Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a cylindrical and/or tapered post, usually made of titanium that serves as a substitute for the root of the tooth.  Then a connector, also known as an abutment, is place onto the implant to connect the actual implant to the replacement tooth or teeth.  Finally, a crown, or a replacement tooth, is custom made to match your natural teeth.  Over time as the implant integrates with the bone, it acts very much like your natural tooth.  In many cases this alternative to dentures is stronger than your natural tooth and gives you a hassle free smile.  Unlike traditional dentures, these implants won’t move around in your mouth, click or shift, so that you always feel confident eating, talking, laughing, and best of all, smiling!

What are Overdentures?

Overdentures are another name for the teeth can attach to the dental implants.  Overdentures are used for patients who have several teeth missing.  The treatment option to replace multiple teeth is simply referred to as overdentures.  The implants serve as anchors and more firmly hold in place your overdentures without relying on adhesives to hold the teeth in place.

What Types of Dental Implants Are Available?

Dental implants vary in size and height and are appropriately placed based on the patient’s jawbone structure.  Sizes include standard and narrow (or mini implants).  There are two types of dental implants available.

  • Endosteal Implants, are placed into the jawbone. Typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates.  These are the most common type of implant.
  • Subperiosteal Implants can be placed under the gum, but on, or just above, the jawbone. This type of implant maybe used on patients who have a shallow jawbone and cannot or do not wish to undergo a procedure to rebuild it.

What is the Process for Getting Dental Implants?

Placing dental implants in properly, takes a little bit of time, and each patient is different. The reason for this is that once the implant is place into the jawbone, there must be some time for healing and fusing of the implant into your natural jawbone.  Once it is bonded, a small connector is placed on top of the implant to connect the implant to the replacement tooth or teeth. Your dentist should give you an estimated time to complete the process, but it is safe to assume a few months will be needed to complete the process.

Will I Have Teeth During the In-Between Steps?

Temporary teeth may be placed will your dental implants integrate with your natural bone.

Will it Hurt?

Some temporary discomfort and bruising are not unusual, however, many people are pleasantly surprised that they feel as good as they do immediately following the procedure.  Most can return to work and their everyday activities the next day.

Are There Risks Associated with Dental Implants?

Dental implants have been used for decades and are proven safe and effective.  These procedures are considered the most predictable in dentistry. While risks are rare and minimal, patients who smoke, or have other medical conditions might have a slightly elevated risk factors.  Some common risks include, infection (which usually responds to medication), damage to other teeth, tooth roots, sinus problems, fractures, nerve damage (which can result in pain, numbness or tingling) and the inability to complete the procedure due to an inadequate jawbone.  In order to access any risk factors, speak honestly to you implant dentist about your heath history and habits.

How to Find the Right Dentist?

Before trusting your dental implants to anyone, it’s important to do your homework.  Choose an AAID  (American Academy of Implant Dentistry) credentialed implant dentist near you.  This certification will give you the peace of mind you need to move forward with your procedure.  An AAID credential shows that your implant dentist has education, training, experience and competence in implant dentistry.  AAID credentials extend to general dentists, periodontist, prosthodontists and oral surgeons who perform surgical and/or restorative procedures.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

Since each patient has individual needs and therefore costs for implants widely vary.  Treatments range from $1500 to $7500.  Some insurance companies have started providing some coverage due to the long-term benefits of dental implants.  Your implant dentist will like have financing and payment options available.

How We Can Help!

Please note that East Valley Dental Professionals does not perform dental implant procedures–we do dental implant reconstruction. This information has been provided for educational purposes only. You are more than welcome to contact us to set up an appointment to discuss which approach is right for you.