Before Getting Dental Implants: 5 Questions to Ask Your Dentist
If you have lost teeth, or you know that you will soon be losing teeth, dental implants are a fantastic alternative to your actual teeth. Nothing recreates the natural sensation and appearance of your natural teeth than dental implants. Having said that, receiving dental implants is not something you should take lightly. Meetings with your dentist prior to the procedure are absolutely integral.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of the procedure, it is important to remain diligent and ask your dentist important questions. Here are 5 questions that you will want to ask your dentist before the procedure.
Does the Dentist Use Stents?
You should, without a doubt, want your doctor to use surgical stents. Since the advent of surgical stents, improper placement of dental implants has mainly become a worry of the past. Surgical stents basically act as a communicative tool between the dentist and the restoring surgeon, such that the implant is placed at the ideal prosthetic location and the proper angle. One of the worst problems that you can have is, after the surgery, going to have a crown placed on the implant and finding that the implants were placed at the wrong angle.
Does the Doctor Use 3D X-Ray Imaging?
3D X-ray imaging and advanced computer technologies are not integral for proper implant placement and angulation. However, they serve to aid your surgeon in ways that he or she could not have been aided before. Although without such technology, there is a certain amount of guesswork and experimentation involved with the placement.
With the technology—especially Cone Beam technology—this guess work is a thing of the past, as the surgeon will be able to literally visualize exactly how the implants will fit and lock into your mouth.
How Long Has the Doctor Been Placing Dental Implants?
This is an important question to ask your dentist or oral surgeon, for several reasons. First and foremost, although a novice at dental implants does not necessarily mean he or she is a bad surgeon, it also means you don't have much of a way of judging how good they may be other than what they tell you. Secondly, with a seasoned oral surgeon, you can ask what their success rate is. If they are unwilling to discuss his or her success rate with you, you may wish to place your oral health in the hands of another, more open, surgeon.
When Does the Doctor Plan on Loading the Implants? It's important to note when your surgeon or dentist plans on loading the implants. Some doctors are willing to perform loading on the day of the surgery, while others may wait upwards of 3 to 6 months.
The reasons that doctors do these things vary from person to person, so it is not only important to find out when he or she plans on performing the loading, but why they plan on performing the loading at that specific time. The reason may vary, so do not rely on the testimony of other patients to tell you why.
How Many Surgeries Will Be Required?
Although many people go into the world of dental implants thinking that only one surgery will be required, there are many situations that arise that may require more than one surgery. It's important to find out, from your doctor, how many surgeries he or she believes that you will require and why. It also may be in your advantage to get a second opinion on this matter, as well.
Dental implants are a great alternative to dentures and other forms of prosthetic teeth. Having said that, there are many important questions to ask your oral surgeon before taking the plunge and deciding on having the procedure performed.