If you’re looking for a dental solution that will allow you to speak more clearly, enjoy a wider variety of foods, and live a higher quality life, dental implants may be great for you.
To help you find the answers you need more easily, we’ve broken down this article into 4 main sections. We hope you find it useful in finding the clarity you need to make an informed decision about your oral health.
- General Info: About your basic facts and treatment options
- Performance: About the results you can expect and how they work
- Candidacy: About who should be getting implants and why
- Installation: About the procedure itself and what to expect
What are dental implants? Dental implants are metal replacements for the roots of your teeth that are used as a base for artificial teeth. They allow patients with severe decay or missing teeth to talk, chew, and live as they would with normal teeth.
How do they work? Dental implants are placed in your jawbone and bond with your natural bone, providing a sturdy base for supporting crowns that work just like natural teeth do. They are custom made for your mouth, ensuring a proper fit and a solution that looks feels, and functions naturally.
What types of implants do you place? We use endosteal Implants at GDAI. These are the traditional, screw-like implants that are inserted into the jawbone. They are typically made of titanium and remain the most common and desirable implant option.
What types of implant techniques are there?
Depending on your circumstances, there are many implant options available including:
- Immediate Load Implants: With immediate load implants, the placement of the restoration happens within 48 hours of the implant to shorten the time between the implant and the teeth. While these are a quicker option and require fewer visits, they may not be the right option for everyone.
- Mini Dental Implants (MDIs): Mini dental implants are half the size of traditional implants. They’re made of one solid metal piece that goes into the jawbone, unlike two-piece traditional implants. They’re often quicker to install but are newer and are less proven in terms of long-term survival.
- All-On-4 (Full-Arch Implants): If you need more extensive implant work, you don’t need to get each tooth individually replaced. All-On-4 (also called Full-Arch Implants) allow for a full replacement of the top and bottom arch using only 4 posts in a one-day procedure.
If you’re confused about what the best option is for you, we welcome you to book a free consultation to find the perfect solution for your smile.
How much do they cost?
The cost of implants depends on many factors including:
- The implant option you choose
- How many teeth need implants
- The current condition of your mouth
- And many more!
In short, it depends on the type of implant and how extensive the work will be. The cost ranges drastically but given that it is a surgical procedure, it will be thousands of dollars. Luckily, many dental insurance plans and some medical insurance plans will cover some or most of the cost depending upon your provider and situation. Beyond the price of getting the implant, keep in mind that there’s often a steeper price to not getting them and an end result that makes the investment worth it for a lifetime.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
There are many advantages when it comes to dental implants, but let’s look at three:
Speak more clearly: If you are missing multiple teeth, it can affect your ability to speak and be understood by those around you. Implants allow you to regain your ability to have conversations with your friends and family without confusing people or having to repeat yourself.
Enjoy your favorite foods again: With implants, you can finally enjoy the food that you’ve always wanted to without the fear of damaging your teeth or the shooting pain of taking a wrong bite. They can give you peace of mind knowing that you can eat what you want—when you want.
Unlock a higher quality of life: Most of all, with properly fitted implants, you’ll be able to do all of the things you do with natural teeth. This will result in a more comfortable day-to-day life and far more freedom to live life fully in love with the smile you show to the world.
It’s truly amazing how transformative implants can be for you and all they can do for your life.
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
Despite the wonderful pluses of dental implants, they do have things about them that can give you pause. Let’s look at some of them:
They cost too much: One of the big concerns around implants is that they’re expensive. Depending on your insurance, the amount of your cost that will be covered will vary but can be up to 50%. It helps to consider the benefits as well as cheaper implant options when doing research.
There can be complications: As with any surgery of in-depth procedure, implants come with inherent risks. Although there can be an infection at the implant site or injury to surrounding teeth, the success rate of implants averages out at around 98%.
It can be scary to go under for surgery: If you have a fear of surgery or going under anesthesia, you may be hesitant about getting the procedure done. This fear can cause anxiety, although implants have proven over the past 40 years to be a safe and painless solution to transform your smile for life.
Am I a good candidate for implants? Everyone is a potential candidate for dental implants, but that doesn’t mean that some are better suited for the procedure than others. Here are the qualities of an ideal implant candidate:
- Has good dental and oral health (especially gum health)
- Has adequate jaw bone mass (as implants go into the jawbone)
- Is a non-smoker (as smoking can promote boss loss around the implant site)
- Doesn’t grind teeth (as this habit can damage implants over time)
Don’t worry if you don’t match these above points. With the advances in implant technology, you’ll likely be able to get an implant if it is something that makes sense between you and your dentist.
Are they a good option for people with full or partial dentures?
Implants are a great option if you already have dentures, as they can give them more stability. Implant-supported dentures are a great solution if you want the comfort of your dentures but aren’t a fan of them falling out.
Can children get implants?
Older children who are missing some or most of their adult teeth can be great candidates for implants under certain conditions. It is advised to wait to do the procedure until the age of 16 to ensure that the jaw bone is fully developed before implanting it into it.
How are dental implants installed?
Before the procedure itself, your dentist will consult with you to ensure that an implant is the best option for you and perform a comprehensive dental evaluation. This will measure the health of your teeth, gums, and your candidacy as an implant patient.
For the treatment itself, there are several key steps that we’ll summarize below:
1. Removal of damaged teeth: If you have one or more teeth that are damaged, they’ll need to be removed before the implant to make room for the implants.
2. Jawbone preparation (if needed): If your jawbone is too thin or soft, bone grafting may be necessary to continue the procedure and give the implants a proper base to settle into.
3. Dental implant placement: A post is inserted deep into your jaw bone, serving as the tooth’s “root”. Temporary dentures can be given for appearance if desired at this stage.
4. Bone growth and healing: This next step is when you wait for your bone to grow around the implants, which can take several months. This is done before inserting the teeth.
5. Abutment placement: In some cases, abutments are attached to the implant in step 3. If not, a minor procedure is done to attach abutments, which are what the teeth will connect to.
6. Artificial tooth placement: Once your gums heal, you’ll get to choose with your dentist whether you’d like fixed or removable teeth. These are custom made from molds to perfectly fit your mouth.
7. A healthy and happy smile: Last but certainly not least, you’ll be able to enjoy your life with a full set of comfortable and functional teeth.
Does the procedure hurt?
Not at all! Given the use of IV Conscious Sedation anesthesia, the entirety of the procedure is painless and is often reported by patients to be more comfortable than extractions.
How do I care for my implants after getting them?
Taking care of your mouth after an implant is very similar to how to take of your mouth after an extraction:
- Keep your mouth as clean as possible
- Brush and floss your other teeth starting the night of the procedure
- Use a warm saltwater solution to rinse (½ teaspoon of salt & 8 ounces of water)
- Avoid eating food on the affected area
- Don’t smoke until the implant site is fully healed and the implant is complete
- Avoid “swilling” liquid in your mouth
- In the first 48 hours, avoid strenuous exercise or movement if possible
After everything has healed, you should treat them just as you would regular teeth. This means that you should be sure to brush and floss them as well as schedule regular updates with your dentist to ensure the continued health of your implants.
Can any dentist give me an implant?
Dental implants are very involved procedures and it is very important to go to a qualified team of dental professionals such as Dr. Germain and the experienced team at GDAI. A few things to look for are their knowledge of the procedure, a proven track record of success with dental implants, and an aim to work with you to find the best solution for your needs.
What do I do if I feel an implant is right for me?
We would love to meet with you and discover together what implants can do for you!
Ready to fall back in love with your smile?