The invention of dental implants has been one of the greatest breakthroughs in restorative dentistry. Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants go a long way to provide a better quality of life to edentulous patients. Also, they’re a more permanent solution for people suffering from tooth decay.
But if your dentist has prescribed dental implant surgery, it’s only natural to be skeptical. In contrast to bridgework and denture, installing implants on your gum line is an invasive procedure. Also, the upfront cost might be significantly higher.
Here are a few questions you should ask your dentist before you decide to go ahead with dental implant surgery:
1. How Does Dental Implant Surgery Work?
This is likely the first question that’ll come to your mind whenever you consider getting dental implants. Simply put, a dental implant is a tiny screw-like post that acts as a tooth root replacement. It provides a sturdy and permanent base for attaching a prosthetic tooth, crown, or overdenture.
Typically, dental implant surgery starts with a complete dental scan. Your dentist will evaluate your bone density and oral health to determine whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants.
If your doctor and you decide to go ahead with the surgery, the next step involves preparing your gum line. They’ll clean the gum and remove any pieces of decayed, chipped, or damaged teeth. Depending on your bone density, the dentist could also perform a bone graft procedure. It’ll increase the overall duration of your treatment.
Next, the doctor will make a small incision in your gum and drill one or more implants into the bone. The number of implants you need will depend on the extent of tooth decay or damage you have.
Once the implant has been placed, you’ll have to wait for a few weeks to let it fuse with the jawbone. This process could take up to six weeks. Then, you’ll have to visit the dentist again to get an abutment placed over the implant. After a couple of weeks, the dentist will finally attach the new crown or denture to the implant.
You should keep in mind that the dental implant procedure can take weeks or months to complete. This means multiple visits to the dentist’s clinic, as well as maintaining proper oral hygiene during the treatment.
2. How Much Will The Procedure Cost?
The cost of dental implant surgery depends on various factors, such as:
The type of implants you need
The location of your dental practitioner’s clinic
The extent of postoperative care you need
The possibility of requiring a bone graft
The experience and qualifications of your dental practitioner or surgeon
Typically, the entire procedure can cost anywhere between $800 and $6,000, including the cost of implants and dentures. Check with your medical insurance provider to find out whether your current plan covers the cost of dental implant surgery.
3. Is My Dental Practitioner Qualified to Perform Dental Implant Surgery?
Here’s the thing - irrespective of where you’re living, you’re going to come across a cornucopia of dental clinics. For instance, if you’re in Bolingbrook, a simple Google search, such as “dentist Bolingbrook” will reveal plenty of options. Also, the popularity of dental implants has tempted many practitioners to include the procedure in their array of services.
But it’s worth remembering that dental implant surgery isn’t usually a part of undergraduate dental studies. Most dental professionals have to get additional training and certifications to be qualified to perform a dental implant procedure.
So, don’t hesitate to ask your dental practitioner whether they’ve got the necessary certification. Also, find out how long they’ve been offering dental implant services and check their online reviews. You could even ask them to show pictures or connect you with patients who have undergone dental implant surgery at their clinic.
4. How Safe Is It?
As with any invasive surgical procedure, it’s natural to wonder whether getting a dental implant is safe. The good news is that dental implant surgery has an impressive success rate of 98%. This is in contrast to traditional dentures and bridgework, which are associated with high failure rates of 15-20%.
Also, placing dental implants is a fairly painless process. You’ll receive a dose of anesthesia before the procedure. However, you might experience slight pain, numbness, and tingling once you receive the implant.
Having said that, you should know that dental implant surgery is associated with a few side effects, such as excessive bleeding and infection. If you’re receiving an upper jaw implant, it could protrude into your sinus cavity causing you to develop sinusitis.
Also, you could experience nerve damage due to improper drilling and placement of the implant. However, the likelihood of these dangerous side effects is extremely rare. Make sure you talk to your dentist/surgeon and get a clearer idea of what you should expect after the surgery.
Have you ever undergone dental implant surgery? Share your experience in the comments section below.