Dental Implants: Everything You Wanted to Know

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At one time, the only options for missing teeth were dentures or bridges. Dental implants are now available to improve the look and functionality of the mouth. Here are the answers to some questions about dental implants that are commonly asked at our office in Winnipeg.

What are dental implants?

They are root replacements that provide strong foundations for removable or fixed replacement teeth.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Dental implants improve appearance, speech and self-esteem. They are more comfortable to wear than removable dentures and are easier to use when chewing. Dental implants provide better oral health. Patients choosing dental implants like the durability and convenience that they provide.

What are the success rates of dental implants?

Depending on the jaw placement, success rates vary, but the success rate is nearly 98 percent. Properly taken care of, implants last a lifetime.

Is everyone eligible for dental implants?

Denturists consider dental implants for anyone who is healthy enough for oral surgery or routine dental extraction. Requirements include having enough bone to support the implant and healthy gums. Some health issues such as heavy smoking, heart disease, diabetes and radiation therapy affect eligibility.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

Depending on the plan and the reason for tooth loss, coverage is possible under some medical insurance policies. The insurance provider and denturist can answer detailed questions about how individual needs relate to insurance coverage.

What are the steps to obtaining dental implants?

First, the dental professional and patient devise an individualized treatment plan. The insertion of the root implant takes place, and time to heal is a requirement. The healing process takes about 6 to 12 weeks. After healing, the attachment of the abutment is the next step. The denturist takes impressions of the teeth and creates a model of the bite. The last step is attaching the replacement teeth.

Are dental implants painful?

Most patients report little discomfort and less pain than a tooth extraction. Over-the-counter pain medication can treat mild soreness after the implant.

What are the oral hygiene recommendations for implants?

The same care given to real teeth applies to implants. Patients should brush, floss and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Regular dental check-ups are part of oral hygiene.

What about eating after dental implant surgery?

It is important to avoid food exposure to a recent surgical site. Stay well-hydrated and eat soft, nutritious foods. Denturists will give instructions for the care of new implants and recommend a diet during the healing process.

How expensive are dental implants?

Implants are elective procedures. Initially, the cost is higher than fixed bridgework. The implants last longer and are more cost-effective.

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Andy Koster