FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What is a dental implant?
A. A dental implant is a substitute tooth root that serves the same function as a natural tooth root. It preserves bone and provides a stable foundation for a replacement tooth that looks, feels and functions like a natural tooth. Dental implants are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible material used in orthopedic implants.
Q. Why are dental implants better than bridges, partials, and dentures?
A. Dental implants can last a lifetime, unlike bridges, partials and dentures that may need to be replaced several times. Since dental implants prevent the bone resorption that occurs when teeth are missing, the natural appearance of the smile is preserved. With implant treatment, there is no compromise to adjacent teeth; they are not cut down to place a bridge, or loosened by the hooks on removable partials. Dentures and partials have the added disadvantage of accelerating the bone resorption process, which causes the appearance of premature aging.
Q. Is anyone ever considered too old for dental implants?
A. Overall health and a desire to improve the quality of life are much more important considerations than age. When dental implants were first developed, back in the 1950\'s, implant supported replacement teeth were originally designed as a solution for older patients who were missing all of their teeth. Since then, many patients well into their nineties have had dental implant treatment without a single problem.
Q. How long does it take to complete dental implant treatment?
A. The length of treatment time depends largely upon whether someone is a candidate for Immediate Function procedures. Patients who qualify for this type of treatment receive their replacement teeth the same day implants are placed. For the majority of patients, treatment can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending upon the quality of the bone in which the implants are placed. If procedures are needed to augment the bone, the total treatment time is usually somewhere between six to nine months.
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