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5 Questions That Many People Have About Dental Implants

Dental implants have helped revolutionize the dental industry and are among the best treatments for patients with a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth. These implants can take the place of natural teeth that are missing so that patients will be able to eat normally again and smile with greater confidence. Dental patients who are considering getting these implants often have questions about what the treatment process involves and the benefits that the implants provide. Getting answers to these questions can help each patient feel more assured about this treatment option.

1. How are dental implants inserted?

Dental implant placement involves surgically inserting the implant into the jawbone and letting gum tissue grow around the attached post during the healing process. If your jawbone isn't sturdy enough to support an implant, a piece of bone from another part of the body or an artificial bone may need to be grafted onto the jawbone. After a few months, a dental crown can be placed over the implant's post and held in place to act like a real tooth. 

2. What are some of the other dental problems that dental implants can prevent?

In addition to chewing and speaking difficulties, dental implants can correct or prevent certain problems that impact patients' oral health. These problems include teeth or bite misalignment, facial asymmetry, frequent headaches, teeth shifting, and sinus expansion that could erode the upper jawbone.

3. Can the implants be removed?

Dental implants are meant to stay in place without being removed, but they can be taken out by a dental professional under certain circumstances. If the implants were inserted incorrectly or cause chronic pain, they may need to be removed and adjusted, or replaced. The implants may also require removal if the jawbone and tissue surrounding them healed abnormally and are hindering the performance of the implants.

4. How long do dental implants last?

If patients take care of their oral health sufficiently and don't do anything to damage the implants, their dental implants may last for many years or possibly a lifetime. Some dental implants can last 25 years or more before new implants will need to be inserted.

5. What are some of the best homecare tips for dental implants?

Dental implants can be brushed like regular teeth; however, it's best to avoid using a toothbrush with hard bristles or toothpaste with baking soda or other abrasive agents that could damage the implants. A flosser that shoots water in between the teeth to clean these areas can also be better for dental implants than standard floss. If you prefer string floss, it's best to use a type of floss that's designed specifically for flossing around crowns and bridges.  

Dental implants have provided many wonderful benefits for patients who have missing teeth. A dental professional who provides the implants can answer additional questions and explain more about the advantages of dental implant treatment.