If you’re missing one or more teeth, you might wonder, “Should I get a dental implant or not?” It’s a good question because less than half of U.S. adults (ages 20-64) have their full set of teeth. And for those over 65, almost 20% are missing all of their teeth entirely.
Missing teeth can make it difficult to chew and speak and also increase the risk for other oral health problems. Fortunately, thanks to dental science, patients have a sturdy, natural-looking option to replace their missing teeth – quality dental implants.
Are you considering whether you need a tooth implant to finally flash that smile again? Read on for answers to common questions our patients have about dental implants, like:
- Do I really need a dental implant?
- Why get dental implants?
- Are dental implants a good idea?
- Are there any reasons not to get dental implants?
- Is a dental implant permanent?
- Is it necessary to get an implant after tooth extraction?
- Are dental implants worth it?
- Who should get dental implants?
- How do I find quality dental implants near me?
But before we dive in, let’s start with the basics.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement solution that look and feel just like natural teeth.
If you need a tooth implant, you’ll want to understand the process first. The implant itself is a titanium post your dentist places in your jawbone where your tooth is missing. This post acts as the “root” of your new tooth. Once the post is in place, a natural-looking tooth (called a “crown”) is placed on top of the post. The new tooth will match your other teeth in color and shape, and is usually made out of ceramic or porcelain.
Is a Dental Implant Permanent?
Dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution for tooth loss. The titanium post fuses to your bone over time, creating a strong and stable foundation for your new tooth. With proper routine care and a reputable dentist in your corner, your dental implant can last a lifetime.
Who Should Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants are an excellent solution for many people, but not everyone’s a good candidate for dental implants. Here are a few factors to consider when working with your dentist to determine if dental implants are right for you.
You Have Good Oral Health
To be a candidate for dental implants, you must have good oral health. You must have healthy gums and enough bone to support the implant. If you have gum disease or your jawbone is eroded, you likely won’t be a good candidate for dental implants.
You Are Committed To Oral Hygiene
Dental implants require the same commitment to oral hygiene as your natural teeth. If you won’t (or can’t) care for your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting your dentist for routine cleanings, dental implants might not work for you.
You Don’t Smoke
If you’re a smoker, you might not be a good candidate for dental implants because smoking decreases the success rate and can even cause implants to fail.
Is It Necessary to Get An Implant After Tooth Extraction?
Are dental implants necessary just because you lost a tooth? When teeth are removed, a socket is left behind in the jawbone. This socket will eventually heal, but it can take several months.
When considering an implant, your dentist will recommend a procedure called a “bone graft.” A bone graft fills the socket to provide structure and support after the extraction. Without it, the bone can start to melt away, which can cause facial features to sag.
During the healing process, it’s extremely important to keep the tooth extraction or bone graft area very clean. Otherwise, you may end up with a secondary infection.
If the tooth doesn’t have an initial infection, many dentists recommend getting the implant immediately after tooth extraction and bone graft. If the space is left, it can overtax your other teeth as they’ll have to bear more of the load when chewing. However, if an infection exists, your dentist must wait until it’s healed to complete the implant placement.
Why Get Dental Implants?
Are dental implants a good idea? Yes! Professional dental implants offer many benefits other tooth replacement solutions don’t. Here are just a few:
- Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth.
- Dental implants are a permanent solution to tooth loss and help restore your smile.
- Dental implants can help preserve your jawbone and prevent it from shrinking post-tooth loss.
- Dental implants can help support your facial structure.
- Dental implants are made of titanium, which isn’t susceptible to tooth decay.
Reasons Not to Get Dental Implants
There are plenty of great reasons to consider getting dental implants. But there are definitely some reasons not to get dental implants – and knowing the right information can help you make an informed decision.
Here are a few things to consider before deciding if dental implants are right for you:
- Dental implants require surgery, and the recovery period can be lengthy.
- Dental implants require a commitment to oral hygiene, just like your natural teeth, so there are no shortcuts.
- Dental implants might not be possible for you. If your jawbone isn’t strong enough to support dental implants or if you have gum disease, you might not be a good candidate.
So, Should I Get a Dental Implant or Not?
“Do I really need a dental implant?” Maybe. Dental implants could be the right choice if your oral health is up to par, and you’re looking for a lasting, natural-looking smile. Dental implants offer plenty of benefits, but you should consult your dentist and rely on their professional recommendations before moving forward with treatment.
Need a Tooth Implant? Schedule an Implant Consultation With Northside Dental Co.
If you’re missing teeth, you’re likely ready for a long-lasting solution that will perfect your smile for good. Modern dental implants offer comfort and security that other tooth replacement treatments simply can’t match.
At Northside Dental Co., we’ve placed countless quality dental implants over the years, and we’d be more than happy to help you, too! We understand that getting dental implants is a big decision, so book a 30-minute implant consultation to learn more.
We’ll thoroughly examine your mouth, review your medical history, and answer any questions you have about the dental implant process. We want you to feel confident and comfortable with your decision before moving forward.
Book a consultation today and learn how Richmond’s leading dental team can help you achieve the smile of your dreams!