Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Answers to Common Questions About Dental Implants

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What Are Dental Implants?

They replace the natural tooth root. The implant is a titanium screw that a crown can go on. They are the best replacement for a natural tooth. When a person is missing teeth, dental implants give them the ability to chew and smile just like a natural tooth. Dental implants are the best replacement for a natural tooth. Implants also help preserve your facial bone structure, preventing bone atrophy that occurs when teeth are missing. When you are missing teeth there is a natural disuse atrophy and the bone shrinks with nothing in that area to maintain it.

What are my other options besides a dental implant?

You can do a bridge when you have two adjacent natural teeth. The down side to a bridge is that you have to cut down the two adjacent natural teeth. You also have to use a special floss threader to clean under it or it will be prone to getting cavities. The bridge does not also maintain the bone that it spans over and so there can be some bone narrowing of the missing tooth site. If you don’t have adjacent natural teeth to your missing tooth then you can also do a removeable partial denture if you are willing to wear an appliance that is removeable and comes out at night.

Do dental implants need special care?

No. You will care for them just like your natural teeth with brushing and flossing and maintaining good oral hygiene. You will still need to see your general dentist for your routing hygiene appointments every 6 months just like your natural teeth. With the implants being titanium, they cannot get a cavity like a natural tooth which is good. But they can get gum disease around them if there is an overgrowth of bacteria that naturally lives in the mouth and can cause bone loss and infection just like a natural tooth with gum disease or periodontal disease.

Can I get an MRI with a dental implant?

Yes. You do still want to notify the MRI technician on the questionnaire that you have a dental implant but MRI’s can be safely done with dental implants because they are titanium with no alloy metals.

Is there any tracking device on a dental implant?

No. You can not be tracked in any way with your dental implant electronically or with any technology.

Does a dental implant set off airport security?

No, it is pure titanium with no alloy metals and does not set off airport security.

What is an immediate dental implant?

An immediate dental implant is when a dental implant is placed at time of removing the tooth. Also known as single stage implant placement. After removing the tooth if the bony socket is intact and there is good bone quality then the dental implant can be placed right where the tooth root use to be.

Can a crown be placed right away on my dental implant?

Yes. If the dental implant goes in well then, an impression of the implant can be taken right then and a crown fabricated right away and placed on the implant. We however don’t have you chew on the implant/ crown right away. It takes your body a good 8-12 weeks for the bone to fuse to the dental implant. Prematurely loading the implant can impede the bone healing.

When does a crown typically go on a dental implant?

The typical timeline that a crown can go on the dental implant is 2-3 months after the implant is placed. It takes our body a full 8-12 weeks for the bone to fuse to the implant. After that time a crown can be placed and you can go back to normal chewing. Your dentist does not need to get you numb but simply takes molds of your mouth and a custom crown goes on the implant to fit your bite and smile. A temporary crown can be placed immediately on a dental implant but that must be out of function so that no forces are put on it to disrupt the bone healing. If the missing tooth is in your smile a temporary retainer can be made as well so you never go without a tooth in your smile.

Do Dental implants hurt?

No. They should feel very similar to natural teeth. If an implant hurts just like a natural tooth something is not right and needs to be evaluated by a dental professional.

Do Dental implants feel like natural teeth?

Yes. Your dental implants will work in a similar manner. The main difference between implants and natural teeth is that there is a periodontal ligament around natural teeth. This functions as a shock absorber for our natural teeth. Dental implants will function just as good as your natural teeth for chewing.

Can you get dental implants with osteoporosis?

Yes. Osteoporosis mainly affects the spine and your long bones. Commonly the jaw bones are spared. Dr Verschueren takes a CT scan at your implant consultation to make sure there is enough bone and that the bone is of adequate quality.