Tooth loss is one of the most common dental problems people face. You can lose teeth due to physical injuries, tooth decay, and gum disease, among other issues.
But whatever the cause might be, having missing teeth can affect your ability to speak and chew your favorite food.
Besides, having missing teeth can hurt your self-confidence by making your smile less attractive. The good news is that missing teeth can be replaced in several ways, dental implant surgery being the most effective solution.
Here is everything you need to know about dental implant surgery.
What Is Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is a dental surgery that seeks to replace one or more missing teeth. The procedure replaces a missing tooth root with a metallic screw-like post. It also replaces missing or damaged teeth with likelike crowns that look and function like real teeth.
Dental implant surgery is a perfect alternative to dental bridges and dentures that may not fit well due, and they will look and function like natural teeth.
The Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants
Not everyone with a missing tooth qualifies for dental implant surgery. The ideal candidate for dental implant surgery should:
- Be in good general and oral health- have adequate jawbone and healthy gums
- Be a nonsmoker or willing to quit smoking, as smoking might lead to poor healing.
- Have a fully developed jawbone — males should be at least 17 years old, while females can have dental implant surgery from the age of 15
Before the procedure, your surgeon will assess your oral health to determine if you are healthy enough for the procedure. If you have gum disease or an inadequate jawbone, the issue will need to be treated before you can have dental implant surgery.
What Does Dental Implant Surgery Entail?
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure that involves multiple steps and stages, with healing time in between.
The main steps of the procedure will include:
- Removal of the damaged tooth if it is still there
- Bone grafting if a patient has inadequate bone
- Placement of the dental implant
- Several months of bone growth and healing
- Attaching the abutment to the implant
- Placement of the artificial tooth
It is important to note that some steps can be combined and performed within a single session. Although the entire process will likely take many months, much of this time will be devoted to healing and bone growth.
Dental Implant Surgery Cost
On average, a dental implant costs between $3000 and $5000. However, this may not include the cost of bone grafting, tooth extraction, X-rays, and CT scans. Therefore, the total cost may be higher, depending on who performs the procedure and the challenges associated with a particular case.
Therefore, before you can sign the consent to have the dental implant surgery, you need to talk to your dental surgeon about the cost so that you can get a more accurate quote and be able to prepare yourself accordingly.
Dental Implant Surgery FAQs
Is Dental Implant Surgery Safe?
Like other surgical procedures, dental implant surgery involves several risks, including infection, pain, excessive bleeding, nerve damage, and blood clots. However, the procedure is generally safe and has been used successfully for over three decades. As long as the patient is in good health and the dental professional performing the procedure is well-qualified and experienced, the risk of major complications is extremely low.
How Long Does Dental Implant Last?
Dental implants are quite durable. Since they are not susceptible to decay, they are less likely to get damaged compared to natural teeth. However, their longevity will depend on a patient’s oral health. If you take good care of your oral health by maintaining high standards of oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly, your dental implant should last a lifetime. However, if you neglect your oral health, you might lose the implant just as you would lose your natural teeth.
How Many Dental Implants Can I Have?
You can have a single dental implant or several implants, depending on how many of your teeth are missing. However, you do not need an implant for every missing tooth. Of course, one implant will support one tooth or a dental bridge. However, you will need at least four dental implants to replace a full row of teeth.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
Patients ideally describe dental implant surgery as “easy to go through.” The procedure itself will be done under appropriate anesthesia. Therefore, you will not experience any significant discomfort during the procedure. However, you may experience some painful moments during the early days of the recovery period. However, your surgeon will prescribe the right pain medication to help you manage possible discomfort.