Posted .

implantsteethQ: How do I know if I am a candidate for dental implant treatment?

A: Almost everyone who is missing one or more teeth and is in general good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are few medical conditions that can undermine the success of implant treatment, such as uncontrolled diabetes, but few conditions would prevent keep someone implant treatment altogether.

Quality and quantity of available bone for implant placement is more often a factor in qualifying for dental implants than medical conditions. However, even people who have lost significant amount of bone can qualify for dental implant treatment with additional procedures to add bone or create new bone. Advances in this type of treatment have made it possible for thousands of patients who would not previously have been considered candidates to have successful implant procedures.

Q: How painful is the procedure to get dental implants?

A: Your decision to get dental implants will help you avoid a lot of pain and discomfort in the long term, but many patients fear short-term pain from the procedure. Luckily, most patients report that they feel very little, if any, pain during the procedure and don’t need any pain medications after treatments.

During the treatment, you can watch movies, listen to music, or relax in a contouring chair with optional massage pads. In many cases, the hi-tech Electronic Anesthesia and topical numbing preparations applied without needles is sufficient. To ensure you are comfortable after you leave our office, you’ll get a prescription for pain management if necessary.

Given the overall health benefits, you should not deny yourself proper treatment out of fear of pain. If you are especially anxious, fearful, phobic, or sensitive to pain, you have the option of doing the procedures with sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is simple. Before coming into the office, you take a small pill, which allows you to rest peacefully as we do our work. With this option, you will barely remember the procedure the next day, but get a ton of dental work done in just one visit.

Q: How long will it take to complete the treatment?

A: You will notice a difference almost immediately. However, the entire process can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months to complete. This depends on the type and quantity of implants you need, along with the quality of bone in which the implants are placed.  There are treatment options that are faster, such as dentures. However, these traditional methods do NOT prevent bone loss or give the type of natural look and feel like implants do.

Q: Will I need to have one implant placed for each missing tooth?

A: No. In fact, it is possible to replace all of the lower teeth with an over denture that is supported by only two to four implants. On the other hand, sometimes it might work in your advantage to replace each of your back teeth with an implant to provide additional strength.

Q: Am I too old for implants?

A: Great question. Your overall health and desire to improve your quality of life are more important than your age. We currently have patients up to the age of 73 and there have been reports of patients in their 90’s who have the procedure done with no problems.

 Q: How long do implants last?

A: Most research has shown that implants have a life expectancy of 30 years. However, our goal is to make them last a lifetime. This is a great improvement over dentures, which have a life expectancy of five years and bridges, which have an expected time of use up to 10 years.

Q: Do you offer a warrantee?

A: Yes. Even though dental implants have over a 95% success rate, there is still a very small chance that they won’t completely bond. When this occurs, new implants are placed and the success rates for the replacement implants are even higher. If we need to replace the implants, we work FREE until we get it right. The only thing you need to do is come in for your regular scheduled visits so that we can keep your gums and teeth healthy, which will prevent most problems.

Q: What is the cost of implant treatment?

A: The cost of implants can vary, depending upon your needs and desires. The best way to determine your estimated cost is by coming in for a consultation. This will allow us to assess your level of bone loss and the number of implants you’ll need. Getting implants is a significant decision. It’s not a one-time luxury expense but rather an investment in your health. A healthy mouth and beautiful smile will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

Anyway, dental Implants are admittedly not the least expensive option. If your primary concern is lowest possible investment, than dental implants are not for you.

If on the other hand, a reasonable investment and a fair price is important to you, but far more important is the best possible outcome, the least pain and discomfort, the most gentle care and highest degree of expertise and professionalism are even more important to you, then implants are for you. 

(Incidentally, a variety of payments plans are available. Of course, all major credit cards are accepted, so you can get your airline miles or reward points. Some patients report getting 5 days in a top resort with the reward points on their credit card. Expert assistance in obtaining reimbursements from your insurance provided free of charge.)