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Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are a fantastic technology which allows dentists to replace lost teeth. Implants consist of two parts.

The first part is the actual implant: a titanium rod which is inserted into the gum line and allowed to bond with the jaw bone in a process called “osseointegration.” The implant replaces the root of the old, missing tooth and provides a firm foundation for the second part of the implant.

The second part of the implant is actually just a crown, but it’s what people think of when they think of implants. This is the replacement tooth. Once the titanium rod is in place and integrated we are able to bond or screw a cap to the implant. The cap looks and acts just like a regular tooth. Nobody will ever know anything was wrong!

Who should have dental implants?

Almost any adult who has ever lost a tooth is a good candidate for dental implants.

However, there are some cases in which it may not be medically advisable to use this method of tooth replacement, or in which further work might need to be done. For example, if you don’t have enough of a gum line or jawbone to support the implant a graft might be called for before we can move forward with the implant itself.

When you visit our offices we’ll offer you a thorough consultation. If there is any medical reason why you would not make a good candidate for an implant we would discuss that with you at that time.

How do implants feel in my mouth?

Once the implant is in place it should feel like any other tooth. Most of our patients don’t really notice their implants once the process is complete.

What are the success rates of dental implants healing properly?

On average, dental implants have a 93% success rate. However, a dentist who has the proper training, experience, and skill can easily push that success rate up to 98%.

How long will dental implants last?

If you get the implant after 40 it might well last you for a lifetime, though the official lifespan on any given titanium rod is 25 years. The crown itself has a 6 to 7 year lifespan…obviously a porcelain crown isn’t going to last as long as titanium will, especially as it’s going to be handling all the chewing!

How often will my dental implants need to be checked once they are in?

During the first year we’ll ask you to stop by our offices for a follow up at least twice. After that, we’ll simply check on your implants during your annual visits.

How long is the recovery process?

Dental implants require a simple outpatient procedure. Most of our patients are back at their jobs the very next day. After that, it will take four to six months for full osseointegration to take place.

How long is the actual procedure?

The implant procedure itself takes a couple of hours.

Is there any pain involved when having dental implants put in?

Most of our patients find the procedure to be far less painful than they expected. The process of adding an implant is far less painful than losing a tooth. In addition, we do everything we can at our offices to help you manage your pain.

Can dental implants be used to replace a single tooth?

Absolutely!

Are dental implants better than dentures?

We think so.

A dental implant functions just like a regular tooth does. This means you are able to eat and speak normally. You also care for a dental implant just like you’d care for any other tooth. You won’t have to remove it or soak it at night. And because dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth you won’t ever have to worry about being embarrassed.

How long does it take from beginning (first consultation) to completion (final procedure) to have my dental implants put in?

Usually about 5 to 7 months. Most of this time is spent waiting for the implant to fuse to the bone.

How much are dental implants?

Dental implants usually cost $1,000 to $3,000 per tooth. Visit our page on dental implant costs for more information.

Will insurance cover the expense of having dental implants?

Sometimes, but every insurance plan is different. Visit our insurance information page to see if your insurance provider is listed. If you’re not sure you have insurance coverage, just contact us and we’ll work with you and your insurance company to determine what coverage you have and what your exact costs will be.

How does “teeth in a day” work?

“Teeth in a day” is also known as the “all-on-four” dental implant procedure. We essentially place an entire set of teeth on just four dental implants placed strategically within your gums.

How many implants does it take to replace all my teeth?

Just eight, thanks to the all-on-four procedure: one set on the top of your mouth and one set on the bottom. When you have to replace all of your teeth we would not recommend adding one implant to each and every socket. That would be inefficient, expensive, and unnecessary.

What kind of training does a dentist need to place dental implants?

The dentist needs to be trained as an oral surgeon, as implants do require surgical placement.

What is an Oral Surgeon?

In addition to placing implants, as a trained oral surgeon, Dr. Templeton is capable of performing other types of surgery such as facial reconstruction, tumor removal, and more. Oral surgeons undergo 4-6 additional years of training to gain their qualifications.

What is a Prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist specializes in tooth restoration, replacement, and repair. Prosthodontists undergo two additional years of schooling in order to gain their qualifications.

My dentist places dental implants, why should I go to a specialist?

Dental implants may look straightforward, but…they’re not. When they go wrong, they do so because they are not aligned correctly, because they are placed in such a way as to damage nerves, or because they get infected. Improper placement can lead to further bone loss and additional, expensive complications.

When you work with an dental implant specialist you know that you’re working with someone who has the proper training to prevent all of these issues. General dentists have a much lower success rate than dental implant specialists trained as oral surgeons do. Doesn’t it make sense to work with the provider who is capable of giving you the best possible outcome for your trouble?

What is a 3D Cone Beam CT machine?

A 3D Cone Bean CT Scan is a state-of-the-art scanner that allows us to create a highly accurate 3D computer model of your mouth. What’s special about this particular scanner is it reduces the amount of radiation you’ll be exposed to by 70%.

This computer model is incredibly powerful. We can zoom into an area of interest or zoom out to get the broader picture. We can manipulate the model to look at your mouth and teeth from different angles. We can even get precise measurements, gain insight into the quality of the bone, and identify any issues which might complicate the dental implant process.

What is CT guided implant placement?

CT guided implant placement allows us to use the Cone Beam CT Machine to take all of the guesswork out of dental implant surgery. It makes aligning your implant to avoid the nerve effortless. It allows us to spot problems and note whether or not we need to offer additional treatments prior to adding the implant. It gives us all of the insight we need to push our success rates as high as possible.

Not every specialist has invested in this technology, but we have. We believe it is our responsibility to use every tool at our disposal to give our customers the best possible results.