Dental Implants FAQs in Brookhaven MS
Commonly Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Dental implants are an excellent investment in your overall oral health and an improved appearance. If dental implants have been suggested to you to replace missing or damaged teeth, we are sure you have questions. We’ve put together some of the commonly asked questions about dental implants to give you the information you need to make an informed choice.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are the only permanent solution to missing teeth. They are made up of three parts – an implant placed in the jawbone to act as the “root” of the tooth, an abutment to join the implant to the crown, and a crown that replaces the visible portion of the tooth. Implants look, function, and feel like your natural teeth, restoring your smile and giving you back the ability to eat and speak with ease.
What are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Dental implants become a part of your mouth, fusing to the jawbone to create a permanent anchor for the crown of a missing tooth. There are many advantages to dental implants when considering a way to replace missing teeth, including:
- A permanent solution – when cared for properly, implants last a lifetime
- No more slipping dentures or loose dental bridges
- An implant can be placed without damaging the adjacent teeth
- You can clean your implants and crowns like your natural teeth, brushing and flossing them daily
- A lovely smile
- Dental implants prevent deterioration of the jawbone from missing teeth
- Implants help you retain your normal facial structure
How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?
It takes several months from the first appointment to the final installation of the permanent crowns. The implants are surgically placed in the jawbone, then need anywhere from two to four months to heal and integrate with the surrounding bone. A temporary prosthesis can be worn that looks like your natural teeth during this time. Once the area is fully healed, the permanent crowns are attached. If you need bone grafts before the implants can be placed, add three to four more months to the timeline. Keep in mind that the procedure provides you with a lifetime foundation for your replacement teeth while protecting your jawbone from deterioration. Although the process is a commitment, most patients feel the time and money invested are well worth the results.
What are the Steps in Getting Dental Implants?
If you are considering dental implants, your first step should be a consultation with Dr. Doty or Dr. Ballard. At your first appointment, x-rays, digital imaging, and an examination of the mouth will help us determine whether implants are the best route to take. We discuss our findings with you and develop a treatment plan that is appropriate and will give you the results you long for.
The implant placement surgery will take less than an hour for one tooth; if several teeth are being replaced, the surgery may take as long as four hours. Do not worry; you will be sedated and given a local anesthetic, so there is no pain during the surgical procedure. The titanium screw is placed in the empty tooth socket, then covered with gum tissue during the healing process, which may take several weeks or a few months.
When the implants are successfully fused with the jawbone, you will return to have your permanent crowns attached to the metal implants using abutments. To access the top of the implants, we carefully open the gums.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
You are sedated during implant surgery, and the area is numbed, so you will not feel any pain. We offer various anesthesia options to ensure you are comfortable throughout the procedure. You will wake up with no memory of the surgery. Later in the day and for a day or two after, you may experience some mild pain and swelling of the face or jaw. You can manage any discomfort with pain medication and ice packs.
Will I Need Bone Grafts to Get Dental Implants?
If your teeth have been missing for a long time, your jawbone has begun to deteriorate. Even if you cannot see or feel the damage, the jawbone may be thinner and more delicate. If this is the case, bone grafting can build up the area and provide a scaffold for holding the implants. However, many people who opt for dental implants can have the procedure done without grafting. A healthy jawbone can hold multiple implants in place without a problem.
We use dental x-rays, 3D imaging, and a physical exam to determine whether you will need bone grafts. If you do, the grafting is the first step in the process and will need anywhere from two to four months to heal before implants can be placed.
What Experience Does Brookway Dental Have with Dental Implants?
Drs. Doty and Ballard have a combined 30 years of experience as dental surgeons. Their expertise in dental surgery and implants ensures your safety and comfort during the implant process. Dr. Doty is also an associate professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he shares his expertise with dental students.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
It is impossible to give you an accurate price for dental implants without a complete dental health evaluation. Factors that affect the cost include how many implants, whether you need bone grafts, the materials used, and whether any teeth need extracting. The staff at Brookway Dental have extensive experience in helping our patients coordinate with insurance companies and can help answer any coverage questions you have.
At your initial consultation, we will provide you with information about the cost and what portion of that cost is your responsibility. We do not move forward with treatment until we are confident you understand the charges. Our office accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. CareCredit is also available if you would like no- or low-cost financing for your dental implants.
Dental implants can dramatically improve your ability to eat, talk, and chew. They also give you a brilliant new smile that is comfortable and permanent, eliminating embarrassment and boosting your self-confidence. If you are considering dental implants, please contact our office at 601-823-3200 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Doty or Dr. Ballard. We want to bring a smile back to your face!