What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw ridge to support a crown, bridge or denture.Who should you see for dental implants?
Oral and Maxillofacial surgeons have the most training and can handle simple cases or the most difficult cases in which the missing bone needs to be reconstructed. We have the most experience with anesthesia, bone grafting, sinus lifting, and handling patients with compromised medical conditions.Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Anyone who is in reasonable health and wishes to replace missing teeth is a candidate for dental implants. An implant is only as strong as the surrounding bone. However, even with compromised bone, it is now possible to graft the site to achieve a strong implant and a beautiful smile.How long does the implant process take?
It depends on the difficulty of the case. The steps involved for a dental implant are: tooth extraction, possible bone grafting, placement of dental implant, second stage and final restoration. Depending on the difficulty of the case, the implant process can take anywhere from 4 months to 10 months. The dental implant process should not be rushed! We want the implants to last many, many years.What is an immediate dental implant and immediate loading?
In some cases, a implant can be placed at the same time as the extraction of the tooth. This can only be done if there is no active infection, and there is adequate bone around the socket to strongly support the implant. In some cases a temporary crown or bridge can be placed at the same appointment. The i-CAT is very useful to determine the quality of bone around the potential implant site.What is the success rate for dental implants?
Many studies have shown the success rate of dental implants to be between 93 to 97% at the 5-year mark. Success rate is dependent on the surgeon’s skill, quality of the patient’s bone, frequency of follow-up, and the patient’s oral hygiene. Dr. Lem always uses sterile technique for all bone grafting and dental implant procedures. Just like hospital-based procedures, this means that all possible measures are taken to prevent infection at the surgical site.How long do dental implants last?
If the patient has ideal bone and gums, meticulous hygiene, and consistent follow-up, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. Factors that may adversely affect implants are diabetes, smoking, radiation treatment for cancer, poor follow-up, or poor hygiene and certain prescription drugs.Does it hurt to get a dental implant?
Nobody likes the novocaine shots. Topical gel can improve this step. After the area is numb from the novocaine, most patients only feel minor vibration. They do not describe the procedure as painful. Most patients only take Advil when they get home after the procedure. There is less discomfort than a typical tooth extraction.Can I go to sleep for my dental implant?
Yes. Oral surgeons routinely offer general anesthesia to their patients. For patients who have had a “bad” dental appointment in the past, this will reduce much of the fear and anxiety about dental surgery. The new anesthesia medicines are very safe, and patients can have a comfortable nap while the work is being done.Do I have to go without my denture or flipper after getting dental implants?
Dr. Lem generally advises patients with full dentures to go without them for a period of one week, sometimes longer if a bone graft was placed. For patients missing one or two front teeth, a temporary denture is worn right after surgery. If a bone graft was performed, the prosthesis should be out for a few days for the gums to close properly.Do I have to see another dentist to have my implants restored?
Your general dentist should be able to restore the implants. If your referring dentist does not restore the dental implants, they can be restored in Dr. Lem’s office.Do I need one implant for each missing tooth?
Perhaps not. If the patient has suitable bone, a large bridge can be supported with fewer implants than crowns. For instance, a three-unit bridge can be supported with two implants if the bone is suitable. It is rare that a patient will ever need more than eight dental implants in each jaw. Dr. Lem is committed to cost effective treatment for his patients. Beware of over treatment plans.What is the cost for dental implants?
The cost of dental implants varies on a case-by-case basis depending on the difficulty of the case. Please contact our office so we can help to determine the best treatment plan for you.