Dental Implants FAQs
Patients often come to our practice with many questions about how dental implants can be used to renew their smile. We pride ourselves on patient education, and we believe it is important to be well-informed before you make the decision to undergo dental implant surgery. Dr. Jeffrey J. Emmi, Dr. Laura Dougherty, Dr. Jeff Bartoshesky and our entire dental team strive to answer dental implant FAQs in order to provide patients of our Wilmington, DE, practice with peace of mind and confidence. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and learn more.
What Types of Implants Do You Offer?
We offer traditional dental implants. Traditional implants are larger in diameter than mini implants. Traditional implants feature a screw-like mechanism at the end while mini implants have a ball-shaped end. Traditional implants require a greater amount of dense jaw bone. We will carefully assess your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine which type of implant and custom restoration is the best option for you.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Your candidacy for dental implants will partly depend on the type of dental implant you receive. Both types of implants require that you are in good overall health, but traditional implants especially require that you have an adequate amount and density of jaw bone. If you have experienced some atrophy due to long-term tooth loss, you may require bone grafting prior to receiving traditional implants.
Patients who smoke, have diabetes, or other conditions that compromise healing may not be good candidates for dental implants, since they have a higher risk of implant failure. If there are periodontal concerns, your dentist may recommend periodontal treatment prior to moving forward with the implant placement procedure. Your dentist will conduct a thorough medical evaluation to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure.
What is Bone Grafting?
Bone grafting is often performed prior to dental implant surgery in order to strengthen the jaw bone, which can atrophy in the absence of tooth roots. Patients who have been missing teeth for a significant time may require bone grafting. During the procedure, your doctor will either use bone from another area of your body, bone from a donor, or synthetic bone and transplant it to the affected area. Your doctor will make incisions in your gum tissue and then lift the tissue to expose the jaw bone. The supplementary bone material will be placed, and then your doctor will suture the soft tissue back into place. As your incisions heal, the bone graft will naturally fuse with your jaw bone. The healing process varies from patient to patient, but it may take several months before you can undergo implant surgery.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants is influenced by several factors. If you require preparatory procedures, such as bone grafting or periodontal treatment, this will increase the overall cost of your care. The type of implants, as well as the number of implants will influence the price. We will take all the time necessary to discuss the various factors that will influence the cost of dental implants in your unique case.
Will My Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Insurance coverage of dental implants varies. Some insurance plans cover part or all of the cost of dental implant surgery and the accompanying prostheses, while other plans do not. We accept a variety of financing options, including CareCredit℠ and Medicaid, to help you pay for your care.
How Long Will Dental Implants Last?
Made of durable titanium, dental implants often last for a lifetime. You can prolong the life of your dental implants by practicing good daily hygiene habits and undergoing regular exams. In the event that your restoration wears down and needs to be replaced, this will not require any further surgical procedures.
Are There Risks Associated with Dental Implants?
A major risk associated with dental implants includes implant failure. Patients who smoke or have diabetes are at a higher risk of implant failure. Other risk factors for implant failure include untreated osteoporosis, significant alcohol consumption, and a large amount of radiation exposure to the head and neck.
Other risks associated with dental implants include infection as well nerve damage, which could result in pain, tingling, and numbness for an extended period of time. Damage to other teeth, blood vessels, and surrounding tissues is also possible, but all of these risks can be minimized by selecting a reputable surgeon with expertise in the placement of dental implants. It is very important that your doctor place your implants properly, which makes thorough pre-planning a must. Prior to the procedure, your doctor will take x-rays and 3-D images, which will help guide precisely where and how your dental implants are placed.
Can a Dental Implant Be Placed on the Same Day as an Extraction?
In some cases, your dental team can both extract your tooth and replace it with an implant in the same visit. However, this depends on the strength of your jaw bone and the overall health of the affected area. Placing the dental implant on the same day as extraction can help prevent bone loss, but it is important to select a highly-trained professional to determine if this is the best option for you.
How Do Implant-supported Dentures Compare to Traditional Dentures?
Implant-supported dentures offer several advantages over traditional dentures, which adhere to the gums using adhesive. Implant-supported dentures are more durable, so patients do not have to worry about their prostheses slipping out of place or shifting. This makes activities like speaking, chewing, eating, and smiling less stressful and more enjoyable. Implant-supported dentures also help prevent bone atrophy, which can occur when the jaw no longer receives stimulation from tooth roots. Traditional dentures do not prevent this effect, so your jaw bone continues to shrink over time. A shrinking jaw bone may require more frequent adjustments of your dentures in order to accommodate for the gradual loss of bone and soft tissue.
What Does Recovery from Dental Implant Placement Involve?
Recovery following dental implant surgery usually involves temporary soreness, bruising, and swelling. While the most uncomfortable side effects usually wear off after one or two weeks, patients will have to make certain long-term adjustments. Osseointegration, the fusion of the implants with the surrounding bone tissue, usually takes several months. Patients are advised to avoid certain chewy or hard foods during recovery. Patients must also be diligent about oral hygiene, including twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, to prevent gum disease, which could compromise your oral health.
How Can I Learn More?
At Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates, we are committed to guiding our patients through each step of their decision to receive dental implants. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists. During your consultation, we will take all the time necessary to answer any questions you may have about the restoration process and how it can revitalize your smile.