Dental Implant FAQs

dental implant diagram

Missing teeth are very common, and thanks to advances in dental technologies and treatments, there are now more effective and discreet solutions to replace them than ever before. This means that you don’t need to suffer without a complete smile unnecessarily for a moment longer.

Dental implants are one of the most popular choices for replacing missing teeth. However, the process isn’t one that should be undertaken lightly. Dental implants are permanent and require a significant, though very worthwhile investment, in your smile. Many patients have lots of questions about the dental implant process, and while these can be answered at your consultation, you may prefer to do your research before you attend that appointment. To help our patients to feel properly informed, we have put together this list of dental implant FAQs.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are an innovative and unique way of replacing teeth that are missing or require extraction. They are made of three key components – an anchor, which looks like a screw or post and that is inserted into the jawbone, a crown that looks and acts as a replacement tooth, and an abutment that secures the two together.

How does the anchor stay in place?

The implant anchor is made of titanium, which is extremely tough and durable. Once this is inserted into your jaw, a process called osseointegration takes place. This is where the bone that surrounds the implant begins to fuse to it, strengthening it even further and securing it permanently into your facial structure. It is not until this has happened that your artificial tooth (crown) will be fitted, but once in place, your new implant will be as secure and functional as a healthy, natural tooth.

Will my implant be noticeable?

One of the biggest reasons that people choose implants is for their natural appearance. The visible part of your implant – the artificial tooth in the form of a porcelain crown – will be color-matched so that it is the same shade as your existing teeth. It is also a permanent fixture, so there is no need for unsightly denture removal, and you can eat and drink as normal without worrying about your implant coming loose or moving around. Dental implants are so discreet that they should be impossible to tell apart from your natural teeth.

How successful are dental implant procedures?

Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device at around 98%. However, a robust oral hygiene routine is crucial to ensuring the long-term health and appearance of your dental implants and your dental implant dentist in Tampa FL will be able to advise you of the best ways to take care of your newly restored smile. Obviously, the success of your procedure also hinges on you choosing a skilled and experienced dental implant surgeon, like Dr. Alex at Today's Family Dental.

Does getting dental implants hurt?

Pain is one of the key concerns all patients have, and although dental implants are considered an invasive surgical process, local anesthesia is used during the procedure, meaning that you shouldn’t feel any pain and it may be possible for you to be sedated if you are particularly anxious or nervous. Some swelling and soreness after is common, and you may need to stick to soft foods for a few days. You will be able to take over the counter pain medication to alleviate your discomfort.

I have more than one missing tooth, can I still have implants?

If you have a single tooth missing, then you will need a single implant to support it. However, if you have multiple teeth missing it is often possible for two or more implants to support more than one tooth each. This is known as an implant-supported bridge. You can even get whole arches of dentures supported on between four and eight implant posts. Your dental implant surgeon will be able to advise you which solution would be best for you based on your personal requirements.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

The process of getting dental implants usually takes several months. This is because it is necessary to place the implant posts and give them time to fuse to the jawbone and heal before the crowns can be added. Your dentist will be able to give you an estimated treatment timeline based on your personal dental requirements.

Am I a suitable candidate for dental implants?

Although dental implants have an extremely high success rate, they aren’t necessarily right for every patient. If you are considering dental implants, you will need to have a consultation with your dentist who will assess your candidacy based on your individual health and dental requirements. The ideal candidate will:

  • Have great general and oral health

  • Have sufficient bone in their jaw to support the implant

  • Have healthy gums

  • Be committed to taking very good care of their teeth and gums

People who may not be suitable candidates for implants include:

Heavy smokers
Pregnant women
Young people whose jawbones are still developing
Those with immune conditions
Those with uncontrolled diabetes
Alcohol or substance abusers
People who have received a high dose of radiation to the head or neck (for example, radiotherapy for cancer)
People who have a suppressed immune system

How much do dental implants cost?

Dental implants are created uniquely to fit the specific requirements of the patient and as such there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution or cost. While they may seem like an expensive option at first, over time implants are considered to be a more cost-effective and reliable solution for replacing missing teeth, making them a very worthwhile investment in the function and appearance of your smile.

If you'd like to learn more about dental implants or would like to schedule a dental implants consultation, call Today's Family Dental today at (813) 565-2600.