Missing teeth due to decay, disease, or injury can cause teeth to shift, lead to gum disease, result in the loss of more teeth, and erode your self-confidence. While several procedures can address missing or damaged teeth, dental implants provide a permanent solution and promotes better oral health. The result is a more beautiful smile and replacement teeth that look and feel like your natural teeth.
Dental implants begin with a titanium post implanted in the jawbone that serves as the foundation that replaces the missing tooth. The dentist will then affix a permanent porcelain or acrylic dental crown to the top of the post to create a natural looking tooth. When you need to replace multiple teeth, you can choose a bridge or full arch permanently affixed with several dental implants.
Once the implant is in place, it acts like natural teeth with natural roots allowing you to enjoy a healthy mouth, have a strong bite, and an attractive smile. With proper care, it can be a permanent solution.
The challenge with dental implants is finding a dentist that understands your specific needs and knows all the latest techniques. If you are considering dental implant surgery, here are some ways to find the right dentist for your needs:
- Dental implants provide a permanent solution to tooth loss and improve dental health and oral function.
- Dental implants require surgery to insert the implant post permanently in the jawbone.
- The skill of your surgeon and experience with placing dental implants is directly related to a positive, lasting outcome.
- Perform your due diligence by reviewing the qualifications and certifications of your dentist and ask for personal references.
- Seek out online reviews and testimonials to get an unbiased opinion from other patients who recently had implant surgery.
Evaluate the Expertise of the Dentist
Dental implant surgery is a specialized surgical dental procedure that requires a higher degree of expertise. Before choosing a dentist to provide implants, review both their training and experience. Training could be a specialty acquired in dental school or obtained through continuing education. Like most technologies, new inventions and emerging procedures continually impact the field of dentistry, and newer technologies can be safer and provide better results.
When it comes to dental implants, there is no substitute for experience. A dentist who has performed the procedure for many years will have a higher level of expertise than one new to the practice. You will have better results if you choose a dentist with advanced training in dental implants and years of experience performing the procedure.
Another way to gauge expertise is through board certifications. Certifications require rigorous training and testing to ensure the dentist has advanced knowledge of specialized procedures like dental implants. Active affiliations with organizations such as the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) also provide ongoing training for implant dentistry’s latest techniques and treatments.
Access to the latest surgical technology and equipment can also mean the dentist uses the best and most advanced dental implant techniques available.
Reading patient reviews, which can be found on the practice’s website or third-party review sites, will give you clues about how the team works with patients and the overall satisfaction of patients who have recently had dental implants. You can also request to speak with previous clients and view before and after pictures of recent procedures like the one you are considering. In addition to reviews, consider your experience during the initial office visit.
- How were your interactions with staff members?
- Was the office clean and orderly?
- Did you feel the dentist heard and understood your concerns?
- Did the dentist explain the procedure in a way that you understand what to expect before, during and after the procedure?
Dental implants are an advanced, surgical procedure that provides lasting, permanent esthetics and function and promotes overall dental health and improved self-confidence. The artistic skill and experience of your dentist is critical to a positive outcome. Finding an accomplished dentist who is certified and undergoes ongoing continuing education on the most advanced procedures related to dental implants is key.
Are dental implants worth it?
Dental implants provide more than just an aesthetic outcome from tooth loss. Dental implants support the adjacent teeth, supporting a healthy bite. Implants also decrease bone loss, preserving the underlying jawbone and further preserving facial aesthetics.
What is the best age for dental implants?
Dental implants are an appropriate, permanent solution to missing that can last 25 years or more with proper care and maintenance. Since over half of individuals over the age of 65 have at least one missing tooth, dental implants are a popular solutions for older individuals wanting to replace one or more missing teeth, or replace a full arch of teeth with implant supported dentures.
Who is not a good candidate for dental implants?
Patients who grind their teeth, clinch their jaw or bite their fingernails may put too much pressure on the implants which could result in long-term damage. Also, people with certain medical conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, a severely compromised immune system, or people that that steroids or other drugs to suppress the immune system may not be a suitable candidate for dental implants.
How long after extraction can you get an implant?
In most cases it is recommended to wait 3-6 month after a tooth has been removed to allow the area to heal and new bone to regenerate. However, with a healthy underlying jawbone, it may be possible to extract a tooth and place the implant post during the same visit.
Is 70 too old for dental implants?
No age is too old for dental implants, in fact, older people many times find greater benefits from dental implants like improved oral and physical health, improved facial aesthetics and greater confidence. Dental implants are equally effective and long-lasting when use din older patients.
Call for an Appointment
If you are ready to explore ways to rejuvenate your smile, or you just need a cleaning and x-rays, call today for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kevin Hogan graduated from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has over 40 years of experience. He completed continuing education at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, a world-renowned comprehensive and aesthetic dentistry center. He has also finished extensive coursework with the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation and lectured at both North Carolina and Emory University.
He is known for his artistic skill, professionalism, and ability to find the right solution for an array of dental challenges. Dr. Kevin Hogan is a cosmetic and restorative dentist serving patients in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina and the greater Charleston, SC areas.