Getting a Dental Implant: Five Questions to ask your Dentist.

Investing in your smile is an important step towards your dental health. Dental implants are commonly used to replace a broken tooth or a tooth with extensive decay that cannot be restored with a root canal or crown. About 1.9 Americans have one or more dental implants each year.

But before you make a decision these are the five questions you should be asking your dental professional.

1. Will a dental implant improve my oral health?
A dental implant is designed to fill in for a missing tooth and fells and functions like a natural tooth. After a tooth is pulled and the oral tissue heals, an implant screw, made of titanium or other materials, such as zirconium, is inserted into the jawbone. Once the screw adheres to the bone, it’s capped with a crown and looks similar to other teeth.

Before implants, dentists replaced a missing tooth with a partial denture or a bridge, designed to look like a tooth, that is attached to neighboring teeth. While both options still are used today, dentures and bridges can be uncomfortable, weaken the jawbone, and require periodic replacement. Titanium implants, invented over 40 years ago, have significantly improved dental treatments reports the American Dental Association.

3. How long do implants last?
Research shows that 95 percent of implants on average have lasted 13 years or more. Implants today are made of newer materials and designed to fit better, so the jawbone heals faster.

2. What happens if a missing tooth is not replaced?
When a tooth is lost and not replaced, people may experience difficulty chewing foods, and their jawbone may deteriorate faster, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease, bone loss and losing neighboring teeth. The remaining teeth may shift, causing bite problems, and the facial skin may sag and create an uneven smile.

4. How much do implants cost?
Although implants have become a popular dental treatment, many dental insurance plans do not cover the cost. In some cases, medical insurance may pay some of the expense.

When you make an appointment with Dr. Ordonez upon consultation our treatment coordinator will provide you with a treatment plan that shows you all the costs involved before hand.

5. What is the dentist’s experience with implants?
Before scheduling an implant procedure, find out the dentist’s experience, such as: What is their training with implants? Are they board certified in oral and maxillofacial surgery, periodontics or prosthodontics, or have they received special training? How many patients have they treated with dental implants?

American Academy of Implant Dentistry
American Dental Association