Did you know that 17% of adults aged 65 and above have lost all of their teeth? That's a huge number! And today, even younger people are losing their teeth due to various reasons like tooth decay, injury, and periodontal disease.
Dental implants are a method of replacing lost teeth. But if this is the first time you're considering this surgical procedure, chances are you have many questions that need answers.
Here are the answers to your top four questions.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium post inserted into your jawbone by a dental professional to hold onto the bone and act as the tooth root. On top of the implant, the dentist then attaches an artificial tooth, also referred to as a crown. A structure known as an abutment is used to connect the dental implant to the crown.
The crown is made to fit perfectly in your mouth and to match the size and color of your other teeth. As a result, it won't be easy for other people to tell you have lost your teeth.
Who Should Get Dental Implants?
You should get dental implants if you have lost one or several teeth. If you have teeth that are severely damaged or decayed, you can also have them extracted and replaced with implants. A single implant replaces one missing tooth, while multiple implants replace many missing teeth.
However, a dental examination by a dentist is needed before getting a dental implant to determine if it's the right choice for you. That's because an adequate amount of bone mass is needed for a successful dental implant procedure. If you don't have enough bone mass, the dentist may suggest other supplemental procedures, like bone graft or sinus, before getting the implants.
Are Dental Implants Painful?
Your dentist will use dental sedation with anesthetics during your dental implant procedure. Therefore, you won't experience any pain during the process. Once the surgical procedure is done and the anesthesia wears off, it's normal to experience some discomfort. This discomfort can be managed using over-the-counter medications.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Dental professionals have used implants to replace missing teeth for over half a century. In addition, over 3 million implants are placed on individuals each year in the U.S. If dental implants were unsafe, all these people wouldn't agree to the procedure.
Moreover, recent technological advancements in dentistry provide better imaging and assessments, allowing safer and more successful dental implant procedures. However, like with any other medical procedure, complications can arise. This is why it's always advisable to work with reputable dental professionals to ensure any problems that may occur are caught early and treated.