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Questions to ask before getting implants

Whether you’ve recently lost a tooth or have been missing teeth for quite some time, dental implants can be a great solution for reliable permanent tooth replacement.

When meeting with your dentist or oral surgeon, here are some common questions that you may want to discuss.

How do I know if I am a good candidate for implants?

The two most important factors for successful implant placement are the condition of your jawbone and that you’re healthy enough for surgery and recovery.

If the missing tooth was extracted recently, you are likely a candidate for dental implants. If you’ve been missing the tooth for a long time, there’s a chance you’ll first need a bone graft to improve bone density.

Regardless of your situation, your dentist or oral surgeon can use three-dimensional imagery and a full examination to study the condition of your jawbone and make a recommendation based on their findings.

How many appointments will it take?

The full process of installing your dental implant and permanent crown will usually take a few appointments. How many visits you will need will depend on the condition of your bone, implant position, number of missing teeth and other factors. Discuss the full treatment timeline with your dentist or oral surgeon.

How long can I expect my implant to last?

Ideally, a properly installed dental implant can last for a lifetime. Ask your oral surgeon if you think you are at a higher than normal risk for implant failure. Smokers, for example, are at a higher risk for implant failure compared to patients who do not smoke. While a dental implant may last for the rest of your life, the typical lifespan of a permanent crown is usually 10-15 years, depending on wear and tear.

Are you a dental implant specialist?

Not all dentists are dental implant specialists. While many general dentists and cosmetic dentists place dental implants, oral surgeons have specialized training in the complex anatomy of jaw bone structure and dental implant placement.