Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants
Is the surgery to place a dental implant painful?
No, it is done in our office under local anesthesia, just the same way a filling is done. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, you shouldn't feel a thing!
What about after surgery? Is it painful then?
You can expect some minor discomfort. It can be managed with over the counter NSAID medications such as ibuprofen. Our patients report very little discomfort following the procedure.
How long does it take to place an implant?
It depends on the number and location of implants, but most placements take an hour or less.
How long do I have to heal before I can get my teeth?
The entire process usually takes 2-4 months, depending on your treatment plan. More advanced cases can take longer. The first phase is the longest, where the implants have to heal and fuse to the bone (2-3 months). The final phase is the tooth replacements have to be fabricated (2-3 weeks) and then attached.
How long do dental implants last?
Once an implant has fused to the bone successfully, it should last many years if cared for properly. Many have been in place for 30 years or more!
What are the chances of implant failure?
Nationally, the success rate of implants averages around 95%. Our office has found our success rates to be around this number, albeit slightly higher. Implants can fail due to a number of reasons. An implant can simply be recognized by the body as foreign and not "take", healing around the implant can occur with gum tissue instead of bone, or the implant can get infected. No matter the case, the implant is removed and the site allowed to heal. We can then place another implant once ready.
Does an implant require special care?
Implants require the same care that your natural teeth need. Scheduling regular check-ups and proper oral hygiene are the best ways to ensure your dental implant lasts a lifetime. Implants do not get cavities, but can be lost due to gum disease, so brushing and flossing them are just as important as your natural teeth.
Does smoking affect dental implants?
Dental implants in smokers are four times as likely to fail compared to implants in non-smokers. Dentists recommend that patients with dental implants avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
Are dental implants covered by insurance?
Like most elective procedures, dental implants are not covered by some dental insurance plans. As they become more common, more and more insurance plans are covering them. Our office can check your plan to see if you have coverage. We also have a financing program available as well (Care Credit).