Dental Implants FAQ

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw bone. They replace the root structure of missing teeth, and after a period of healing and integration with the jaw bone (usually 3-4 months), fixtures such as a crown, bridge, or prosthesis can be attached to the implants. Implants are made out of medical-grade titanium.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?

People who have lost teeth, but are otherwise in good health are candidates for dental implants. Candidates for implants need to have healthy gums and sufficient jawbone density. Smokers must be willing to stop smoking after receiving dental implants to protect gum health.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

There are several advantages to dental implants:

  • They do not slip out of place, as dentures do
  • Because they are fixed in place, implants make chewing and talking more natural
  • Dental implants avoid the unnecessary removal of perfectly healthy teeth, which is sometimes required in order to use a bridge

Will my insurance cover implants?

Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not cover dental implants. However, because implants last longer than other solutions such as bridges or dentures, they are a more cost-effective choice.

Are dental implants painful?

The local anesthesia will prevent pain and discomfort during surgery. However, all oral surgery results in pain during recovery. This is normal, and your doctor will prescribe pain medication to ease your discomfort. Using over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen, will also help.

Will they look like real teeth?

Yes, dental implants look like real teeth.

How do dental implants differ from dentures or a bridge?

Dentures are replacements that can be taken out of the mouth and put back in. Although today’s dentures look as real as possible, they will never feel as natural as teeth. A bridge restores teeth to an area of the mouth that has no teeth by connecting to the teeth surrounding the area. Teeth must be filed down or removed when placing a bridge.

Dental implants, however, are fixed into your jaw and do not need to be removed. They also preserve the rest of the teeth in your mouth and function just like regular teeth.

How do I take care of my dental implants?

Care for your dental implants in the same way you would normal teeth—with regular brushing and flossing.

What is All on 4?

All on 4 replaces all of the teeth on the bottom or top jaw with only 4 dental implants.