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If you have lost have a tooth, you may need to get a dental implant. It can be a daunting prospect: getting a dental implant is a long process. It is, however, something that can be a great benefit to your dental health and worth all the time and effort that goes into it.

We get a lot of questions about dental implants at Dental Specialty Associates. Here are some answers to the most common questions we get about this oft-misunderstood procedure. If you think you need a dental implant or have other concerns about your teeth, come visit us for a consultation.

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a replacement tooth root. It is made out of a small titanium post that is surgically implanted in the jaw. If you have lost a tooth or have an existing tooth that isn’t healthy, a dental implant can offer a permanent solution for holding a crown in place.

Why Would I Need To Get An Implant?

You would need a dental implant if you have lost a tooth or need an anchor to secure your bridge or dentures. Opting not to replace a missing tooth can be risky: it can cause your teeth to wear out prematurely and can cause gum recession and bone loss in the area surrounding the missing tooth. It can also lead to bone loss in your jaw.

What’s The Success Rate?

The overall success rate for healthy patients who get a dental implant are high- between 92-98%! Patients over the age of 72, who smoke, who have a history of diabetes or head/neck radiation or who are on hormone replacement therapy may carry a higher risk of implant failure.

Will My Insurance Cover It?

Your coverage will vary depending on your insurance provider. Unfortunately dental implants are not generally covered by medical insurance. You may be able to use your employer’s flexible spending account benefits on your implants, though. You should always check with your provider before getting this kind of work done.

How Long Will It Take?

Getting a dental implant can take anywhere from 3-9 months. Sometimes it can take even longer than that. Much of that time is devoted to waiting for you to heal between treatments. Dental implants are a considerable time commitment, but their health benefits are worth it.

Why Does It Take So Long?

The outpatient process of getting an implant takes several different stages:

  • Your damaged tooth is removed.
  • Your jawbone gets prepped for surgery. This may involve bone grafting.
  • Once your jawbone heals, your oral surgeon places the dental implant’s metal post in your jawbone.
  • You will go through a healing process that could last for several months.
  • The final stage will be the oral surgeon placing the abutment- which is an extension of the metal post- followed by the installation of your new artificial tooth.

Is Anesthesia Used During The Surgeries?

In most cases, dental implant surgery can be performed using local anesthesia. Sedation is often used in conjunction with the anesthesia too, making it easier on the patient. While the treatments can be intensive, every effort will be made to keep you as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

Do you need a dental implants or want to know more about dental implants? Our staff at Dental Specialty Associates would be happy to give you more information. Give us a call at (602)-795-5995.