Dental Implants FAQs Columbia, MD

Dental Implant Q&A

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a small titanium post that is surgically inserted into the jaw bone. An abutment, or connecter piece, is attached to the post. A dental crown tops the abutment. Dental implants can secure a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture. This restoration is durable because the titanium post fuses to the jawbone and acts as a tooth root.

What is the dental implant process like?

To begin the implant process, Columbia, MD dentist Dr. Sahil Goyal will examine your teeth and jaw to create a treatment plan for the implant placement. After the surgery, it will take a period of three to six months for the post or posts to fuse with the jaw bone. We can also create a temporary restoration for you before the post heals. Finally, we will attach a permanent dental crown to the implant for a more balanced bite.

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How many implants will I need?

The number of implants you will need all depends on the type of restoration you are receiving. Only one implant is needed to replace a single missing tooth. However, if you have multiple missing teeth, the location and number of gaps in your smile will determine whether you need a dental bridge, partial denture, or full denture. We can work with a range of two to eight dental implants per missing arch.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

Patients should be healthy and have enough bone structure to support one or more implants. However, Dr. Goyal may recommend bone grafting or periodontal treatment before the implant process begins if you have problems with not enough bone structure or infection.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants are a versatile option for replacing missing teeth that helps to preserve the bone tissue in the jaw as well as the health of surrounding natural teeth. When covered with dental crowns, they allow for a more balanced bite. Unlike other missing teeth treatments like removable bridges or dentures, dental implants do not require messy adhesives and do not interfere with speech. Restorations that are secured with dental implants look and feel like natural healthy teeth.

Do dental implants require special care?

Dental implants should be maintained like natural teeth. Brush and floss regularly and visit Dr. Goyal at least twice a year for dental cleanings at his Columbia, MD dentist office. Ensuring regular and thorough oral hygiene will keep your implants healthy and free from infection.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

Dental implants have a national success rate of 95%. However, factors like smoking or gum infection can increase the chance of implant failure. If you choose dental implants, you have to be committed to maintaining good oral hygiene. Dental implants are not immune to gum disease. When infections spread, your implants can fail.

How long does it take for dental implants to settle in?

The healing process for dental implants is extensive so it may take six to eight months for your implants to feel normal. Your gums will need time to settle from inflammation and adjust to your new implants.

How long after implant surgery can I eat normally?

After implant surgery it is normal to need to take time for you to adjust to eating and chewing. We recommend that patients begin with a soft diet for the first two weeks and slowly incorporate new foods until they are comfortable chewing.

How can I make my dental implant heal faster?

The best way to speed up your recovery after implant surgery is to rest and maintain a healthy diet. Hydration is key after surgery. Patients may also use cold compresses to reduce swelling and salt water rinses. It is also advised to avoid smoking as it can cause infection and dry socket.

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