Using advanced dental technology, dental implants are a clever and effective way of replacing missing teeth. They can replace teeth which have been knocked out, or those that are broken or decayed and cannot be saved. As the name suggests, a post(s) is surgically implanted into your jawbone that a replacement tooth is mounted onto. The result is a new tooth/teeth that look, feel and act just like natural teeth.
Just like with other dental or surgical procedures, it’s important to do your research and get all of the information you need. We make sure our patients who are considering dental implants are fully informed and have all of their concerns covered off. Here are the top 5 questions to ask before getting a dental implant.
1. What happens if I don’t replace my missing tooth/teeth?
A missing tooth or teeth can wreak havoc in your mouth. Your remaining teeth will gradually shift or rotate into the gap over time which affects your alignment and bite. Misaligned teeth can not only ruin your smile (and confidence) but are also more vulnerable to tooth decay because they are harder to clean around and in-between. A crooked bite makes it more difficult to chew, and your facial profile will also be impacted.
2. Am I a good candidate for a dental implant?
Dental implants are a great solution for replacing teeth, but they are not suitable for everyone. You should have healthy gums and jaws to support the implant. A thorough assessment should be conducted which includes considering other physical health factors and your lifestyle. These are all important to give the implant the best chances of success and longevity. Your entire mouth must be assessed to ensure that an implant is right for you and will provide you with the best possible outcome.
3. How long do dental implants last?
With an average success rate of 98%, dental implants are considered to be a permanent tooth replacement option. However, maintaining good oral health is essential for making them last so you should be prepared to commit to this. The implant post is made of titanium and can last for as long as 25 years or even a lifetime. The crown attached to the implant is likely to wear away quicker, but can still last for up to 15 years before needing to be replaced.
4. How experienced is my dentist at dental implants?
Implant dentistry is a highly specialised, complex area within the dental profession. Always ask your dentist for their experience in this area, such as:
- How many years’ experience do you have?
- How many patients have you treated?
- What is your success rate?
- What training have you had and how recently was this undertaken? What qualifications do you hold?
5. Can’t I get cheaper dental implants?
As with most products and services, there are cheap dental implants available but beware: you get what you pay for. Cheap dental implants will compromise on the quality of the products used, the lack of experience and training the dentist has, the success rate and longevity of the implants, and the post-treatment and ongoing aftercare provided. Never be tempted to cut corners on oral surgery – risking your health is not worth it. And it could end up costing you much more in the long run to fix sub-standard work.
Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about dental implants. With over 35 years’ experience in providing dental implants, Dr McIntosh is one of the most experienced dental implant surgeons in New Zealand. He continually improves his methods, technology and materials to be at the forefront of the dental profession, and has successfully treated and changed the lives of thousands of patients.