"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." - Mother Theresa
What happens when you lose a tooth or more? Chances are, there's nothing that you miss more. You may miss your natural smile. The ability to bite and chew apples, or other foods you like. You might feel self-conscious about your smile, or have discomfort as remaining teeth shift. Perhaps you've experienced muscle strains, inability to speak clearly, or headaches?
Naturally, the effects of missing teeth vary from person to person and depend on what has been lost. If you've lost the crown, you've lost the most visible part of your tooth. But if you've lost the root as well, you've lost the unseen part of your tooth, which anchors the tooth to your jawbone, providing strength and support to the crown. Without the root, the bone about the lost tooth may gradually recede, remaining teeth may shift, and chewing may become more difficult over time.
You can choose from a variety of ways to replace a missing crown, but if you're missing the entire tooth, your only replacement option is a dental implant.
Dental Implants' Questions & Answers
Dental implant treatment is a procedure performed by an oral surgeon or periodontist, working as a team with a restorative dentist and a laboratory. All are specially trained in their part of the implant treatment, and are educated on their latest technology and advancements.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. An implant is a small, man-made titanium screw that serves as the replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. The implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and allowed to bond with the bone and serve as an anchor for the replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, or multiple lost teeth. They are a proven, restorative option with a long clinical history. Dental implants preserve the integrity of the facial structure, can improve your appearance and your speech, make it possible to eat your favorite foods again, increase your self-confidence, and are a great value.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Anyone who is missing one or more of the teeth due to injury, disease, or decay may be a candidate for dental implants. If one, a few, or all teeth are missing, dental implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth. Occasionally, older patients may be concerned that cannot have implants because of their age. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you?re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you?re most likely healthy enough to enjoy the benefits of dental implants. Our doctors will determine if you?re a candidate after a careful evaluation of your dental and medical health history. At that time all of your questions can be answered.
Is there pain or discomfort involved?
Most patients report that there is very little discomfort during the procedure, and that they were much more comfortable after the procedure than they had anticipated. The dental implants are placed in the mouth with great care and precision, and our doctors will take great care with the surrounding tissue and gums. Anesthesia and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort involved of the procedure. Your dentist may recommend that you speak with another patient who has had the procedure to hear about their experience.
How long will the procedure take?
Treatment time will vary depending on your unique situation. Nowadays, it is often possible to get well functioning and natural-looking teeth in just a few days. In some cases, it may be necessary to wait a longer period of time before completing the restoration in order to get the best results.
Will I ever be without my teeth?
This depends on your situation. Most patients can leave the office wearing some type of temporary prosthesis.
How much will it cost?
The fees for dental implants will depend on a variety of factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of implants required to support your remaining teeth. It's important to know that you may not need an implant for each missing root. Some additional procedures may be needed prior to the placement of your dental implants in ensure the long-term health of your implants. Our doctors will discuss your individual case with you in detail and can provide an initial fee estimate at that time. After a thorough diagnostic evaluation, your dentist will recommend the treatment that's best for you.
While dental implants may initially be more expensive than other treatment methods, it often turns out to be the best investment from a long-term perspective. When cared for properly, most patients can expect implants to last a lifetime. Alternative treatment methods, such as bridges and dentures, often require regular alterations and adjustments over time.
How long do implants last?
At The Liller Dental Group, we pride ourselves on only using the best materials and laboratories, shown to last over 15 years in 90% of cases. We have every indication that they will last for much longer. Most patients can expect them to last a lifetime.
Is it important to take care of the implants after treatment is complete?
Yes! Maintaining care and cleaning of your implants will help to ensure the long-term success of your treatment. You will be responsible for daily plague removal, which can be accomplished by brushing and flossing around your restoration. Your dentist or hygienist will show you how to properly care for your implants. You must visit us at least once a year for maintenance appointments.