Dental Implant FAQ
A dental implant is a metal-based prosthetic which is used to replace the root of a missing tooth. This implant is topped with an artificial tooth or crown, which helps to restore the aesthetic and function of your teeth.
Here are some of the questions that patients ask at Oral and Facial Surgery Center.
Q: How do dental implants work?
A: Dental implants consist of a small screw that is often made of titanium. This screw is inserted into the jawbone in the place where the missing tooth used to be. The metal fuses with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration and provides strength and stability to your jaw. After that, a structure called the abutment is fixed to the implant, which attaches the crown.
Q: Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
A: Almost anyone who is missing a tooth can be a viable candidate for implant surgery. Good candidates should have good overall oral health and enough bone density to anchor the implant securely in the jawbone. Candidates who have low bone density can still undergo implant surgery if they first have their jawbone augmented. They should also be committed to taking good care of their implant and surrounding gums. Regular brushing and flossing are imperative, and routine dental checkup appointments should not be missed.
Q: Which type of people may not be good candidates for dental implants?
A: Some people who may not be qualified for a dental implant include children whose jawbone has not stopped growing, pregnant women, people who are undergoing cancer therapy, and people with uncontrollable chronic diseases or autoimmune diseases. Heavy smokers, substance abusers, and alcoholics are also not good candidates as they are less likely to practice good oral hygiene.
You may still be a good candidate if you have any of these conditions. Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Ardoin can determine how severe your condition is and determine if you can have implant surgery.
Q: What are the benefits of a dental implant?
A: Dental implants are the closest possible alternative to your natural teeth. Implants look, function, and feel just like your natural teeth. Unlike some other restorative options, dental implants give you the ability to eat all kinds of food and speak easily. They also do not require special care and should be maintained like regular teeth. Moreover, they will never get dental decay.
Q: What are the risks of a dental implant?
A: Like all surgeries, there is a slight risk of infection. However, we at Oral and Facial Surgery Center will prescribe you antibiotic medication, and an antibacterial mouth rinse to ensure that even this risk is eliminated. Since titanium is a hypoallergenic metal, there is virtually no risk of an adverse reaction.
Q: What can I expect after dental implant surgery?
A: Some discomfort and pain are expected a few days after the surgery. You will experience swelling of the gums and face, pain at the surgical site, and some minor bleeding. However, these can be controlled by pain medication and simple home remedies.
If any of these symptoms worsen after several days, schedule an appointment with us right away as this could be a sign of a larger problem.
People who have undergone implant surgery may also have to eat soft, puréed food for a few weeks until the surgical site heals.
Q: How long do implants last?
A: Dental implants do not experience dental decay. However, their success and durability depend on your oral hygiene and dietary habits. The longevity of dental implants also depends on the patient’s medical history and other factors. Typically though, with good oral care, your dental implants can last you for over 20 years.
If you feel you need dental implants or are still concerned about the procedure, call us at 337-443-2533 for our Lafayette location or 337-381-3663 for our Opelousas location, and we will discuss your options with you.