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Dental Implants

  1. Types of dental implants - Endosteal (in the bone): This is the most commonly used type of implant. The various types include screws, cylinders or blades surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures. Subperiosteal (on the bone): These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework’s posts protruding through the gum to hold the prosthesis. These types of implants are used for patients who are unable to wear conventional dentures and who have minimal bone height. 
  2. What is a dental implant? - A dental implant is a threaded titanium screw with a post inside it. Once the screw and post are placed, the dentist finishes the tooth with a PFM or Zirconia crown. Many people incorrectly believe that a dental implant makes up the entire replacement tooth; in fact, the implant replaces the root portion only. The dentist places the crown on top of the replacement root.
  3. Why should you get a dental implant? - If a patient is missing one or several teeth, a dental implant may be suggested. Missing teeth can cause a number of problems, including difficulties chewing or eating, resulting in digestive disorders or gastrointestinal disease. Once these patients get dental implants, they no longer have to struggle with gaps caused by missing teeth. Patients feel more confident in their smile and can attend social functions without fear of uncomfortable situations of showing missing teeth. Dental implants give patients a beautiful smile, more confidence, and the ability to resume eating solid foods without worry.
  4. When should you get a dental implant? - The implant’s success depends on the strength of the bone. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you lose the tooth. Over time, the bone wears down and the level is reduced, leaving a weaker structure. Eventually, patients may require bone grafts before they can undergo placement of a dental implant. Avoid this painful and lengthy process by consulting your dentist as soon as possible after the tooth is lost.
  5. Will someone notice my dental implant? - No. The dentist matches the color and shape of your other teeth to the crown on top of the implant. The only way to discover a dental implant involves an x-ray to show the metal that replaced the root of the tooth.
  6. How long does it take to place my dental implant? - Placing a single implant may take as little as 45 minutes, while a complex surgery requiring multiple replacements can take more than 3 hours. After the implant is placed, the patient schedules a follow-up appointment 4-6 months later to allow the implant to properly heal and fuse with the bone. Then, the doctor will fit the crown over the implant. The entire process takes around 6–8 months, unless more complex surgery is required. During the first appointment, the surgeon fuses the actual implant with the bone. Then, the surgeon covers the implant with gum tissue to allow the implant to heal properly. If possible, the surgeon sends you home after the surgery with a temporary bridge or denture (unless performing a bone graft or other complex surgery) so that your teeth appear cosmetically intact. 4-6 months later, you return to the dentist to have the post placed into the implant. Once the post is placed, the dentist takes an impression to get the crown done by the dental technician. 3 -8 days later, you come in to set the crown. This may take just one.
  7. Implant rejection - It is very uncommon that a person’s body rejects an implant. The few rejections that do occur are caused by rare allergies to the titanium alloy that makes up the implant. Another reason for implant failure comes from the patient’s care after surgery. Without great oral hygiene, regular teeth fail and eventually fall out due to a loss of the bone level. A dental implant is no different. Taking care of your teeth, even the implants, prevents gum problems and structure failure in the long run.
  8. Is it painful to get a dental implant? - Most patients manage pain by taking over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol and Advil for 2–5 days after the surgery. If a patient requires bone grafts or multiple dental implants, more significant post-operative discomfort may occur. Your dentist will evaluate and prescribe any pain medications based on the extent of your surgery. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia placed in the implant surrounding area.
  9. How long does a dental implant last? - Dental implants often last a lifetime for patients that regularly brush, floss, and follow the dental recommendations made at their check-ups. While a dentist cannot guarantee the long-term success of a dental implant, the dentist can provide guidelines and suggestions to better care for your teeth. These suggestions are based on proper hygiene procedures, your own genetic history (including diseases that run in your family), and your nutritional habits. Following the recommendations put in place by your dentist ensures the implant has the best chance to last the rest of your lifetime.
  10. Do dental implants need any special care? - Implants require the same care that your natural teeth need. Scheduling regular checkups, proper oral hygiene, and a nutritious diet are the best ways to ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime. Flossing every day is also critical to keep your dental implant healthy. Most tooth decay and bone loss occur because patients do not properly or regularly floss, resulting in gum disease.
  11. Will smoking affect my dental implant? - Dental implants in smokers are four times as likely to fail when compared to implants in non-smokers. Smoking leads to gum recession and disease, making the implant structure weaken over time. Dentists recommend that patients with dental implants avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
  12. Does the surgery require time off? - Most people go back to work the day after the surgery, although it depends on your individual experience and the difficulty of the surgery. Some people prefer to take a day off to completely recover and allow their mouth to rest after the procedure. A little pain and swelling may be notice during a few days after the surgery.
  13. Are dental implants expensive? - Dental implants require a significant investment, but as part of your general health they are definitely worth the price. Surgical fees often cost between 2500USD and 5500USD in the U.S. for a single tooth plus the crown. With I.D.S. dental implants cost between $1,500 and $2,500 for a single tooth with bone graft and crown included.
  14. Does insurance pay for implants and surgery? - While some carriers may at least partially cover implants, many do not provide for the surgical placement of implants. Check with your insurance provider to get a detailed look at what portions, if any, are covered in the surgical placement of dental implants. If your teeth were damaged during an accident, the implants often are covered by your medical insurance and counted as jaw reconstruction surgery.


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