The Top Questions About Dental Implants

What do you need to know before your first dental implant procedure appointment? You're new to dental implants and aren't sure what to expect. If you want to learn more about this type of prosthetic restoration, take a look at the top questions patients have about implants.

Are Implants the Same As Dentures?

No, dental implants and dentures are two different types of full-mouth reconstruction prosthetics. As the name implies, implants are prosthetics that dentists implant into your mouth. The first step in the implant process is to place a screw-shaped post under the gum line. This will fuse with your natural jawbone, creating a solid base that mimics the real root of a tooth. 

The dentist will also place an abutment, or connector piece, on top of the post. This part of an implant supports the crown—the outer visible tooth-like prosthetic. When the system is complete it becomes part of your mouth. Unlike dentures, the implant is not removable. 

Are Implants Popular?

You aren't the first, last, or only person to get this type of dental restoration. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), more than three million Americans have implants. The AAID also notes that this number is projected to grow by 500,000 people each year 

Why Are Implants Popular?

Implants provide a permanent solution to tooth loss. A missing tooth can do more than affect your oral aesthetics. While implants do provide cosmetic benefits, they also can stop other teeth from shifting, can help you to chew and eat safely, and may improve your speech (compared to what you would experience with missing teeth). 

Are Implants Painful?

Dental procedures may cause some discomfort—implants included. But this shouldn't stop you from visiting the dentist or choosing an implant. Even though the procedure isn't enjoyable, it also doesn't have to hurt. The dentist will numb your mouth, making it possible to install the post, abutment, and (later on) the crown without pain. 

Will the Implant Last Forever?

Again, implants are permanent prosthetics. This means you can't and won't remove the false tooth or root-like post. But, like all other dental restorations, it may not last for an entire lifetime. While implants are sturdy and durable (just like your real teeth), misuse, accidents, excessive wear, and injuries can damage the crown. 

Can You Get More Than One Implant?

Yes, you can get multiple implants. Full-mouth dental implants are an alternative to dentures that you don't have to remove nightly.