Dental Implants FAQ
Commonly Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Dental implants can be life-changing for patients who have lost teeth, restoring their ability to eat, drink, speak, and smile confidently. More people get dental implants as an alternative to dentures or bridges every year.
What are dental implants?
Implants are the only permanent solution for missing teeth. They give you the most natural replacement teeth possible and can last a lifetime with proper care. The implant itself is a titanium post or screw placed in the jawbone to replace the roots of the missing tooth. After the implant fuses with the jawbone, an abutment attaches a dental crown to the implant.
Are there advantages to dental implants?
The popularity of dental implants is a testament to their durability, natural look, and comfort. Consider these advantages:
- Dental implants do not shift or slip like dentures
- They are permanent and feel like your natural teeth
- The implants prevent deterioration of the jawbone due to missing teeth
- Implants do not damage the adjacent teeth
- They are easy to clean
- Titanium implants never need to be replaced
What is the dental implant process?
We begin the process with a consultation, during which we complete an oral exam, review your medical history, and take 3D images of your teeth and jaw. We work with you to develop a treatment plan that is best for you and meets your oral health goals. The type of sedation or anesthesia is also discussed.
The dental implants are placed in our in-office surgical suite, where you will be unconscious throughout the procedure. You heal at home until your follow-up appointment, when we will check to make sure the implants are integrating with the surrounding bone and that there are no issues.
Once the implants have healed, another procedure will expose the tops of the implants so the abutments and crowns or a fixed bridge can be attached.
How long does it take to get implants?
The surgery to place dental implants can take anywhere from a half-hour to four hours, depending on the number of implants needed and the complexity of the surgery. After that, the mouth will need three to six months to heal and integrate the implants with the jawbone. The abutments and crowns are attached after the area is fully healed. The process typically takes about six months from the first consultation to permanent crowns. It may take several months longer if you need bone grafts before implant surgery.
Do dental implants hurt?
You are sedated and the area is numbed when we perform the implant surgery. After you regain consciousness, you may feel some minor pain and swelling. We give you instructions for minimizing these symptoms at home. For most people, pain medications and ice packs are sufficient. Within a week or less, any discomfort is gone. After that, you are likely to forget you have implants because they do not feel any different than natural teeth.
Are your oral surgeons experienced in dental implant surgery?
Absolutely! We are board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeons with extensive training and experience in dental implants. Dr. Andreasen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Dr. Kent is a fellow of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. We continually update our skills through continuing education.
How much do dental implants cost?
Determining the cost of dental implants is difficult without an exam, x-rays, and digital imaging. Factors to consider include how many implants, the type of crown or fixed bridge, any health conditions, bone grafts, and more. Many insurance providers are now covering part of the cost of dental implants. Our staff is experienced in working with patients and their insurance providers to ensure maximum benefit to our patients. We always review the cost of dental implants with our patients and explain the payment options available before scheduling implant surgery.
If you have questions about dental implants, contact our North Oaks office at 651-482-0065 or our Roseville office at 651-636-2420. Our staff will do their best to get you the information you need and schedule an appointment for a consultation.