If you have lost a tooth, a dental implant is a replacement option that looks and functions like your natural tooth. But what are implants? What should you expect from surgery and beyond? You likely have many questions regarding dental implants and should prepare a list for your doctor. Dr. Thomas Mone, a periodontist in Braintree, MA, experienced in implant dentistry, receives many of the same questions from patients before undergoing dental implant surgery.

Questions for Your Dental Implant Specialist

1.       What is an implant? Implants are comprised of three parts: a titanium post which secures the implant to the jaw bone and functions as a tooth root, a custom crown to replicate your tooth root, and an abutment that joins the two.

2.       Why do they say that implants save bone health? The tooth root stimulates your jaw bone and when a tooth is lost, the bone begins to deteriorate over time. Implant posts replace the tooth root and halt the deterioration process.

3.       Why do some people need bone grafting? If too much bone volume is lost, whether to prolonged gum disease or to deterioration after tooth loss, grafting is necessary to restore healthy bone volume.

4.       Can I just leave a missing tooth alone? You could, but it will jeopardize your oral health, nutrition, and self-confidence. A missing tooth makes it more difficult to chew and speak properly. It also changes your appearance. Even if the tooth is in the back of your mouth and not visible, you should replace it. The surrounding teeth will likely shift without the contact provided by the lost tooth and you will lose bone volume.

5.       Does an implant require special maintenance? Unlike dentures, implants are not taken out of your mouth. They are permanent restorations that are brushed, flossed, and cleaned at hygienist visits, just like your other teeth.

For more information about dental implants, schedule a one-on-one consultation with a skilled periodontist in Braintree, MA. Dr. Mone can help you determine whether implants are the right restoration for you.