Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

Get answers to commonly asked questions about dental implants from our oral surgery team.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are today’s golden standard for replacing missing teeth because they not only look like your natural teeth, but they feel and function like them as well. An implant tooth consists of a titanium screw that we place in your jaw to serve as a root replacement and a crown which is the artificial tooth that shows above the gum line.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Dental implant surgery is a fairly invasive procedure that should be done by a specialist. Our highly qualified oral surgeons have completed advanced training and have hours of education and experience under their belts, so implant placement by one of our professionals is entirely safe. Our advanced technology also ensures our patients are safe and comfortable throughout the whole implant placement process. Our dental implant success rate closely mirrors the national success rate overall, as reported in scientific literature, of 98 percent. So, you can rest assured, you’re in good hands with us.

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

The upfront cost of dental implants seems to have a sizeable price tag when compared to bridges and dentures, but when you consider their longevity and their authentic nature in both appearance and function, implants are the most cost-effective choice. The complete cost depends on several factors, so it’s best to come in and meet with us to discuss your case. Our staff is skilled at navigating benefits and ensuring your get the care you deserve.

Are Dental Implants Painful?

We perform dental implant surgery under your choice of a variety of anesthesia options, and we keep the surgical site numb during the procedure. You won’t feel a thing! Later in the day, as the anesthesia wears off, you may start to have some mild discomfort but nothing you can’t control with over-the-counter medications, such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

How Do I Care for Dental Implants?

It is imperative that you care for your implants at home as you care for your natural teeth—daily brushing and flossing—and that you regularly visit your general dentist so they can accurately assess your implant health and probe and measure the gums around your implants, much like is done with your natural teeth. When you come in for a checkup, your dentist will check and compare your x-rays, your bite, and all the components that are attached to the screw that is in your jaw to ensure they are all working properly.

What Is the Best Age for Dental Implants?

When it comes to age, the important thing is that your jaw has fully developed. For females, this is generally around the age of 16, and for males, 18. Similarly, we recommend a child waits until they are 18 to have a permanent crown placed. If an implant is placed before the jaw is done maturing, it can get in the way of the rest of the jaw’s development and weaken the implant’s durability, leading to complications, such as bone loss, bite problems, spacing, and aesthetic changes. Every teen is different, so we recommend you come in for a consultation where we can examine your child’s mouth and propose next steps for their unique case.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

It isn’t common for insurance to pay for implants, but insurance companies are beginning to see the long-term value of implant as opposed to dentures and bridges, so yours may provide an allowance. When you come in, we will help you understand your benefits and determine which steps in the process may be covered.

How long do implants last? Are they forever?

Our implants last 20-25 years with the proper care and hygiene.

How long does the whole process take?

In many cases, implants can be placed, and a temporary tooth can be made during the tooth’s removal. In other cases, the implants are placed and left to heal for several months before we place the final restoration. For the implant to fully integrate with your bone, it usually takes 3 months for the lower jaw and 4-6 months for the upper jaw. Everyone heals differently, and we monitor your progress closely. For most, the entire process typically takes 12-18 months.