Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants in Columbia
As you’re getting ready to replace one or more missing teeth with dental implant supported restorations? The Goodman Family Dentistry team is here to help you with every step of this treatment process. If you’re ready to get started, give our team a call to schedule a tooth replacement consultation in our Columbia dentistry practice. You can also find the answers to many of our frequently asked questions here.
What are Dental Implants?
Implants are small posts that are inserted into the gum line to mimic the function of lost tooth roots. Before they’re positioned, they closely resemble a small screw. These implant posts can be crafted from a number of materials, including titanium and zirconia. Before you begin your treatment plan, we’ll review your options and help you select the best material to repair your smile.
How are Dental Implants Placed?
Implants are surgically placed into the gum line. We make a small incision in the gums. Then, the implant post is positioned into the jaw. Once we’ve placed the implant post, a protective cover is attached. This allows the implant to fuse with the soft tissue and bone while maintaining adequate space for us to attach the tooth replacement prosthetic.
How Many Dental Implants are Needed?
Every patient’s implant tooth replacement plan is different, but in most cases, we’ll recommend the following:
- One implant – a single implant can be used to support a dental crown replacing one lost tooth
- Two implants – for patients missing two or more consecutive teeth, a fixed bridge will be attached to two implant posts, one on each end
- Three or more implants – following advanced tooth loss, a partial or full denture will be crafted and attached to three to six implant posts
How Long will My Dental Implant Restoration Last?
Traditional tooth replacement options last five to ten years before they need to be replaced or repaired. With proper care, implant supported replacement teeth can last for two or more decades, and in many cases, patients keep their implant restoration for the rest of their lives. To keep your implant as long as possible, you should keep up with your regular six month dental exams in our Columbia dental office. You should continue to brush twice a day and floss at least once each day to remove plaque buildup. If you have an implant supported partial or full denture, you may need to use a water flosser to remove bacteria and plaque buildup that accumulates between the gums and bone tissue.
Who Should Consider Dental Implants?
Any patient missing one tooth, several teeth, or a complete row of teeth should consider implant restoration. The ideal candidate for implant dentures should meet the following criteria:
- Able to commit the necessary time and funds to complete this advanced tooth replacement process
- Healthy enough for basic medical procedures
- No adverse responses during surgical treatment in the past
- Have adequate gum tissue volume and jawbone density to support an implant post or able to receive preparatory grafting procedures