To anyone struggling with significant oral health issues due to weak, damaged, displaced or missing teeth, the idea of getting dental implants can be daunting at first. How extensive or complicated is the process? What does the process entail? Will it hurt? How much will the implants cost? How long will the implants last? Are there other alternatives?
These concerns are completely natural, especially if you’ve never considered dental implants before. Because this topic raises so many questions (and because getting implants is, in fact, a big decision) we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the process of deciding whether dental implants are right for you.
Considering Your Options
Dental implants aren’t the right move for everyone. Some people have a relatively healthy smile overall except for a couple of damaged teeth. For some, a simple crown or root canal might be a more appropriate solution at this time. Children present a whole other set of variables since their jaws are still developing. Start by educating yourself on all the alternatives to replacing lost teeth so you can make an informed decision about implants. Some helpful articles to get you started:
- Dentures, bridges and implants: What are the difference between these three dental prosthetics?
- Dental implants vs. Root canal: Understand the differences between the two, as well as the pros and cons.
- Compare tooth replacement procedures so you can determine what’s best for you.
- Five signs you might need dental implants.
- What happens if you decide not to get implants?
Choosing an Oral Surgeon
Once you have a better idea about dental implants, the next step is to choose a good oral surgeon in your area who can answer your questions further, advise you on your options and actually perform the implants — if he/she concurs it is the right choice for you. If you don’t already have an oral surgeon you trust, you might ask your dentist whom she recommends. You can also check local patient reviews and even ask friends and family about their own experiences. Find a good surgeon and clinic with plenty of experience and a history of good feedback.
Asking the Questions
Once you have selected an oral surgeon and have scheduled your first appointment, you should come to the consultation armed with the right questions to ask. For instance:
- Are there any risk factors to consider with this surgery?
- How long does the implant process take?
- Is there pain involved with the procedure?
- What can I expect during the procedure?
- What do I need to know about bone grafting?
If you are still considering whether to entrust this procedure to this surgeon, the answers to these questions should help build trust. Feel free to ask about the surgeon’s experience, and even ask for references. Make sure this is the person you want to work with before moving forward.
Before, During and After
Once you’ve made the final determination to move forward with dental implants, it’s time to look at what to expect with the procedure itself. The following articles should provide some helpful insight:
- Steps to prepare for your dental implant procedure. Maximize your results by preparing beforehand.
- What to expect during the procedure.
- Proper care for your dental implants.
- How long will my implants last?
There’s a lot of fear and uncertainty surrounding the idea of dental implants, but actually the procedure is far less intimidating than most patients realize — and most are extremely happy with the long-term results. Most importantly, implants provide a long-term solution to tooth loss. To learn more about whether dental implants are right for you, call Riverside Oral Facial Surgery at (706) 235-5570.