FAQ Dental Implants

1. What is a dental implant? 

A dental implant is a root device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry and placed into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge.

2. Why replace missing teeth? 

The ability to chew, to speak and to smile  are affected when a tooth is lost.  Replacing a tooth helps keep the other teeth from shifting and keeps the facial muscles and tissues in position.

3. What is the disadvantage of other techniques over dental implants?

A. Dentures:  less expensive, not tight fitting, not attached to the jaw, covers the roof of the mouth,  difficulty chewing certain foods
B. Bridges:

1.  Adjacent teeth must be ground

2.  As we get older, sometimes dry mouth occurs causing tooth loss to adjacent teeth

Dentures and bridges are nice options, implants provide better support and less tooth reduction(bridge)

4.  Are implants safe and how long do they last?

They are safe and could last for a long time depending on a patient health, hygiene and genetics
5.  Are they difficult to clean? 

Clean your implant teeth like you would for natural teeth. Still continue seeing us for your hygiene appointment, an we will x-ray and examine your implants

6.  Can I remove the teeth if they are fixed to implants?

No,  crowns that fit over the implants are cemented. Partials and dentures can be because they are clipped-on to the implants

7. Can I have a problem with the implants?

Implants can be rejected by the body’s immune system. New technology continues to lower the rejection rate. Implant procedures have never been reported to cause cancer or any life-threatening disease.

Complications are mainly  due to  failure of the implant to integrate with the jaw bone, or due to damage to adjacent anatomical structures.  When an implant does not integrate with bone, this is sometimes due to a patient having an unfavorable bone pattern or the presence of pre-existing pathology or infection. Often, the site can be cleaned allowing site to heal in a few months and the implant successfully reinserted. If a patient is a smoker, diabetic, has dry mouth, or is a grinder or clincher implants can be lost.

8.  How long does the treatment take to complete? 

Somewhere between 4 to 12 months to finish the treatment.  Approximately, 3-6 appointments in the dentist chair. Sedation would probably be used.

9.  Can implant and extraction  be done at the same time?

A CT scan x-ray would be used to determine if this could be done. If there is adequate bone, then extraction and placement of the implant could be done.

10.  Are there occasions when this is not possible?

Yes. Sometimes an implant can not be placed at the same appointment of the extraction. The gum and bone will need to grow back and fill the space left after the extraction (3 to 4 months).

11.  Are implants necessary for every missing tooth?

No. You can have a single implant to replace a single tooth.  Four to six implants can be done for a complete arch of missing teeth.

12.  What is included in a consultation?

First appointment would determine if you are a candidate for implants.  A CT scan x-ray would be taken to decide how many implants or if you have adequate bone for implants.

13. What is the safest way to determine if  I can have implants?

The best method is to have a CT scan, which gives a 3D image for more precise planning and for making an accurate surgical guide. The risk of drilling too deep or not at the precise angle is eliminated (this is the most accurate system in dentistry). Drs. Capps, Bowman & Padgett have this system in placed in our office.

14.  Can implants be placed without a CT scan?

Yes.  A CT scan is best way to eliminate guesswork, thereby reducing the risk to the patient.

15.  What is a surgical guide or guided surgery?

A Diagnostic CT scan to access a Patient’s Oral Condition and a Radiological Template is produced.  Another scan is then taken with the Radiological Template in place. The digital data obtained is then sent to a specialist laboratory and a Surgical Drilling Guide is produced. This allows for pinpoint accuracy when placing implants, especially multiple implants and implants for multiple bridgework, and any possible risk is virtually eliminated.

16.  Is a surgical guide expensive?

Each surgical guide is about $450.  It is very effective in reducing the time for the surgical procedure, and as mentioned before is a much safer method. A surgical guide is not needed for every implant case.

NEXT STEP!!!!! Arrange an implant consultation to assess your mouth.