Dental implants can restore a missing tooth with a very natural and lifelike appearance without having to reshape the adjacent teeth. And it works extremely well! Implants work about 95% percent of the time for non-smokers.
Implants make use of a artificial tooth root made from a specialized titanium screw. Our bodies treat the titanium as part of the bone, and bone “integrates” into the screw to form a strong, long lasting artificial root. A special connector called an abutment attaches a crown to the titanium implant.
One of the great benefits of implants is that they never get decay like a natural tooth. But they still do require meticulous home care to ensure that the implant lasts a lifetime.
Does it hurt to get an implant?”
Maybe it’s surprising, but it’s not a very painful procedure at all. Usually, having an implant placed is much less tender afterwards than having a tooth removed. NSAID medications are almost always sufficient at keeping our patients comfortable.
How long does it take?
Placement of an implant is usually a pretty quick procedure. We usually expect the placement to take about 15-30 minutes per implant.
Can the crown be placed on an implant right away?”
Sometimes, but some of the research has shown that waiting a 4-6 months after placing the implant can improve the long-term success rate of the implant. It’s a big enough difference that we prefer to wait whenever possible.
While we’re waiting for the implant to osseo-integrate (attach), we can make a temporary single tooth partial.
How long does an implant last?”
First of all, implants boast a 95% success rate overall. And implants can last a lifetime, but they don’t always.
But, there are a variety of factors that can affect the longevity of an implant. Systemic factors like diabetes can lower the expected service life of an implant. Your personal habits play a big role in implant survival as well. Smokers have gums that are less healthy, and are more likely to develop problems with an implant than non smokers.
Personal hygiene habits play an important role too. Excellent oral care is absolutely necessary to keep the surrounding tissues healthy.
Routine visits with your dentist are important so we can ensure these tissues are remaining as healthy as possible.