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Dental Implant FAQ Laurel, MD

Frequently Asked Questions on Dental Implants

laurel, maryland dentist

Can anyone get a dental implant?

We do not recommend dental implants for anyone under the age of 18. This is because your gums, teeth, and jaws are not finished growing. Additionally, patients with extensive gum disease or bone loss is not a good candidate for a dental implant. A consultation with your trusted dentist in Laurel, MD, will help you determine if dental implants are right for you.

Do dental implants feel like real teeth?

Dental implants look, feel, and function like your real teeth. In fact, dental implants are shade-matched to your smile so that the tooth blends seamlessly with the ones surrounding it. However, dental implants cannot change color with a whitening treatment, so if you are considering whitening your teeth, this is something to consider beforehand. Additionally, the implant is designed to custom-fit into your smile. Our doctors ensure that the prosthetic tooth does not alter your bite pattern.

Will dental implants hurt?

Most of our patients admit to having more discomfort during a tooth extraction than they did during the dental implant procedure. Our office provides a local anesthetic for the incision site as well as a variety of sedation dentistry options to keep you calm and comfortable throughout the implant procedure.

How long will my dental implant take to heal?

Because the titanium post is surgically implanted into your jawbone, we want to make sure that the post has enough time to fuse into your bone structure before applying a dental crown. The timespan it takes for the post to fuse with your jawbone is around three to six months. While this may seem like a long time, it is in your best interest to patiently wait out the healing period as this is what provides you with the durability and functionality that many of our patients are looking for with a dental implant procedure.

What is the difference between a dental implant and a dental bridge?

When considering your tooth replacement options, you typically have dental bridges and dental implants. A dental implant involves a surgical procedure, while a dental bridge utilizes the support of your surrounding teeth to hold a prosthetic tooth in the gap of a missing tooth. While dental implants involve a more invasive procedure in the short-term, they usually provide more longterm benefits. With dental bridges, you will be compromising the structure of the supporting teeth while with dental implants you do not have to worry about that because it is a self-sustaining restoration. Additionally, dental implants allow you to live without dietary restrictions while dental bridges require you to avoid excessively chewy or crunchy foods because it may damage the hardware. Learn more about the similarities and differences between dental implants and dental bridges here.

What is the difference between a dental implant and a dental crown?

Dental implants are topped with dental crowns. However, some patients are able to restore their smiles using only dental crowns. We typically recommend dental crowns when a patient suffers from severe dental damage. When a chip or crack is too deep to be repaired by tooth bonding, we can shave the remaining tooth down to a foundational core that will support the dental crown. This allows patients to have their damaged tooth restored without needing a tooth extraction or a dental implant. With dental implants, the missing tooth has either fallen out, been extracted, or never grew in to begin with. Dr. Goyal will discuss which tooth replacement option will work best for you during your consultation.