Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long do dental implants last?

A: How successful a dental implant will be long-term depends on how frequently professional care is administered, home care, implant recipient’s health and bone quality. If maintained properly, a dental implant won’t need to be replaced and can last for the rest of the patient’s life. By contrast, a complete denture, removable partial denture or bridge usually only lasts on average of fifteen or twenty years.

Q: Why should I choose a dental implant?

A: When a missing tooth is replaced with an implant, it provides superior esthetics, stability and function. The dental implant represents the standard of care used to replace missing teeth. Among the many treatment options available, a dental implant is the best option.

Q: What materials are used to make dental implants?

A: Usually dental implants are made out of pure titanium. It has been found that titanium is biocompatible, meaning bone fuses with the implant. Some dental implants are made using titanium alloys. They are biocompatible as well. However, they offer more fracture resistance and tensile strength. The alloy composition provides the implant with the ability to withstand extra biting pressure. Titanium alloys used for dental implants are made up of 4% Vanadium alloy, 6% Aluminum and titanium.

Q: Are there any known allergies to titanium?

A: There are allergies to titanium. However, they are very rare and have a tendency to occur along with other types of metal allergies. Approximately 4 percent of tested patients had a positive reaction. If you’ve ever had any reaction to other metals, get tested by an allergist. According to studies, there are traces of nickel contained in the titanium alloy caused by the production process. This could result in a reaction to the nickel and get falsely attributed to the titanium.

Q: What amount of discomfort can I expect to have both during and after the dental implant is placed?

Usually there is only a minimal amount of discomfort. The complete procedure is performed under local anesthesia. Common anti-inflammatory agents can be used post-operatively to effectively control any discomfort you may experience.

Is a dental implant prone to gum disease or cavities?

A: Dental implants are made of metal so they cannot get cavities. However, bone loss associated with gum disease is something dental implants are prone to. The best things you can do to prevent gum disease is to have regular professional cleanings done and to practice good oral hygiene.

Q: What is the best way to keep my implant clean?

A: The best way to maintain a single dental implant that is supported by crown is to brush and floss, similar to any other type of tooth. You can take out an implant supported denture and wash it under running water and brush it using a denture brush. Clean the implants like individual teeth.

Q: Are implant supported dentures and crowns removable?

A: Implant crowns are permanently attached. Only a professional can remove them. It is possible to remove implant supported dentures in order to clean the denture and implants. This will help to ensure the dental implant’s long-term health.

Q: Does the placing of dental implants have any complications associated with it?

A: There are potential complications. However, they are fairly rare. It is possible for a dental implant to come out due to failing to integrate with bone. They can also break or fracture. There can potentially be problems with the implant and final crown connection. An inflammatory condition or infection in the bone or soft tissue is possible as part of the implant placement. There can also be damage to the nasal cavity or maxillary sinus or potential nerve damage to the lower jaw. These complications are all rare. They account usually for under 5% of dental implant procedures. Usually the complications are easy to correct.

Q: How long after a dental implant(s) is placed before it can be used for supporting a denture, dental bridge or crown?

A: Originally protocol was developed that clearly states that you must wait three months at least for the lower jaw and for the upper jaw anywhere from four up to six months before we can start constructing a new dental prosthesis that the implants will support. In certain circumstances where there is a concern about esthetic appearance, a temporary crown might be placed the same day as the surgery for implant placement.

Q: What is an immediate loading dental implant?

A: It is a conventional implant that is placed in either the lower or upper jaw and then restored the same day. The restoration could be a single crown or full denture. The main benefit from having an immediate dental implant done is the patient gets teeth or a tooth same day that the surgery is performed.

Q: Which teeth can a dental implant replace?

A: Any teeth missing from your mouth can be replaced by dental implants. The kind of implant that a dentist uses depends on where the missing teeth or tooth is located and how much bone is available for it.

Q: If I am interested in possibly getting a dental implant, what should I do?

A: In order to find out if dental implants are right for you, set up an appointment to consult with a dentist. If your regular dentist doesn’t perform dental implant placement, he will be able to recommend a specialist to you that does perform the procedure. You can also look through our dentist directory to locate a dental professional who restores or places dental implants.

Q: What does a dental implants consultation entail?

A: The main purpose of the consultation is for the dentist to determine whether or not dental implants are right for you, and if you are a good candidate for them. The dentist with have x-rays done of certain areas so he can examine the area that will be supporting the implant. That area will be examined also to make sure there is sufficient space for placing an implant and a restoration eventually. Your medical history will also be reviewed by the dentist to ensure you aren’t likely to develop any post-surgical healing problems. The consultation also provides you with a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the implants or procedure. Once the consultation is over, a treatment plan should be presented to you that tells you how much the procedure is going to cost.

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