Dental Implants FAQ
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant by itself is not a tooth. The implant is a small titanium post/fixture that is inserted into the jawbone, on top of which a single crown (cap), a fixed bridge, or denture can be attached. Once the implant integrates (fuses) to your bone, a structure called an abutment is connected to the implant and then the artificial tooth/teeth are attached. Dental implants are currently the most natural looking and feeling replacement for missing teeth.
Why Should I come to an Oral Surgeon for My Dental Implants?
Dental implant surgery is, of course, surgery, and is best performed by a trained surgeon. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon has the highest specialized education and training in the complexities of the bone, nerves, and other vital anatomy involved, to ensure you get the best possible results. A 2014 study suggests greater implant success rates when performed by a dental specialist (oral surgeon).
Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Almost anyone who is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth are candidates. Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement is more often a factor in qualifying for dental implants than medical conditions. However, even people who have lost a significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment with additional procedures to create new bone (bone grafting).
How Much do Implants Cost and Does Insurance Cover the Cost?
There are many factors that may affect the cost of your dental implants. An accurate estimate can only be given after a comprehensive and individualized consultation with your general dentist and oral surgeon. During our consultation, Dr. McDonnell, Kimberly, or Klein will develop your unique treatment plan which will include appropriate fees. Dental Implant treatment may qualify for some insurance coverage, but situations vary.
What is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?
For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene, dental implants have a reported success rate of 90-95 percent. Further studies have shown this success rate to be higher when performed by a specialist such as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon (2014 study).
What is Involved with Dental Implant Procedures?
- Consultation: The first step is an examination and consultation with one of our surgeons. This will include a thorough evaluation, appropriate x-rays, and in some cases a three dimensional CT scan of the area(s) of concern. Furthermore, we will review the overall treatment and answer any of your questions/concerns.
- Implant Placement Procedure: Implants are placed in the bone using a standard surgical technique. Following the procedure, the implants may be left undisturbed for a period of 3-6 months so that the bone can bond with the implant(s). You will always have the option of some type of temporary replacement teeth, so that you never have to be without teeth during the healing phase. These temporary options are often fabricated by your general dentist, and in some situations, your surgeon.
- Additional Follow-up Visits: Your Surgeon will schedule appropriate follow-up visits to evaluate the implant site(s) for proper healing before finalizing the treatment with your general dentist. Your general dentist will place the final crown (cap), bridge, or denture on your implant(s).
Is The Dental Implant Procedure Painful?
As with any procedure performed in our office, you will have the option to be awake with local anesthesia or asleep with IV anesthesia. Although each patient’s experience is unique, most patients feel the implant placement is as easy as a tooth extraction. Many patients are surprised to find that they are comfortable simply taking Ibuprofen afterward.