Frequently Asked Questions
Dental implants can help you look, eat, and feel better. More than a million have been successfully placed in North America. That's a lot of smiles! If you've been considering implants, here are a few of the most commonly asked questions:
Q: Do you do implants?
A: Yes, our office is actively involved with implant dentistry. We manage several implant cases each year. We work in partnership with an entire implant team to provide our patients with the best of care. Implants involve two treatment phases: placement of the implant(s), followed later by replacement of the actual tooth/teeth. We feel that we can offer better solutions for you by using the expertise of each team member.
Q: What are dental implants and what can they do for me?
A: Implants are today's best substitute for your natural teeth. They offer you the most permanent or secure solution for replacing one or more teeth. They are made out of titanium or similar biocompatible materials and function as the anchor to support traditional forms of dentistry, including crowns, bridges, or dentures. Many of our patients will tell you that implants have changed their smiles, their overall appearance, and even their lives!
Q: Are implants successful?
A: Implants have had a high success rate that extends for more than 30 years. For the last 10 years, many centers have reported success rates to be greater than 90% with proper personal and professional care. Few forms of medical or dental treatment have such high success rates.
Q: Are implants safe?
A: Definitely. Implants have been used for about 35 years and patients can expect a 98% biocompatability.
Q: Will my implants look natural?
A: Completely natural. You can eat, speak, and socialize with ease.
Q: Am I too old?
A: Implant patients can be young adults or adults in their 70s and 80s. Good health is the critical factor in evaluating implant candidates. Your quality of life is the important decision.
Q: Are they expensive?
A: While dental implants represent a more permanent and natural solution than dentures and partials, there is a greater initial investment. Independent surveys of implant patients show that they felt it was worth every penny and would do it again.
Q: How much do dental implants cost?
A: Each case is different. Cost is a function of your particular needs as well as expectations. It is similar to asking a car dealer how much it costs to repair a car. It depends on the current problems and an analysis of the situation. During a complete examination, the doctor will more specifically determine your dental needs and the best treatment alternative(s) for you. At that point, we can specifically address the question of cost and help you make financial arrangements.
Q: How long will implants last?
A: Implants are designed to be permanent. Although there are no guarantees in medicine, it is comforting to know that more that 90% last for twenty years or more.
Q: Does it hurt?
A: Discomfort is usually not a problem. In fact, many patients have said that having a tooth pulled was more painful. During placement of an implant, the doctor uses anesthetic so there won't be any discomfort. When you leave the office, you will be given medication should you need it. We urge you to ask other patients about their experience after implant therapy. Although you should not have any appreciable discomfort, the doctor and our office staff members are available anytime.
Q: What is involved in placing implants?
A: Our office works with another doctor who actually places the implant(s). This is done in the dental office with anesthetic. A small incision is made and a hole is created in the jaw bone. The implant is placed in the precision opening. The gum tissues are closed and the healing phase begins.
Q: How long will it take?
A: Recent advances from implant manufacturers are reducing the length of traditional implant procedures. In some cases it may be comparable to conventional treatment. Historically, treatment could take anywhere from four to 24 months based on the complexity of your case, where the implants are placed, and the type of restoration desired.
Q: What will it feel like when it is done?
A: Once the entire procedure is complete and the final crowns have been placed, they will feel similar to your natural teeth.
Q: Will I be without teeth?
A: Unless you require extensive grafting procedures, you will never be without cosmetically acceptable teeth. We will create temporary teeth that look and feel very natural.
Q: How do I take care of my implants?
A: Normal routine home care and professional cleaning visits are required. It is important to know that you will need to visit us every three to four months for a routine cleaning and evaluation. You have been given a second chance with new teeth and we want to work with you so that nothing happens that could have been prevented. Research has shown that implants can last in excess of 30 years if maintained with proper personal and professional care.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: Improves Appearance: Dental implants look and feel just like your own teeth, so no one will know unless you tell them.
Improves Self-Confidence: An attractive, natural-looking appearance, plus the ability to speak and eat normally and comfortably will have you smiling again!
Improves Oral Health: Dental implants actually preserve bone tissue, and the procedure is considered non-invasive because it does not affect the surrounding teeth.
Reliability: Dental implants have had a proven track record for more than 30 years, and are an excellent option for tooth replacement. If you are in good general and oral health you may be an excellent candidate for dental implants-no matter what your age!
Q: Can implants help me or someone I know?
A: The possibilities are unlimited, but here are a few examples. Lower denture patients benefit tremendously at any age. The traditional lower denture tends to float or come out when smiling, talking, laughing, kissing, and especially eating. With implants, the denture is firmly anchored so that the denture no longer slips out. Patients can enjoy eating a variety of foods, and their dentures can still be removed for regular cleaning. Removable partial denture patients who are tired of always having something in their mouth will benefit by placing implants followed by a non-removable prosthesis that will feel and act just like permanent teeth. Patients with a single missing tooth who hate the thought of "trimming down" good adjacent teeth to place a bridge will find that an implant, followed by a single crown, is an excellent and conservative approach.
Many patients who have received dental implants comment that there is a significant improvement in the quality of their lives and they feel more confident and comfortable chewing.
If you think implants could be a good choice for you, come in and talk to us about it. We can help you weigh your options and make the right choice. Whether you're missing one, or all of your teeth, dental implants can get you smiling again.
Please call our office at your convenience.