questions to ask before getting a dental implant, patient and implant dentistDental implants are an effective way to replace one or more missing teeth, or broken or decayed teeth that cannot be saved. The process involves implanting a post(s) into your jawbone that your replacement tooth/teeth can be mounted onto. As with any dental procedure, you should be thoroughly informed about the dental implant procedure before deciding to proceed, so we make sure we thoroughly cover off every question and concern that our patients have. Here are our top 5 questions that our patients ask before getting a dental implant.

1. What happens if I don’t replace my missing tooth/teeth?

Missing one or more teeth can create major problems in your mouth. Over time your remaining teeth will gradually shift or rotate into the gap, which affects your alignment and bite. Misaligned teeth are more prone to gum disease as it’s harder to clean around and in-between them. And of course, there is the impact on your facial profile, smile and self-confidence when you are missing one or several teeth. We see how a beautiful smile transforms our patients and gives them the confidence and self-esteem they need to fully enjoy their lives.

2. Is a dental implant right for me?

Every patient is unique, and a thorough assessment must be conducted to see if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Having healthy gums and jaws are important to support the implant. Other medical factors will need to be considered, as well as your lifestyle, to give the implant the best chances of success and longevity. Although there are other teeth replacement options available, dental implants are ideal for people who want the look and feel of natural teeth.

3. How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants are considered to be a permanent tooth replacement option as they have an average success rate of 98%. Maintaining good oral health is critical to making them last, so it is important to take good care of them. The titanium implant itself can last for as long as 25 years or even a lifetime. The crown attached to the implant may wear away quicker but can still last for up to 15 years before replacement is necessary.

4. How experienced is my dentist at dental implants?

Implant dentistry is a highly specialised area within the dental profession. The procedure of placing surgical implants is complex, and your entire mouth must be assessed to ensure that an implant is right for you and will provide you with the best possible outcome. Always ask your dentist for their experience in this area, such as:

  • How many years’ experience do they have?
  • How many patients have they treated?
  • What is their success rate?
  • What training have they had and how recently was this undertaken? What qualifications do they hold?
5. Can I get cheaper dental implants?

There are always cheap alternatives available for virtually every product and service imaginable, and dental implants are no exception. But as with so many other products, you get what you pay for. Cheap dental implants are likely to cut corners on the quality of the products used, the lack of experience and training the dentist has, the success rate and longevity of the implants, and the post-treatment and ongoing aftercare provided. Cutting corners on oral surgery is never a good idea and can lead to serious complications that could not only endanger your health but also cost more in the long run to fix.

Please contact us if you are interested in finding out more about dental implants. Dr McIntosh is one of the most experienced dental implant surgeons in New Zealand, and has been providing dental implants for over 35 years. He continually improves his methods, technology and materials to embrace industry advances. He has successfully treated and changed the lives of thousands of patients.