Dental Implants FAQs
What are types of dental implants?
There are different types of implants available depending on the number of implants needed, the condition of your jawbone, and whether you are willing to undergo bone grafting.
Endosteal Implants – This is the most common form of tooth implant and is appropriate for patients with a healthy jawbone with sufficient strength to support the implants.
Zygomatic Implants – If you have insufficient jawbone to hold implants securely and bone grafts are not an option, zygomatic implants may be appropriate. This is the least common form of implant surgery due to its difficulty and complexity. The implants are slanted into the cheekbones and are much longer than traditional implants.
Will I need bone grafting?
You do not need bone grafts if you have sufficient, healthy jawbone to support the dental implants. However, if your jawbone has deteriorated, we may need to build up the area with bone grafts before placing the implants. Grafting can add several weeks or months to the process but ensures a greater chance of success.
Do dental implants hurt?
The surgery itself is not painful, as we numb the area with a local anesthetic, and the surgery is performed while you are sedated. After the medication wears off, you will have some discomfort for a few days. Pain medications and antibiotics are prescribed to make your recovery as comfortable and safe as possible. Ice packs can also help with pain and swelling for the first few days. Discomfort can last up to a week but is not usually debilitating. Most people can return to work and other activities within three to four days.
Do I have diet restrictions with dental implants?
You will be on a restricted diet during the healing phase after implant surgery. A liquid or softer food diet is essential for the first few days to allow the gums and jawbone time to rest and heal. On the third day, you can begin to add solid foods to your diet. Over the next several weeks, you can gradually add foods with more texture. By the end of the month, you should be able to eat most foods you enjoy.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost depends on multiple factors, including the type of implants, how many, whether you need bone grafts, and your overall health. The best way to get an accurate price is by scheduling an initial consultation. After a dental exam and x-rays, your surgeon will outline the costs and provide you with a detailed estimate on the best treatment option for you.
Does insurance cover implants?
Some dental insurance will cover part of the cost of the implants and all or a portion of the crowns or prostheses. However, this is changing as more dental insurance providers realize that implants improve oral health over the long term. Contact your dental insurance provider to find out how much your plan covers.
Is there a downside to dental implants?
The time commitment and healing requirements make dental implants undesirable for some patients. They are also initially the most expensive solution compared to dentures. However, dental implants last 30 years or more and do not need regular relining and repair, unlike dentures. Infection and excessive bleeding are always possible, as with any surgery, but are rare.
Some individuals are not suitable candidates for dental implants. If you have certain immune disorders, cancer, hemophilia, or uncontrolled diabetes, dental implants may not be the right tooth replacement option for you. If you are a smoker, we recommend you quit smoking or using tobacco after implant surgery, as both lead to gum recession that can lead to implant failure.
What is the success rate for dental implants?
The success rate is 95-98% in the first year following implant surgery.
How long do dental implants last?
For all practical purposes, dental implants often last a lifetime. Long-term studies reveal a success rate of nearly 90% for patients who have had complete replacement of their teeth with dental implants for up to 30 years. Single implant patients have an even higher success rate. The dental prosthetics or crowns may need replacing after 20 years, but this is easily done by your dentist without disturbing the implants.
Are dental implants worth it?
Some people balk at the thought of the time and money commitment to dental implants. However, our patients overwhelming tell us the time and money spent are well worth it. Dental implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that are as strong as your natural teeth and just as functional. There are no worries about dentures shifting, slipping, or pinching. Eating, speaking, and laughing are easy and natural with dental implants; no one but your dentist will know they are not your natural teeth.
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