Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions

Dentist talking to woman about dental implantsThe dental implant tooth replacement process will require you to invest time and money upfront, but the results will be a lifetime of healthy, natural looking smiles. Before you start down the road to complete tooth replacement with dental implants, the Lifetime Dental team encourages you to take some time to review the answers to some of those questions we hear most often form patients considering dental implants. If you want to learn more, call to schedule your tooth replacement consultation today. Frank A. Michitti, DDS and his caring Feeding Hills dentistry team will take the time to walk you through all of you tooth replacement options and help you pick the best one.

What are Dental Implants Made of?

Dental implant posts can be made from a variety materials. The most commonly used metal is titanium. This high quality material is extremely biocompatible, so titanium is often used in repairing bones after complex fractures. The use of titanium has been tested by medical and dental professionals and proven to be effective. Other metals have less testing and fewer success stories, but in the future, there may be other options that equal or surpass titanium as the ideal solution. In the meantime, most dentists recommend titanium implant post.

How do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are inserted into the gum line. Once in place, the implant post will fuse with the gums and bone tissue, mimicking the function of lost tooth roots. Three to six months after implantation, your dental implant post will seamlessly support replacement teeth and maintain oral health and function.

Who is a Good Implant Candidate?

Any patient missing one or more teeth may be a candidate for dental implant supported tooth replacement. The ideal candidate will be relatively healthy, have good oral health, and be able to dedicate the time and funds to completing the process.

How Long Does Dental Implant Restoration Take?

Dental implants are restored in two treatment phases. During the initial phase, we’ll surgically place the dental implants posts. Following the surgical placement of dental implants, you’ll need to wait three to six months before we can begin the second part of your treatment. During this waiting period, your dental implant post will fully fuse with the supportive tooth structures. Then, you’ll return for the second phase of treatment – the creation and placement of your replacement teeth. The entire process can take as long as a year for some patients, but in the end, you’ll have a fully repaired smile that will last a lifetime.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants, with proper care, can last for two or more decades without need for repair or replacement. In fact, many patients keep their custom implant supported tooth replacement prosthetic for their entire lifetime.

How Do I Care for My Implants?

Directly following your dental implant placement, you’ll receive a special set of post-operative care instructions. Once the entire implant placement and restoration process is complete, your dental hygiene at home will largely go back to normal. You’ll need to brush for at least two minutes at a time twice a day and floss daily. If you have a more complex implant supported fixed bridge or denture, we may encourage you to use a specialized flossing tool or water flosser to ensure you fully remove any plaque buildup around the gums. For the first few years following your dental implant restoration, we may recommend you visit our office three or more times each year for checkups. This simply ensures there are no complications, and your dental implant will remain in place for life.

Will My Implant Fail?

Dental implants have a 95 to 98% success rate, depending on the age range of the patients. Patients under the age of 60 have a 98% success rate, and those over 60 have a 95% success rate. Still, 2 to 5% of dental implants fail. The key to ensuring your implant remains firmly in place is finding a skilled dentist like Dr. Michitti to place and restore your implant, carefully following your post-operative instructions, and keeping up with your oral hygiene in our office and at home.

Are Implants Covered by Dental Insurance?

Dental implants are still not covered by most dental insurance plans. Luckily, you will still receive coverage for other aspects of your treatment, including:

  • The creation and placement of tooth replacement prosthetics
  • Sedation dentistry services
  • Preparatory procedures like tooth extractions
  • Follow up appointments to monitor your progress

 

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