I am trying to figure out if dental implants are right for me. I probably need to schedule an appointment and go ask a dentist my questions. But, I know that may take me months to do. Do you have any helpful tips for someone that is considering dental implants to replace several missing teeth?
– Dustin in Oklahoma
Thank you for your question. It is encouraging to hear that you are doing your research ahead of time. Often, people rush into a treatment because their dentist recommended it and end up with all kinds of problems. This is because not every dentist is has the training or expertise to be successful.
Here are some helpful tips when considering dental implants.
Does my dentist have enough experience?
Like we touched on above, not every dentist is capable of doing a good job on dental implants. To be successful, dentists must undergo extensive training beyond dental school. Also, it is not a regulated field within dentistry. So, anyone can say they do dental implants even though they rarely do them. Ask your dentist how many they do in a month or a year? This will give you an indicator of their experience.
Do I have other options?
You should never feel pressured or sold on any kind of dental treatment. Dental implants are the best, most permanent solution to replace missing teeth. However, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. In some cases, a dental bridge or removable partial denture may work for you. If nothing else, it will help you rule out other treatment options, as you determine if implants are the best choice.
Will I take care of them over time?
Just because your natural teeth are gone doesn’t mean you are off the hook to take care of your oral health. Dental implants require the same type of oral care as your natural teeth. You will need to brush and floss daily. Also, it is imperative that you keep up with your regular check-ups and exams throughout the year. Regular care will help avoid gum disease and issues with your remaining natural teeth. Also, stop smoking or chewing tobacco before getting dental implants. Smoking reduces your chance of success with dental implants.
Have you thought about future treatments?
Have you considered what your smile will look like in 10-20 years? Dental implants can be made to blend in perfectly with surrounding teeth. However, if you’ve ever wanted to whiten your smile
or straighten your teeth, now would be a good time to move forward with it. Once your dental implants are placed, the color and placement cannot be redone without replacing them. On the other hand, if you may be at risk to lose more teeth, you should talk with the dentist about future phases of care.
How long does the dental implants process take?
Many people don’t realize that it takes nearly a year to complete the entire process. After the surgical post is placed in the jaw, there are many months where the bone must fuse to the implant and heal. It can take 6-8 months for this period.
How to pick the best implant dentist?
Selecting the best dentist for your dental implants is all about trust. When you’re ready to move forward, the best thing to do is schedule a consultation. This will give you an opportunity to ask your questions. Most excellent dentists are happy to meet with you and discuss your case in person, without obligation.
This post is sponsored by James T. Gavrilos, DDS, a dental implant provider in Barrington.