If you’re considering dental implants as a solution to a missing tooth or teeth, it’s important to be well-equipped with the right information before you make a decision. Dental implants require surgery, so before you rush into a decision, there are a few things you should ask your dentist first.
At Southshore Dental, our dentists have been performing dental implant surgeries for years. To help you make this important decision, our experienced team has created a list of “must-ask” questions when considering dental implants. These questions will help walk you through the decision of selecting the best solution for your overall oral health and selecting the right dentist to operate on your mouth.
- Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
- How much experience do you have with implants?
- What are my options if I don’t replace my tooth or teeth?
- Can you explain the procedure?
- How long do dental implants last?
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
There are many solutions for missing teeth. A few of the many benefits dental implants offer is that they’re a more permanent solution, they feel and behave like real teeth, and they’re more convenient. Keep in mind that the best solution for you may not be the best solution for the next patient. Implants require healthy jaws and gums, and not all patients have this. Your oral health habits, including whether or not you smoke, also impact your ability to have implants. Finally, if your tooth isn't already gone, your dentist may be able to save the tooth altogether.
How Much Experience Do You Have with Implants?
Don’t be afraid to ask your dental team about their experience with implants. This is a way for you to ensure you’re getting quality care. Your dentist should be able to provide details about their experience and qualifications. As you ask questions about experience, make sure that the experience includes a board-certified periodontist or oral surgery professional. Also, look for membership in the ICOI.
You only sometimes only have one chance to get the implants right. Be cautious about anyone offering "same day" dental implants or bargain prices. These often lead to repeat procedures and more money spent later.
What Are My Options If I Don't Replace the Tooth?
Dental implant surgery isn’t always covered by insurance providers, making it not always affordable for everyone. This causes some to wonder how important it is to actually replace that missing tooth and what options you have later on. This is a fair question and one you can ask your dental team.
Every situation is different, however, in general, skipping the implant can cause deterioration of the bone in the jaw. It can also allow the teeth you still have to shift, which can cause problems with your bite lining up properly. The longer you wait, your situation can worsen over time, causing you to have a larger procedure (and bill) down the road.
Can You Explain the Procedure?
Ask your dentist to explain the procedure, and listen carefully to the answers. Pay attention to whether they say they can complete the entire surgery all in one day or not. Although same-day dental implant surgery sounds appealing, it often leads to poor success rates. Your mouth needs a few months to heal after the initial procedure before the crown can be installed.
Technology also plays an important role in the success of your dental implant surgery. Your dentist should use the latest technology so nerves can be identified and avoided during surgery.
How Long do Implants Last?
Implants are advertised as a semi-permanent solution to your missing teeth. But just how long do they last? According to research, the average lifespan of dental implants are at least 13 years, or longer if you take proper care of them. As technology continues to evolve, the longevity of your implants will continue to improve, too.
With properly placed dental implants, you can have a new smile that looks and functions like real teeth. But you do need to ask the right questions first. For more information about dental implants, schedule a complimentary consultation with Southshore Dental by calling 734-675-0585. Our team of experienced staff is here to answer all of your dental implant related questions.