Replacing one or more missing teeth with a dental implant is a big undertaking that involves a significant time and financial commitment from a patient. We know that before you begin a complex dental treatment like implants, you’ll want to ask some questions. On this page, you’ll find answers to some of the dental implant questions we hear most often. This is by no means a comprehensive list of questions, so please don’t hesitate to call Dental Designs of New England in Merrimack to find out more. We’re always here to help with all of your oral health care needs!
Dental implants are small posts inserted into the gum line to replace lost tooth roots. These posts are surgically placed, and they provide natural looking, feeling, and functioning support for any number of replacement teeth.
Dental implants are available in a variety of materials. The most often used option is titanium. This metal has been used for decades to repair damaged bones, and it provides an effective option to ensure dental implant posts fuse with the supportive bone and gum tissues. There are other metal implants available, but these materials have not had success rates as high as titanium for the most part.
Zirconia offers an effective alternative to metal implant posts. This metal-free material allows us to recreate dental root structures for patients with sensitivities to metal.
The number of dental implants you need depends on the number and position of your missing teeth. A single implant can be used to support one replacement tooth or two fused together. Two implants can be used to support fixed bridges to restore several consecutive missing teeth, while three to six implant posts can be used to replace any number of missing teeth.
Dental implants are surgically placed below the gum line. While many patients worry about this surgery, it is actually a minimally invasive procedure. We simply need to make a small incision into the gums. Then, we place the dental implant, and a protective cap is attached to it. This cap maintains the space needed to attach the restoration to the implant while also allowing the post to fuse with the surrounding bone and gum tissue. After an implant has fully fused with the jawbone, you’ll return to our office so we can connect it to your restoration.
With the proper care, your dental implant can last two or more decades. In fact, many patients keep their implants for the rest of their lives.