Frequently Asked Questions about Dental Implants
Even though many dental offices are starting to promote dental implants as the gold standard in tooth replacement, patients still don’t know much about them. On this page, you’ll find answers to many of the questions we hear most often from our Waco dental patients at Heart of Texas Smiles. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so please don’t hesitate to give our team a call. The best way to learn more about dental implants and all of your tooth replacement options is to schedule a consultation with our caring team. We’ll walk you through all of your options and help you choose the solution that best addresses your unique needs.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Safe?
Absolutely. Our team has years of training and skills to offer safe, effective dental implant treatments. The key to keeping patients safe is taking time to prepare. We make sure to address all areas of concern by reviewing your current oral and overall health, discussing health and surgical history, and talking about the possible impact of current medications. If we determine implant surgery is a good fit for you, we’ll proceed using the latest techniques and technologies to carefully plan for precise dental implant placement. Finally, our team will walk you through caring for your dental implant site during recovery and schedule regular examinations to ensure your implant procedure is successful.
How Often do Dental Implants Fail?
As long as we do our work to evaluate your health, place the implant properly, and you follow your at-home care instructions, dental implant placement procedures have a 95% or higher success rate. This makes dental implant placement one of the safest and most successful surgical procedures.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Patients who meet the following criteria are the ideal candidates for dental implant tooth replacement:
- Adequate gum tissue and jawbone density
- Good oral and overall health
- No past issues with surgical care
- Ability to commit the time and money to completing treatment
How Long do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implant supported restorations look, feel, and function much more like natural teeth. With proper care, even the most advanced restorations (like full dentures) can last decades. In fact, many patients keep their dental implant supported restoration for a lifetime.
What Should I expect During My Dental Implant Placement?
We’ll begin the procedure by numbing the area around the missing tooth. Patients who are missing teeth in the back of the mouth and those who need numerous dental implants placed may also need to receive dental sedation to ensure their comfort and safety during the procedure. Then, we make a small incision in the soft tissue and use a surgical guide to perfectly position the implant post into the jaw line. A protective cap is attached to the implant to keep the gum tissue in the right shape to accommodate the replacement tooth or teeth. For three to six months, patients will need to allow their soft tissue to heal and give the implant time to firmly fuse to the supportive bone and gum tissue. Then, the tooth replacement restoration (crown, bridge, denture) will be designed, crafted, and attached to the implant posts. Depending on the individual patient’s response to implant placement and the number of teeth being replaced, the entire process can take up to a year, but the improved stability and longevity of implant retained tooth replacements make the invested time worth it.
How Much do Dental Implants Cost?
It really depends on a number of factors like the material used, size of the implant, style of implant, technology used to place the implant post, and even your geographic location. However, on average a single tooth dental implants run about $2000 in our area. Low end implants can be as cheap as $500, but they have a much higher risk for failure. Extremely complex or innovative dental implant posts may run as much as $5000 a piece. Whatever rate you pay for your first implant post, you’ll usually see a decrease in the cost for each additional implant post. We will also work with your insurance provider to maximize coverage for these procedures.
Should I Choose Dental Implants or Removable Dentures?
No dental treatment is right for every patient. However, dental implant supported dentures do offer a few benefits compared with removable prosthetics. Most importantly, dental implant retained dentures dramatically improve chewing ability. The best made dentures only restore about 20% of chewing function. Implant supported prosthetics can restore 70% or more of your natural chewing ability.