Dental Implant FAQs
- What is an implant?
- How does the implant placement process work?
- Do dental implants hurt?
- Do dental implants feel like real teeth?
- Will I need to miss work for dental implant surgery?
- What are single-stage implants?
- What if I am missing a lot of teeth?
- What are the risks and complications associated with dental implants?
- How long do dental implants last?
- Will I have temporary teeth during the healing phase?
- When will I have my permanent teeth?
- How do I care for my implants?
What is an implant?
Dental implants are the ideal teeth replacement method because they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. They consist of three parts: a titanium screw that we place in your jawbone, an abutment that is attached to the screw and serves as a connector to hold the crown in place. The crown is the last step in the restorative process that looks like your natural tooth.
How does the implant placement process work?
The oral surgeon begins by doing a complete work up of your medical records, dental history, oral examination, imaging for bone density, including a Cone Beam CT X-ray. Once our doctor is able to formulate a treatment plan, your procedure will be scheduled.
Usually, bone grafting is needed to provide a good platform for the implant. This common procedure requires several months of healing before the implant can be placed. Adequate, healthy bone is the foundation in which the implant may be placed. Once the site is ready, you will undergo a 1–2-hour surgery to place the implant. We anesthetize the surgical site to keep you comfortable.
Once the implant has been placed and covered with the surrounding soft tissue, it takes between 4-6 months for the implant to fully fuse in the jawbone. We will place an abutment on the implant after the fusion (called osseointegration) is complete. The abutment is the interface between the implant and the crown, which is the final step in your restorative process. Finally, your dentist will secure your crown to the implant abutment.
Do dental implants hurt?
No! During the surgery, you won’t feel a thing. We always keep you properly anesthetized during the procedure. Most of our patients experience very little pain even after the surgery, and any discomfort can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medications. We will discuss any necessary prescriptions with you during your visit.
Do dental implants feel like real teeth?
Yes! Your dental implants will work like your natural teeth. Your new permanent teeth will allow you to eat all the foods that you used to enjoy.
Will I need to miss work for dental implant surgery?
Our patients generally take a few days off from work, depending on patient comfort level.
What are single-stage implants?
In some cases, we place an implant and leave the soft tissue surrounding it, as is. This allows us to avoid a second surgical procedure to uncover the dental implant during the abutment/restoration stage.
What if I am missing a lot of teeth?
If you are missing many teeth, implant-supported dentures are a solution that provides you with a full arch of prosthetic teeth that are attached to just a few implants. This option is great for those who need the quantity of teeth provided by a denture but don’t want the hassle associated with more than 4-8 implants.
What are the risks and complications associated with dental implants?
Dental implants have been around for years and have a success rate of up to 98%. Continual improvements and discoveries are being made every day. The risks are very low and closely resemble those of other minor surgical procedures – infection, injury to adjacent teeth, etc. If you are considering implants for your child, we recommend waiting to get an implant until after the jaw has finished growing and they’ve had straightening procedures, such as braces or Invisalign, because the implant’s fusion to the bone makes the tooth’s position relatively fixed.
How long do dental implants last?
Studies have shown that properly placed dental implants that are well cared for, can last 25 years and longer.
Will I have temporary teeth during the healing phase?
If the implant site is near the front of your mouth, we have a variety of temporary options, such as retainers, bridges, and temporary crowns to get you through the healing phase.
When will I have my permanent teeth?
Permanent restorations are placed anywhere from 4-12 months after implant surgery, depending on your case.
How do I care for my implants?
Care for your implants just like you would your natural teeth: brushing at least twice a day and flossing before you go to bed. Be sure to keep your gum tissue healthy and practice good oral hygiene, these steps are important to long lasting dental implants.