Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions
At Elite Dentistry in Marietta, Caitlin Glenn McDonald Mercke, MS, DMD and her team work hard to help patients keep their smiles whole and healthy for a lifetime. However, there are some situations where the most thorough preventive dental care is not enough to keep smiles healthy. When you’ve lost a single tooth or a full row of teeth, we can help you renew your smile and restore full, natural form and function, using dental implant supported replacement teeth. If you want to find out more, keep reading or call our Marietta dentistry team to schedule a tooth replacement consultation today. We’ll examine your smile and help you make the right tooth replacement choice.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post placed below the gum line to provide support for one or more replacement teeth. Dental implants mimic the natural function of tooth roots. Once in place, an implant post can be used to support several replacement teeth.
How long does it take for dental implants to heal?
The actual surgical site of the dental implant will not take long to heal just a few days or a week in most cases. The real healing time is spent allowing the implant to fuse with the gum tissue and jawbone. This process is called osseointegration, and it can take three to six months to complete, depending on your individual bodily response and the number of implants placed.
Why are dental implants a better choice than traditional fixed bridges?
Fixed bridges require our team to remove healthy tooth structure from surrounding teeth before placing dental crowns that support the replacement tooth. An implant supported fixed bridge allows us to create the same restoration without damaging surrounding teeth.
How are dental implants placed?
Dental implants are surgically positioned into the jaw line. We make a small incision in the gum tissue. Then, the implant post is inserted into the gums. Once in place, a protective cap is positioned over the top of the post to allow the implant to fuse with the gum and jawbone. Once the post is fully fused with the soft tissue and bone, we can attach the replacement tooth or teeth.
Can implants help me with my loose fitting dentures?
Absolutely. Traditional dentures only restore about 20% of healthy tooth function, and that’s the best case scenario. Implant retained dentures can renew as much as 70% of healthy, natural tooth function.
Does dental implant placement hurt?
There will be some discomfort directly following the procedure, but nothing that regular over the counter pain relievers won’t address. If you are still in significant pain several days after the procedure, you should call our office. There may be something wrong with your dental implant.
Will dental implants last a lifetime?
When properly cared for, dental implants can last two or more decades. The key is brushing and flossing regularly at home, and keeping regular dental office visits to ensure the function of dental implants.
What causes implant failure?
There are numerous reasons why dental implants fail. Some of the most common include:
- Poor healing due to lack of proper hygiene or health concerns
- Loading too soon placing too much pressure on the implant
- Improper placement of the implant post
- Infection in the gums or bone tissue
How much do implants cost?
The average cost for just one dental implant is about $2000, but they can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000. Each additional implant post will be offered at a slightly lower cost to help make the implant restoration more affordable. While dental insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost of dental implants, we can usually maximize insurance coverage for your replacement tooth or teeth, and our knowledgeable team will work with you to receive low or no interest financing whenever possible.
How many implants will I need?
The number of dental implants will depend largely on how many missing teeth you need to replace. We will typically recommend the following:
- One dental implant – a single implant can be used to support a dental crown or two fused together dental crowns.
- Two dental implants – two or more dental implants are used to support a fixed bridge with one implant on both ends to replace three or more consecutive missing teeth, and in some cases, we can even support a small partial denture with just two implant posts.
Three to six dental implants – for patients with advanced tooth loss, a partial or full denture can be supported with three to six implant posts.