Questions about Implant Dentistry
What is implant dentistry?
What is an implant dentist?
An implant dentist is a dentist who performs all or some parts of implant dentistry. It is not unusual for you to work with more than one implant dentist. Often, one implant dentist will place the dental implant root and another implant dentist will restore it with a dental crown. Whether you work with one implant dentist or two or more depends on the complexity of the procedure, your dentist’s preferences, and your preferences.
Am I a candidate for implant dentistry?
The ideal candidate for implant dentistry has:
- One or more missing teeth
- Good oral health, especially no gum disease
- Good general health
- Adequate bone where the implant is to be placed
- Never been a smoker
However, even if a person is not an ideal candidate, they can still receive dental implants, but it may take longer. Gum disease will have to be treated. Additional health treatments may be necessary if your doctor says you are not in good health for surgery.
If you lack bone in the implant site, a bone graft can be used to give you enough bone.
If you are a smoker, you should commit to quitting, at least in the short term. This will help facilitate bone healing.
What is the implant dentistry process like?
Before we begin your implant dentistry process, we will assess the overall health of your mouth and the health of your bone at the implant site. This typically includes a basic exam as well as imaging of your bone with a CT scan that can assess the volume and density of bone.
If you don’t have enough bone in this area, we will perform a bone graft, normally using a synthetic compound derived from animal bones, although there are other possible sources, including your own bone. This is typically given several months to heal.
Next, the dental implant root will be placed. We may introduce additional bone graft material at this point, too.
What happens next depends on how stable the dental implant root is. If it’s not very stable, the root will be covered up with your gums and allowed to heal. If it’s pretty stable, we will put a healing cap on it, which is a small metal piece that will keep open a space in your gums for the dental crown. If your root is very stable, we may place a temporary crown on the dental implant.
Then we will allow your dental implant 3-6 months to heal. If your implant had to be covered up before, it is now exposed, and a metal abutment is placed on the implant root. This is then allowed to heal for a few weeks. Once your gums are completely healed, a final crown is placed.
How do I care for my dental implants?
Dental implants are easy to care for: essentially like natural teeth. Brush them twice a day. Floss them daily. Make regular dental checkups. Depending on the condition of your mouth and your implant, you may need to make more regular dental visits.
Can dental implants really last a lifetime?
Yes. Studies of implant dentistry keep getting longer, but they all show us the same thing: more than 90% of dental implants remain in place for the entire length of the study. If dental implants fail, they tend to fail in the first few years. Once they make it past that point, your dental implants can last as long as you take care of them.
What if I have more questions about implant dentistry?
If you have more questions about implant dentistry, please call at (303) 759-5652 or email Park Meadows Dental Care in Centennial today to talk to an implant dentist.