By Rich Gilbert, DMD, MAGD, FICOI
According to a 2014 report from the American College of Prosthodontists, an estimated 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and 40 million Americans are missing all their teeth. Additionally, 30 percent of adults ages 65-74 have no natural teeth whatsoever.
While we may not spend much time thinking about the effects of tooth loss, they can be truly detrimental to your long-term oral and overall health. For some, the idea of restoring their missing teeth through dental implants sounds effective, but concerning. Today, Pelican Landing Dental is prepared to give you the facts on implants that every person suffering from tooth loss should know.
If you or someone you know is considering dental implants but still curious about the facts as described by a dentist, feel free to send them this month’s newsletter! We’d be more than glad to inform and educate you on these must-know questions and answers on dental implants.
WILL DENTAL IMPLANTS HURT?
One of the most common dental implant questions patients ask our office is whether or not they’ll hurt during placement or after surgery is complete. The fact is all patients receiving dental implants are given at minimum a local anesthetic during implant surgery, typically if you’re only receiving one or two implants at a time. This effectively numbs the area and prevents you from feeling any discomfort during surgery.
Only minor discomfort, for a few days at most, is anticipated after your implants are placed. Most patients report that implant placement and post-operative recovery was much, much easier than they expected. Usually, only over-the-counter pain medication is needed, if anything at all.
ARE IMPLANTS A LONG-TERM
SOLUTION FOR TOOTH LOSS?
Not only are dental implants a long-term solution, but they’re generally more effective than other methods of tooth replacement. Unlike dental bridges and dentures which require replacement every 5 to 15 years, dental implants can last anywhere between 25 years and a lifetime without any issues. This is largely exemplified by their success rates, often averaging about 98 percent over a 10-year period.
Of course, the dentists at Pelican Landing Dental use only the most advanced dental technology available to make implant placement more predictable for greater success. For example, the Cone Beam CT Scanner helps our practice identify vital structures like your sinuses and nerves. This device also allows for computer-guided surgeries and significantly reduces the number of sutures needed. Fewer sutures and better planning also means a shorter recovery time and less discomfort after surgery.
HOW MANY TEETH CAN I REPLACE?
When people ask this question, it’s often because they’re tired of dealing with loose dentures on a daily basis or replacing dental bridges every several years. The beauty of dental implants is it doesn’t matter how many teeth you’re missing; our practice can customize restorations that work to replace many teeth at a time, not simply a single tooth.
While replacing individual missing teeth is the most common treatment for implants, it doesn’t mean you can’t replace three or four consecutive teeth like you would with bridges. Instead of shaving down natural teeth so they can hold the bridge, an implant on either side holds the entire restoration. The same method applies to dentures, which typically use four to six implants to replace an entire arch. A new denture can be made and, in some cases, your existing denture can be customized to hold implants as well. It’s very common for patients to secure both partial and full dentures with implants, especially if they’re trying to solve long-term side effects related to tooth loss.
When you have the facts on your side, it’s much easier to feel comfortable about treatments. No matter what, the dentists and team members at Pelican Landing Dental will do everything they can to answer your questions and provide accurate expectations. If you or someone you know wants to complete an implant consultation, don’t hesitate to give our office a call today!
Schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Rich Gilbert to discuss this important subject so you can return to having a restful night’s sleep. Call 239-948-2111.
Drs. Rich and Lacy Gilbert
23451 Walden Center Drive, Suite 100
Bonita Springs, Florida 34134