Cosmetic Dentistry in Tuscaloosa, AL
At Dental Care South, we believe everyone deserves a smile they feel truly proud of – and one that lasts a lifetime. We are dedicated to fulfilling that vision for patients throughout the Tuscaloosa, AL area by offering high-quality general, restorative, and cosmetic dental care, working with each patient to help achieve their dream smile. We know every patient is unique, which is why we provide a wide range of dental treatments – and one of the most effective for replacing teeth is dental implants. Patients often ask us questions about this procedure, so to help out, we’ve compiled a few of the questions we hear most frequently along with their answers.
Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions
Who can benefit from dental implants?
Dental implants are an incredibly effective way to replace teeth, and they can benefit anyone who’s missing one or more teeth or be used to replace existing teeth. You and Dr. Grant Skalnik may decide to use implants if you’re missing a tooth, if you have had a cavity that has damaged a tooth beyond repair, or for any number of other reasons. We can also use dental implants to provide implant-supported dentures, with the option for removable or fixed dentures.
Why would I get an implant instead of replacing it with a partial or bridge?
Dental implants are generally stronger and more durable than traditional partials, crowns, or bridges. This is because dental implants use a titanium post inserted directly into the jawbone. Titanium possesses the unique property of osseointegration, which means the metal literally fuses and joins with the jawbone over time. This provides an incredibly sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth, distributing bite force evenly throughout the jaw and preventing bone loss.
For someone missing a tooth, what would happen without an implant if the space was kept open?
A missing tooth that isn’t replaced can cause a number of problems. Chiefly, the teeth adjacent to the space would start to tip into the space, making them more vulnerable to damage. As these teeth drift, gaps may start to form between the teeth, which can impact the aesthetics of the smile.
How long does it take to heal?
From end to end, the entire dental implant procedure usually takes anywhere from 2-8 months, depending on your specific case. After you have the implant placed, it’ll only take a number of weeks for the actual implant site to heal, but will take several months for the implant to fully fuse with the jawbone and allow us to place the permanent crown.
Does insurance cover any of the costs?
Dental implants are an effective, long-lasting solution, and many insurance providers offer partial or full coverage if you have dental insurance. Our team would be more than happy to work with you to help you get the best benefits possible from your insurance policy.
Are implant-supported dentures better than normal dentures?
Whether fixed or removable, implant-supported dentures offer a number of advantages. Because implants fuse with the jawbone, they distribute bite force across the entire jawbone as it’s designed to function. Traditional dentures, which are simply glued onto the gums, push down onto the gums and jawbone when biting. Over time, this downward pressure causes the jawbone to erode, creating a number of problems. Implant-supported dentures prevent this by distributing bite force into and across the bone, protecting the bone structure and preventing bone loss in the long term.
What is the success rate of the implant procedure?
Implants have an exceptionally high success rate, with long-term success rates around 95%. Even if an implant fails for any reason, it can almost always be replaced with a new implant, which generally solves the problem.
How long do implants last?
Part of what makes implants so effective is their longevity. Implants can’t decay like traditional teeth, so they can last a lifetime with proper oral hygiene and care.