Dental implants are commonly used in the dental world to replace missing teeth, but many people aren’t familiar with their purpose, and how they can help correct multiple dental issues. Oftentimes, the first mention of dental implants by your dentist can leave you feeling a bit uneasy and eager to learn more. Dr. Marianna Farber with Contemporary & Esthetic Dentistry in New York City offers dental implants to her patients and works closely with experienced periodontists and oral surgeons to provide the best results possible. She has put together this FAQ to help familiarize you with the benefits of dental implants and how they can be used to correct your dental issues and create that award-winning NYC smile.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is used to replace a missing tooth. It is used to serve as an artificial root of the tooth. The implant bonds with your natural bone and become a secure base for the new teeth. A dental implant is surgically placed into a patient’s jawbone and the post(s) may be connected to a crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants are an excellent, natural-looking solution for patients who are missing teeth, or for those that need to have teeth replaced.
Why do people need dental implants?
The most common reason people get dental implants is to replace missing teeth. This can be for cosmetic reasons to eliminate the gap, improve their confidence, and allow them to smile without hesitation. Dental implants can also be used to solve a number of problems including difficulty chewing or eating. Some patients were born with a tooth that does not fit with the rest of the teeth. Oftentimes, this one tooth can be replaced with a dental implant.
How long do they last?
If taken care of properly, dental implants can last for decades, and possibly a lifetime. Dental implants are an investment in your teeth and smile. It’s important to follow all of your dentist’s recommendations in order to get the maximum usage out of your implants. Regular brushing and flossing is recommended, along with visiting your dentist on a regular basis so they can assess the implant and make sure your overall general dental health is in good standing.
How long does the entire process take?
A dental implant procedure can take anywhere from 6-8 months and can be viewed as a multi-step process. First, the implant is surgically placed so that it can fuse with the jawbone. Gum tissue is then placed over the implant so that it can heal properly. A temporary bridge or denture is then used to fill the gap. Around 3-5 months later you then return to the dentist in order to have a post placed into the implant. You’ll also be fitted for your permanent restoration, such as a crown. Next, you’ll return for your final fitting where the fit, look, and feel of your dental implant is as it should be. At this time, final adjustments can be made.
Are they noticeable?
One of the great things about implants is that nobody will ever know you have one. They are made to blend in with your natural teeth and look and feel natural. Dr. Farber will ensure that the color and shape of the tooth matches your other teeth.
Do they require special care?
Dental implants need to be maintained similar to your regular teeth. Flossing every day is very important and thorough brushing is required to prevent tooth decay. Gum decay and disease can have a direct impact on the dental implant and can cause it to fail. Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist and maintaining excellent oral hygiene will contribute to the life of the implant.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
Depending on the amount of work being done, some patients experience moderate discomfort. This is mostly seen when a patient requires a bone graft or multiple dental implants. Over the counter pain medicine, like Tylenol or Advil can be used for 2-5 days following the surgery in order to relieve discomfort. Depending on the extent of your surgery, your dentist may also prescribe medication to help manage the pain.
What if I’m a smoker?
Dental implants are not the best solution for smokers. The implant is four times as likely to fail when compared to non-implant smokers. Smoking can weaken the implant structure and integrity by causing the gums to recede or gum disease to appear. If you want to move forward with a dental implant it is best to avoid smoking and chewing tobacco in order to get the most out of your implant and your investment.
Is it covered under insurance?
The cost of dental implants may be partially covered under your insurance. Many carriers do not cover the surgical placement of the implants. It is advised to contact your insurance provider in order to determine coverage. There is a possibility that your medical insurance will cover a portion of the implant under jaw reconstruction surgery as long as the implant is correcting an issue that occurred during an accident.
Are they expensive?
Dental implants do not come cheap, but they’re worth their weight in gold. Surgical fees for a single tooth in the New York City area can run anywhere from $2,000 - $5,000, on top of the required materials. Pricing aside, dental implants can prevent future issues with your teeth. Bone and gum decay can worsen due to missing teeth and also begin to affect the teeth around the gap and begin to cause pain and discomfort. Implants will also make your smile complete again and provide an instant self-confidence boost. Dental implants aren’t inexpensive; however they are a lifelong investment in your smile and in your teeth.
Ready to learn more?
It’s important to do your research ahead of time and find an experienced and skilled New York City dental implant dentist that is experienced in performing implant procedures. Once you’ve found someone it’s a good idea to ask them to walk you through the dental implant process and what you can expect.
If you’re interested in learning more about dental implants, but don’t know where to begin, then please give our NYC dental office a call to schedule a consultation. Dr. Farber can evaluate the state of your teeth and gums and recommend how to move forward. Pricing, recovery time, and pros and cons of dental implants will also be discussed during this time.
We look forward to your visit so you can see for yourself why dental implants will give you multiple reasons to smile.