Most Common Questions About Dental Implants

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You brush your teeth regularly, you even floss, and yet, your pearly whites have turned against you! Don’t worry though, you’re not alone. Each year millions of Americans find themselves in your shoes, regardless of how hard they’ve worked to maintain their oral health.

Whether from age, genetics, eating habits, medication, or a misplaced swing of a golf club, missing, broken or damaged teeth is something everyone will deal with eventually.

Dental implants,  are an often-welcomed permanent solution to restore the beauty and function of teeth, offering a more comfortable and permanent solution as compared to dentures and bridges.
How popular? Well, to date over 3 million Americans have implants with over 500,000 more opting for the procedure yearly.

Yet despite the growing commonality of the procedure, many prospective patients still have a lot of questions. In this guide we’ll cover some of the most common questions about dental implants and fixtures.


The 20 Most Common Questions About Dental Implants

When it comes to dental replacement of your natural teeth, nothing comes close to providing the aesthetics, durability, comfort and fit of dental implants.

1. What Are Dental Implants?

An apt and obvious place to start. Dental implants are a lab-created prosthetic set of teeth (or an individual tooth) that is used to replace a missing or pulled tooth. A titanium post is screwed into the jaw in order to replace your natural ‘roots’ and provide a solid foundation for the crowns. These prosthetic teeth (crowns) are then screwed atop an abutment that is attached to the top of the titanium post

    Common Types of Dental Implants Include:

      • A single tooth (crown/cap)
      • Partial denture (a partial set of upper or lower arches)
      • Full denture (full set of upper and lower arches)
      • Fixed bridge

    2. Why Do Most People Get Implants?

    Tooth loss is an obvious one, but implants may also be an ideal solution for anyone who has failing, broken or severely decaying teeth. For some, pulling failing teeth and replacing them with dental implants provides them with the confidence they need to smile with pride and eat the foods they enjoy, all while improving their oral health.

    Common Reasons for Implants Include

      • A single tooth (crown/cap)
      • Partial denture (a partial set of upper or lower arches)
      • Full denture (full set of upper and lower arches)
      • Fixed bridge

    3. How Safe Are Dental Implants?

    The procedure is a surgical one, and as with any surgery (even minor surgery), there is always some risk. However, the risks associated with dental implants are considered small, with few complications. Potential risks may include tissue damage to surrounding structures, swelling, infection, sinus issues or nerve damage.

    That said, according to the Journal of International Society of Preventative and Community Dentistry, the success rate of dental implants is 98% over a five-year period post-procedure, and between 90-95% over a ten-year period following the procedure.

    4. How Painful is the Dental Implant Procedure?

    Pain thresholds and tolerance vary widely from one individual to the next. That said, the majority of patients report that the procedure was notably less uncomfortable than they expected. As for pain, you shouldn’t feel any before or during the procedure. Great care is taken by your dental team to ensure you’re fully numbed prior to beginning work. For any post-operative soreness, your dentist may prescribe pain medication if needed.

    • Implants have a proven and documented long-term success rate of 95-98% over a period of 40-50 years of use
    • Implants can be more cost-effective over the long-term. By contrast, within 15 years around 33% of bridges will fail.

    5. How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?

    Getting dental implants is a process that is completed in stages. Even ‘same day’ implants you see advertised require multiple dental visits before the ‘same day’ treatment when you have the final procedure completed.

    The process also varies depending on your unique situation, oral health, and type of implant. 

    Factors that can Impact How Long the Process Takes:

    • Whether or not you need a bone graft
    • Whether or not you need to have teeth pulled
    • The state of our oral health (i.e. does gum disease need to be addressed)
    • The type of implant
    • The number of teeth involved

    Generally speaking, the process is carried out over two phases, with multiple appointments over the course of 2-9 months. This allows time for the post to fuse with your jawbone and heal.

    6. How Long After a Tooth Extraction Can You Get an Implant?

    In some cases, your dentist may be able to place an implant the same day as your tooth extraction. However, in many cases, you’ll need to wait for your gums to heal before getting a post. This process can take between 3-6 months. If you lack adequate bone structure, after extraction your dentist may suggest a bone graft so that when healed you’ll be ready for the implant.

    7. Is there a Risk Your Mouth Could Reject an Implant?

    Rejection of an implant is a rare risk, with the 5-year success rate of an implant hovering around 98%. However, rare allergic reactions to the titanium used in the post, or improper post-operative care and lifestyle changes (such as smoking) could increase the risk.

    8. Are Dental Implants Permanent?

    Unlike bridges, dentures, and veneers, dental implants are considered a ‘permanent’ an irremovable solution for tooth replacement.

    9. How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

    The great thing about dental implants is that they are impervious to the natural decaying process natural teeth are susceptible to. However, they do require regular maintenance similar to that of your natural pearly whites (such as brushing and flossing daily).

    With regular care and checkups, implants can last a lifetime. The exact lifespan of your implants may vary based on genetics, jaw bone health, lifestyle habits, and type of implant chosen.

    10. Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

    Although this procedure is often the best solution for those needing permanent tooth replacement, there are certain circumstances and conditions that may make you ineligible.

    The Ideal (Potential) Candidate Has:

    • One or more missing, broken or failing teeth
    • Adequate jawbone structure to anchor the posts
    • Healthy oral tissue
    • No interest in using dentures 
    • A clean bill of health and nothing that would impair bone healing
    • Can commit to the process
    • Doesn’t smoke or is willing to temporarily quit

    11. How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

    This question is a little more complex. The cost for one patient may vary dramatically from the cost of another. The only way to obtain a clear picture of what you could expect to spend is to get a consultation and evaluation.

    A Few Factors that Impact Cost Include:

    • The number of implants needed
    • The type of implants chosen
    • The quality of the jawbone (i.e. is a graft necessary)
    • The location of the implant
    • And more…

    12. Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?

    Some aspects of the procedure or process may be covered by your dental insurance up to your yearly allowable maximum for those services. It is always best to consult with your provider to see what will or will not be covered.

    That said, the yearly maximum for most plans is around $1500, often leaving a large portion of the bill uncovered. For those patients who qualify, payment plans and/or financing may be available to help with out-of-pocket expenses.

    13. What Activities Should be Avoided After Dental Implant Surgery?

    In general, you’ll want to avoid the following until healed:

    • Smoking 
    • Alcohol use
    • Eating hard food items
    • Using straws

    *It is advised that for the first few days post-surgery you eat only soft foods.

    Are You Ready to Learn More

    At Nuvia Dental Implant Center we specialize in providing world-class innovative dental implant services that result in smiles our patients can’t wait to show off. Our team is comprised of highly trained and experienced dental implant specialists eager to help you get the smile of your dreams.

    Call or message today to learn more and find out if dental implants are right for you.

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