Are Dental Implants Right For You?
For many, dental implants offer a better alternative to traditional prosthetics for missing teeth. Dental implants:
- Can be matched and fitted to your existing, healthy teeth.
- Have a high track record of success.
- Offer cosmetic enhancement over other tooth replacement solutions.
We offer some basic background on dental implants, a great start for research if you are considering dental implants over other solutions, such as dentures, crowns, and bridges.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a three-tiered approach to tooth replacement. There are three parts of a dental implant:
- Implant: The implant is a metal post, most often titanium, that is implanted into the jawbone…a replacement for your tooth root.
- Abutment: The part of the implant that connects to the steel post and holds the new crown in place.
- Crown: The crown is the actual tooth replacement, most often made of a ceramic material such as porcelain, that is custom-designed to match with your existing teeth.
What’s the Implant Process Like?
The dental implant process is as diverse as the patient. Certain situations may require bone grafting to make sure that your implants stay. Generally, it takes about six months to a year to make sure that your dental implants are fitted perfectly. Here is what the general timeline looks like:
- Phase 1: After a consultation and treatment design, Dr. Silberg will fit the implants. The procedure usually takes only one clinic visit. After the implants are fitted, you will wear temporary dentures or bridges. After 3-6 months, your implants will bond to your jaw—the process of osseointegration.
- Phase 2: Dr. Silberg will fit the abutment, and you will continue to wear your “temporary teeth” for another 2-6 weeks.
- Phase 3: After the second phase, Dr. Silberg will start fitting the actual “tooth” component of your implant. You will try out several different crowns to match your implant to your existing teeth.
Depending upon Dr. Silberg’s approach and planning, you can fully enjoy your dental implants within six months, at the earliest.
What Might Not Make Me a Good Fit for Dental Implants?
Certain medical conditions and lifestyle habits might make a patient a poor candidate for dental implants. Dr. Silberg will advise you if dental implants are not a good fit for you. Here are some of the medical conditions and lifestyle habits that might complicate a dental implant:
- Diabetes, smoking, and heavy drug use are conditions that may cause peri-implantitis, an inflammation of hard and soft tissues surrounding an implant.
- Bone loss, associated with osteoporosis and long-term steroid use, can impact your jawbones, decreasing the success of an implant.
- Poor oral hygiene, after the implant process, can cause failure of a dental implant.
If you have poor oral hygiene, your Dr. Silberg will likely provide you with coaching to help you take care of your implants.
Are Dental Implants Worth It?
Many people are great candidates for dental implants…and yes, they are worth it. Here are some of the benefits of dental implants over other treatments:
- Dental replacements will not require the grinding down and modification of other teeth associated with other treatments such as bridges.
- You probably will never have to worry about a dental implant failing, where crowns can slip off and bridges can create further dental decay.
- Dentures will need continuous refinement, as your jawbone will change shape without teeth to support the structure of your jaw
Dental implants can also be fitted to other treatments. At times Dr. Silberg will use an implant to anchor a bridge, creating a more affordable treatment if a patient can afford only a few implants.
Contact Dr. Silberg today to see if you are a good fit for dental implants, or have additional questions about the procedure and all that is involved. We would be happy to help you