Dental Implant Questions and Answers

Dental Implants

If you have missing teeth, our Sacramento dental office usually recommends dental implants instead of dentures or a bridge. Dental implants are generally recommended over dentures and bridges because implants are a restoration alternative that mimics the role of the missing teeth. Dental implants look and act like real teeth and are a more stable and comfortable choice over other tooth replacement options.

What Are Dental Implants?

Like the roots of a tooth, implants act like an anchor and provide stimulation for the jawbone. The foundation of the implant is a screw inserted into the jawbone. An artificial tooth resembling your missing one is placed like a cap over the abutment at the top of the screw.

Implants are meant to be a permanent part of a person’s mouth, just like natural teeth. And unlike bridges, implants are not anchored to healthy teeth. This means that your surrounding teeth are left in their natural state, another bonus. On a final note, although implants are artificial, it is still important to brush and floss daily! Like the real teeth they mimic, implants can fail if the underlying jawbone is not protected from gum disease and bone loss due to rampant periodontitis.

What Is the Implant Procedure?

First, our Sacramento implant specialists consult with you to see if you are a good candidate for implants. This includes an oral exam and discussion of your health history. A good candidate for implants has healthy jaw bone and gum tissue and is preferably a non-smoker. Our dentists spend time discussing specific concerns unique to your case and dental history. Otherwise healthy patients have an 80-90% success rate for implants. Patients with a history of diabetes, radiation treatment or who are smokers risk complications that lead to implant failure.

After the consultation, our office schedules your implant procedure. During this procedure, the dentist surgically installs the implant into your jawbone by precisely screwing it into place. Then it is generally necessary to wait three to six months to allow gum tissue to heal and bone to grow around the implant.

Later, once your jawbone has sufficiently anchored the implant, the dentist attaches the extension or post (the “abutment”) that fits the “tooth cap.” Again, your gum tissue needs time to heal, often taking a few weeks or months.

Same Day Implants?

What about the companies that advertise same day implants? What they don’t tell you is that implants immediately loaded with an artificial tooth have a very high failure rate. Chewing creates tremendous amounts of force. The last thing you want is a wobbly screw that’s barely fastened to your tooth getting ripped out while you chew an apple. The method recommended by responsible dental professionals involves patience, letting the implants thoroughly attach to the bone before a tooth is loaded. During this time we provide patients with other forms of artificial teeth that keep damaging pressure from ruining the implant.

Attaching the Tooth

When the healing is finished, it’s time to attach your new tooth to the abutment. A dental lab creates a custom tooth that fits in your mouth so naturally that no one will likely know it’s not a real tooth!

We understand the decision to have implants is a big one and the process takes time, but the end results are worth it! Our Sacramento dentists support you every step of the way and provide detailed instructions after each procedure to ensure speedy healing and recovery.

How Much Are Dental Implants?

Even though implants are more expensive than dentures or bridges, there are many advantages that make implants worth consideration. Most importantly, there’s nothing else that resembles and works like real teeth they way dental implants do. Our office is happy to help with your dental insurance coverage questions and provides you a written estimate to know upfront how much each implant costs out of pocket. The Sacramento Dentistry Group also is currently offering patients implant discounts! To see more information about dental implants, including a video, check out our page on implants and call our Sacramento dental implant professionals for a free consultation.
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