Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for missing teeth, providing a permanent and natural-looking replacement that can last for a lifetime with proper care. If you’re considering dental implants in Irvine, CA, you likely have a number of questions about the process, benefits, and potential risks. Here are some common questions about dental implants, along with the answers you need to make an informed decision.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone to serve as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. The implant is then topped with a crown, bridge, or denture to provide a natural-looking replacement for the missing tooth or teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
There are many benefits to choosing dental implants over other tooth replacement options, such as bridges or dentures. Some of the most significant benefits include:
- Improved appearance: Dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth, so you can smile and speak with confidence.
- Improved function: Because dental implants are anchored in the jawbone, they allow you to eat and speak normally, without the worry of slipping or shifting.
- Durability: Dental implants are designed to last for a lifetime with proper care, making them a long-term solution for missing teeth.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants do not require the reduction of adjacent teeth, as is often necessary with bridges. This helps to preserve natural teeth and maintain good oral health.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Most people who are missing one or more teeth are candidates for dental implants, provided they have healthy gums and sufficient bone density in the jaw. However, certain medical conditions or habits, such as heavy smoking or uncontrolled diabetes, may make you a less suitable candidate. It’s important to discuss your medical history and any concerns you have with your dental implant specialist to determine if dental implants are the right choice for you.
What is the dental implant process like?
The process of getting dental implants typically involves several steps and may take several months to complete. Here’s a general overview of what you can expect:
- Consultation: During the consultation, your dental implant specialist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, including X-rays and possibly a CT scan, to determine the feasibility of dental implants and to plan the treatment.
- Surgery: The surgery to place the dental implants is typically performed under local anesthesia or conscious sedation and usually takes one to two hours. After the implant is placed, you’ll need to allow several months for the implant to integrate with the jawbone before the final restoration can be placed.
- Healing: After the surgery, you’ll need to take care of the implant site to ensure proper healing. This may include taking prescribed medications and avoiding certain activities, such as strenuous exercise or smoking.
- Restoration: Once the implant has fully integrated with the jawbone, you’ll return to the dental office to have the final restoration placed. This may be a crown, bridge, or denture, depending on your needs.
Are dental implants painful?
The placement of dental implants is typically done with local anesthesia or conscious sedation, so you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure. Some patients may experience mild discomfort or swelling after the surgery, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies depending on a number of factors, including the number of implants needed, the type of restoration, and the complexity of the case. In general, dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement