Dental Implant FAQs
Dental implants are a common procedure we offer to replace missing or badly damaged teeth. Compared to other methods of tooth replacement, dental implants can look, feel, and function much like natural teeth. Below we have highlighted some of the most common questions that our dentists, Dr. Isaías Íñiguez and Dr. Jorge Martinez, receive about dental implants. If you would like more information on how dental implants can improve your smile, please contact our office to arrange a consultation.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are an advanced tooth replacement option that can rebuild smiles affected by missing or badly damaged teeth. A dental implant is made of three parts: the implanted post, the abutment, and the dental prosthesis. The titanium post replaces the natural tooth root and the prosthesis (a crown, bridge, or denture attached to the top of the implant[s]) replaces the visible body of the tooth. The abutment is connected to the post and works as a base to hold the dental prosthesis in place. Ideally, the full implant creates a strong, functional, and aesthetically pleasing new artificial tooth.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
The best way to find out if you are a candidate for dental implants is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Íñiguez or Dr. Martinez. During your consultation you will undergo a thorough dental exam and jawbone density test to ensure proper dental health and support for the implants. We will also review your medical history to determine your health status.
Can dental implants look natural?
Our goal is always to provide the most natural-looking and functional dental implant restorations. The dental implants we offer can look very natural because each dental prosthesis is custom made according to our specific instructions. We have relationships with exceptional dental labs who create all of our prosthetics with great attention to detail. These labs offer high-quality materials like e.max® and zirconia, which are both strong ceramic materials that can closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth.
How long is the dental implant procedure?
The length of the implantation procedure varies from person to person depending on several factors, such as their systemic and gum health, how many teeth must be replaced, how many extractions must be performed, if bone grafts will be necessary, how many implants will need to be placed, the type of anesthesia required, and the complexity of the treatment plan. Your dentist will thoroughly explain what to expect during your procedure including the estimated amount of time it may take. Typically, a basic dental implant procedure can be done within one hour, but more extensive procedures will take longer. Once your implants heal, you will return for an appointment to place your final prosthesis.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
With advanced technology and local anesthesia, our patients are usually comfortable during the placement of dental implants. Please speak with Dr. Íñiguez if you experience dentophobia or desire a stronger degree of anesthesia so we can discuss available sedation dentistry options.
What can I expect during my recovery?
The recovery period following a dental implant procedure is relatively quick with regard to soft tissue healing. The fusing of the implants with the jawbone can take from four to six months, but if there is any discomfort during this time, Dr. Íñiguez may prescribe an oral medication.
What are the risks associated with dental implants?
Patient safety is our first priority and any factors that may contribute to complications are reviewed during the consultation. As with any surgery, the placement of dental implants can be associated with some risks, such as infection or implant failure, which are extremely rare if you are a healthy individual with good oral hygiene. Attending follow-up appointments, closely following post-operative instructions, and immediately notifying our office of any problems can dramatically reduce any risks. Dental implants placement is generally a very predictable procedure and the vast majority of patients experience no complications.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are designed to provide a long-lasting replacement for one or more teeth. By maintaining good overall health and receiving proper dental care, dental implants can potentially last for decades.
How do I care for my implants?
Dental implants require no special maintenance outside of proper daily hygiene (brushing and flossing) and regularly scheduled dental exams and cleanings.
How much do dental implants cost?
The price of each dental implant procedure varies depending on how many implants are included in the treatment plan and a variety of other factors. After a consultation, you will receive a detailed price quote that includes all of the costs associated with your dental implants. We offer prices that are typically a fraction of the cost of implant specialists in the United States, without compromising quality. We invite you to read more about the cost of dental implants to learn about why our practice is so uniquely qualified to provide outstanding dentistry at affordable prices.
Are dental implants covered by my insurance?
As with many elective dental procedures, dental implant surgery is not typically covered by insurance providers. However, we offer special cash discounts and payment plans to help make the cost of treatment more affordable.
If you have more questions about the dental implant procedure, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Íñiguez, please contact our office today.