Wisdom Teeth: Removal, Maintenance and Cavity Prevention

Questions People Ask About Cosmetic Dental Implants

Cosmetic dentists specialise in beautifying your smile and fixing problems related to the appearance of your teeth. One of the most common procedures they perform are dental implants, which are used when one of your teeth has been extracted and you need to replace it with a new, artificial tooth. If you are about to undergo this procedure, here are some frequently asked questions that can help you understand all the ins and out of what to expect when you go to the dental clinic for an implant.

Are Implants Made of Mercury? -- Nearly all dental implants are made from titanium, which is a very strong and durable metal. Mercury was once used in dental fillings, but because of the fears of mercury poisoning, dentists replaced mercury with composite material. Titanium does not bleed into your bloodstream the way mercury does, so it's a safe metal for cosmetic dentists to use for implants. Titanium is blended with alloys that are rust-resistant, so they are designed to last a lifetime, unlike dentures which are not permanent dental fixtures.

How Are Implants Placed? -- Implants are drilled or screwed into the bone of your jaw until they are beneath the gum line. After the implant is placed inside your mouth, your cosmetic dentist will place a temporary crown over the implant for protection. It can take between two to six months for your bone to bond with the implant. In the days and weeks after the implant is inserted, you may have to avoid eating hard candy or hard food that could break your temporary crown. After several months, your cosmetic dentist will remove the temporary crown and determine if the bone has grown sufficiently around the implant. A small post is added to the top of the implant and an impression is made of your mouth to create a permanent crown. After the crown is ready, your cosmetic dentist will seat the crown on top of the implant and bond it to your gum.

Are Implants Covered By Insurance? -- Many dental insurance companies do not cover implants as they consider them to be a decorative procedure that isn't part of the normal care of your teeth. However, some insurers will cover a portion of the implant fee such as the cost of the crown but will not pay for the actual implant itself. If you have a congenital dental condition that causes you to lose multiple teeth, your cosmetic dentist can provide evidence to your insurer that implants are part of the necessary and normal care to restore your mouth to full function.