FAQs about dental implants answered by our dentist
Many adults have lost one of their permanent teeth, or in some cases, they may have lost many. And while the traditional way to resolve this issue was to fit a denture or fitted bridge, times have changed and now, patients are looking for more from their dental restorations.
So how would you feel if you learned that you could restore missing teeth with a natural-looking prosthetic, which also improved your bite strength but didn’t require any adhesives? This is exactly what dental implants can offer.
At Walkerston Dental, our dentist Walkerston is always happy to meet patients who are looking to restore their smiles with dental implants. We can advise you on everything, your suitability to have the fitting, the aftercare and how to promote the longevity of this restorative procedure.
But before you rush to contact our team, you may have some questions, and here, our dentist Walkerston answers 5 of the most common queries that we receive from our patients about dental implants.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is, in essence, a titanium metal screw which is affixed to your jaw with surgery. Once it has fused with the surrounding bone, our team can then fit a prosthetic tooth, or teeth to it, which can then be held firmly in place.
The most commonly used kind of dental implant is an endosteal implant, but there are other alternatives, such as a subperiosteal, zygomatic and mini implant as well. But our dentist Walkerston will always aim to provide you with the most suitable implant for your clinical case.
Can anyone have them fitted?
Unfortunately, not everybody is suitable to have dental implants.
For an endosteal implant, you have to have a set amount of healthy jawbone which is also not degenerating due to illness, such as osteoporosis. You also have to have good overall oral health, as we cannot fit implants in a mouth that has gum disease or active tooth decay. You also have to be over the age of 18 to have oral implants.
How long does it take for the implants to fuse?
As mentioned before, an oral implant is fitted to your jaw via surgery and it fuses with the surrounding bone because the implant is made from titanium. This is a biologically inert material which encourages the growth of bone around it. The timeline may vary depending on your age and general health, but for most of our patients, the process of fusing takes between 3 to 6 months. If after 12 months there is no sign of the implant fusing, our team will remove it and will discuss other options for restoration with you.
Will they look fake?
The teeth that are attached to the oral implant will not look fake, as the cosmetic aspects are often heavy on our patients’ priority lists. Therefore, the fake tooth or teeth can be colour matched, shape matched and even translucency matched to blend in with any natural teeth you have in your mouth. So, the overall result will look natural.
How long will they last?
With good aftercare, oral implants can easily last over 15 years.
The aftercare is not too strenuous; you will need to floss and brush them every day, as you would with natural teeth and attend biannual check-ups with our team. So we can ensure that there are no ongoing problems which could cause you to lose them prematurely.
All treatments carry risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.