.

2. What Are The Benefits of Dental Implants?

There are a variety of benefits to dental implants. Some of these include:

  • They won’t fall or slip out, as they are a permanent fixture in your mouth.
  • No dietary restrictions, unlike some tooth replacement treatments.
  • Cleaning and maintenance are the same as natural teeth (daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash rinse).
  • The procedure stimulates your bones and gums.

There are “cons” to the treatment, too. Like most surgeries, there are some risks with dental implants. This means chances around infection, including peri-implantitis, sinusitis, and nerve damage. Plus, some dental insurance plans don’t cover implants. Lastly, the process takes months to complete (this is outlined below). Dental implants aren’t ideal for anyone who lacks patience!

3. How Long Does The Dental Implant Procedure Take?

If you don’t require a tooth extraction, the entire procedure takes about four months. If you do require an extraction then the start-to-finish completion date is about eight months. This allows for healing and fusion time. The dental implant treatment itself takes only five minutes to complete while you are in the dentist’s chair.

4. How Long Is Recovery?

Full recovery after the surgery takes about seven days. You can resume eating the same day as your treatment. However, your dentist in Spokane Valley may recommend staying away from seedy or crunchy foods during that time.

Most dental implant patients report only minimal discomfort during recovery. Over-the-counter pain medication may help with any pain.

5. Who Are Good Candidates For Dental Implants?

Most are good candidates for this procedure. Those with overall good oral health can move forward with this treatment. Healthy gums are a must, too, as well as sufficient bone in your jaw to anchor the implants. Although, some patients with inadequate jawbone can also partake in this treatment at times, via a bone grafting procedure.

Your Spokane Valley dentist will perform an evaluation before moving forward with dental implants. Good oral health is a factor in all this. Thus, there is a check-up done on your teeth, gums, jaw, and overall mouth.

Some people might not be good candidates for dental implants. These include those who suffer from cancer, uncontrolled diabetes, as well as uncontrolled gum disease. Smoking and alcoholism are also factors, as they affect the gum healing process. There’s a possibility that patients who take specific medications could be declined for the treatment, too. Specifically, drugs or steroids that suppress the immune system. As well, grinding and clenching your teeth is a no-no. These habits can place pressure on your dental implants, causing damage to them. Therefore, a dentist might recommend a mouthguard in these cases, before your implants’ procedure.

6. Which Is Better? Bridges Or Dental Implants?

It depends on your situation! Dental bridges are a great solution for some patients. However, they don’t stimulate jawbones the way dental implants do. Plus, implants can last a lifetime if maintained properly. This is not the case for dental bridges. Lastly, this treatment does not require the support of your teeth. Dental bridges do, which can add stress on the surrounding natural teeth in your mouth. This increases the risk of damage and tooth decay.

Do You Have Dental Implant Questions? Contact Your Spokane Valley, WA Dentist, Today!

Interested in dental implants? If you still have questions, reach out to us at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics, today! We can offer more information about dental implants and talk about other treatment options available to you, too. Please call (509) 927-2273 for an appointment with a Spokane Valley dental implant dentist or contact us online.