Dental Implants: Frequently Asked Questions 2

In a nutshell, a dental implant is a type of prosthesis that is used to replace missing teeth. It is also a small titanium fixture/post that’s inserted into the jawbone. On top of it, a fixed bridge, a partial denture, or a single crown (cap) may be attached. 
Once the dental implant integrates to the bone, a structure known as abutment is connected to the implant. It is where the artificial tooth will be attached. In essence, an “implant tooth” has 3 parts: the dental implant, abutment, and the artificial tooth.


Who are good candidates for dental implants?
Dental implants are ideal for those who are missing a single or multiple tooth or all of their teeth. Your dentist or prosthodontist will be able to give you advice that’s tailored to your unique needs.


What are some of the advantages of dental implants?
Humans have 2 sets of teeth—the baby teeth and the permanent or adult teeth. When a tooth or multiple teeth are lost secondary to gum disease or dental decay, dental implants can be used as replacement.
Given that proper care is observed, dental implants can last a lifetime. It can also significantly enhance the patient’s confidence, appearance, ability to eat foods they like, and get involved in their lifestyle of choice without having to worry about their teeth. In addition, since dental implants are made of titanium, they are immune from dental decay.


What are some of the disadvantages of dental implants?
Just like most minor surgical procedures, there is the risk of inflammation, pain, and infection. The good news is your dentist or prosthodontist can easily manage said conditions. 
In the event where there is no longer any available bone to place the implant, gum and bone grafting procedures may need to be undertaken. Understandably, both procedures can increase the cost of the treatment. If anything however, the additional investment often pays off in the long term.


How much will dental implants cost?
Generally, the cost of replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is almost identical to replacing it with a regular fixed bridge. However, costs can still vary based on several factors like bone quantity, region, and the patient’s needs. A prosthodontist will be able to make an assessment based on the unique needs of the patient.


What is the rate of success for dental implants?
Understandably, this can vary from one individual to another. In addition, the patient’s health and habits may also play key roles. However, for healthy individuals who are in good health and who have great oral hygiene, dental implants have a reported success rate of 90 to 95 percent.


Will dental implants last?
Unlike people’s natural teeth, dental implants are not susceptible to dental diseases like tooth decay. However, gum health is crucial to sustaining the implant’s long-term success. 
Also, regular professional cleanings and check-ups as well as conscientious home care are primary factors that can also greatly impact dental implant sustainability. In addition, since each individual is different, diagnosis and planning, medical history, and other  key factors can also affect a dental implant’s success rate.
Dr. Gerald Tan



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