Should I Get a Dental Implant?
No one is ever excited to hear that they need a tooth extracted and while nothing is ever as good as our natural teeth, luckily we have some very good options to replace missing teeth. Every day we see patients who are looking for options to replace missing teeth and are often left asking themselves “Should I get an implant?”
More and more people are getting dental implants to replace missing teeth. In 2016 it was estimated that over 3 million people have dental implants and that number appears to be growing by about 500,000 each year. The likely reason is that dental implants are a long term solution to replacing teeth and unlike fixed bridges, implants do not affect neighboring healthy teeth.
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into your jaw bone. This titanium metal is the same metal that is used in hip and knee replacements. It has been used in dentistry and medicine for years and has been proven very safe. The titanium metal and bone fuse together and integrate the implant into the bone. This process does take time though, successful integration can take up to several months. But once your surgeon has determined that the implant has successfully integrated, your dentist will attach a tooth to the implant and the process will be complete.
Dental implant surgery is, of course, surgery and is best done by a trained surgeon. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon has specialized education and training in the complexities of the bone, skin, muscles and nerves involved, to ensure you get the best possible results. A study performed in 2014 in the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests greater implant success rates when performed by a dental specialist.
After more than 20 years, the vast majority of dental implants first placed by oral surgeons in the US continue to function. More importantly, the patients that chose to receive those early implants are still satisfied they made the right choice. Dental implants continue today do be the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. If you need to have a tooth extracted or had teeth extracted years ago by visiting your oral surgeon, we can walk you through all the steps of replacing your teeth.