Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a cylinder or post that replaces a missing tooth. Often made of titanium, the post is positioned in the jawbone and replaces the tooth root. An abutment connects the implant to a crown, bridge, or denture to create a fully functioning, aesthetically pleasing dental restoration. Dental implant restoration is a permanent tooth replacement option that comes with added stability and comfort so you can forget about your missing tooth.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Anyone who is missing a single tooth or multiple teeth may be a candidate for dental implants. Healthy bone structure is necessary to support the implant. In some cases, a bone graft may be required first for adequate healthy bone. A consultation is necessary to determine your specific needs.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants have been used for years to replace teeth. The technology is constantly improving. Today’s implants are sophisticated, reliable solutions to replace missing teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Without a tooth in place, the bone can begin to deteriorate, the adjacent teeth may shift, the bite surface is disrupted, and the appearance of the smile and face is affected. A dental implant corrects all of that. As a permanent, fixed option to replace a missing tooth, the implant keeps the bone healthy and the surrounding teeth in place. The chewing surface is restored so you can eat and speak normally. When topped with a crown, bridge, or denture, the implant completes the patient’s smile. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime without the worry of dental decay.
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
Having a dental implant placed requires a minor oral surgery. Although the procedure is performed in the office, any oral surgery comes with the possibility of infection, inflammation, or discomfort. Depending on the patient’s needs and oral structure, a bone and/or gum graft may be needed. These procedures may increase the overall treatment cost. However, implants can last a lifetime with proper care so the upfront investment pays off long term.
How much do implants cost?
Does insurance cover dental implants?
Dental implants may qualify for insurance coverage. However, situations and types of insurance vary. Check with your insurance company to understand your exact coverage benefits. The total cost depends on the number of implants needed, the patient’s bone quality, and the region of the mouth being treated. If you are concerned about the cost, financing options through CareCredit may be available. Contact our office for additional information regarding the cost of dental implants, insurance coverage, and financing options.
What is the process for getting dental implants?
A consultation is necessary to first determine if you qualify for dental implants. After examining your mouth and taking x-rays, your dental team will create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs. If extractions or bone grafts are required, those procedures are done first and given time to heal. Then, the implant is placed in the gap left by the missing tooth. Once the mouth heals, the crown or bridge is connected to the implant. The end result is a fully functioning, aesthetically pleasing tooth.
Does it hurt to get a dental implant?
Every patient has a different pain tolerance level. However, most patients report having less discomfort than expected following a dental implant procedure. An anesthetic is used during the procedure itself so you should not feel any pain at that time. Afterwards you may be prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection. Pain medication may also be given to ease any discomfort.
How long is a dental implant procedure?
The length of the procedure is determined by the following:
- The number of teeth being replaced
- Whether or not an extraction is needed first
- Your dental health, including the health of the gums and bone
- The area of the mouth being treated
More than one appointment is necessary to complete the implant process. The mouth needs time to heal after the implant is placed and before the crown or bridge is attached. During your initial appointment, our dental team will give you a detailed assessment and treatment plan.
How long is the healing process for dental implants?
Depending on your overall health and the number of dental implants needed, the average healing process takes 6-12 weeks.
How long do implants last?
The success of implants depends on the patient, his/her health, and habits. For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene, dental implants have a 90-95% success rate. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper oral care. Dental implants do not decay.
Do implants contain metal?
Dental implants are commonly made from a titanium alloy. The material is also used in hip, shoulder, and knee implants. Titanium is highly biocompatible; therefore it is easily accepted by the body and an allergy is rare.
Are dental implants fixed or removable?
Unlike dentures which can be taken out of your mouth, dental implants are fixed. Once they are placed in the jaw, they can only be removed by a dental professional or oral surgeon.
Can all of my teeth be replaced with implants?
Full mouth reconstruction is possible to completely restore your smile. Ask our team about this customized process. Since full mouth reconstruction is based on your specific needs, an in-depth analysis is required to properly develop your treatment plan. A combination of treatments including extractions, implants, and crowns may be necessary to give you the smile you deserve.