Patients often come in with questions to help them decide if implants are right for them. I cover a few of the more common questions in this article.
“Aren’t dental implants expensive?”
While any complex dentistry can be surprisingly expensive, an implant-supported crown replacing a single missing tooth is similar in cost to a fixed bridge done to replace the same tooth. However, not all insurance plans provide equal benefits for the two options. But most dentists offer payment options to help patients fit implants into their budgets.
“How long does it take to replace a lost tooth with an implant?”
A lot of progress has been made in this area. While older systems could require 6 months for bone to anchor the fixture, newer systems can take as little as 6 weeks before the fabrication of the crown can begin.
“Is implant surgery painful?”
Placing an implant is a minor surgical procedure similar in discomfort to that caused by extracting a tooth. There are similar potential risks such as bleeding, swelling, pain, and infection. These are usually managed well with followup care and the use of medication.
“Am I too old for implants?”
Age is not a barrier. Implants have been successfully placed in patients well into their 80’s. But major health issues may rule out some people as candidates for implants. Smoking impairs the body’s healing mechanisms and can contribute to the small percent of implants that fail. Your specific health history needs to be reviewed by your dentist as part of the treatment planning process.
“How long do implants last?’
It is not possible to give an exact answer because the biology of people varies. However, once an implant is anchored in new surrounding bone, they are normally problem-free. Studies comparing the longevity of implants to fixed bridges show implants to be more durable.
Implants are a wonderful addition to the treatment options modern dentistry has to offer.