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A Dentist’s Answers to Common Questions About Dental Implants

When you’re considering undergoing a significant procedure like dental implants, getting a professional opinion is always a good idea. So, we asked our very own Dr. Ford some of the most common questions we get about dental implants in order to share a real, certified dentist’s thoughts on the matter. 

1. What are some of the most common reasons your patients have opted for dental implants over the years?

“Implants are simply the best option compared to bridges or dentures. They look and feel most like your natural teeth, have the best long-term success rate, and are the only option that help maintain the bone and prevent bone loss. They also don’t require any work to the neighboring teeth.” 

2. What's something patients are surprised to learn during an initial implant consult?

“How long it can take from start to finish. If we are starting with extracting a tooth, we typically need to remove the tooth and place a bone graft to prepare the site for the future implant — that has to heal for 3-4 months before the implant is placed. 

After the implant is placed, that then has to heal for 3-4 months before we put the crown on. It takes 1 month for the lab to make the abutment and crown.

Overall, it can take 7-9 months before there is a replacement tooth in place. However, we do use some type of temporary tooth to fill the space until the implant crown is ready.”

3. What advice would you give to someone who needs dental implants but is worried about the cost?

“Have a consultation with a dentist who is well-versed in the use of implants. Every situation is different, so the cost can vary greatly depending on the amount and type of implants used.

The good news is that the cost is spread out over time as the different procedures are done. Most insurance companies cover at least some of the cost, and there are financial options available such as Care Credit, which allows patients to make payments over time.”

4. How long does it usually take to fully heal from a dental implant procedure?

“The discomfort from implant placement is typically minimal. The healing time varies with the type and amount of implants placed. For a single implant, the patient is eating normally within a day or two.”

5. How do dental implants compare to other common procedures, like getting your wisdom teeth removed?

“Placing the actual implant is usually easier than removing the natural tooth.  It is much less traumatic than removing wisdom teeth!”

6. What advice would you offer to a patient who needs dental implants but is nervous about undergoing the procedure?

“Have a conversation with your dentist. Having a good understanding of what is going to happen is the best way to relieve anxiety about the procedure.
 
You should be completely numb and comfortable throughout the procedure. If you are still too anxious to proceed, talk to your dentist about options for sedation.  There are a variety of methods available from taking an anti-anxiety medication (a pill) to IV sedation. Your dentist can help you decide which option is best for you.”

Whether you’re considering implants or another type of dental procedure, seeking advice and answers to your questions from a professional dentist is always a good idea. If you have any other questions that weren’t covered in this post, feel free to get in touch with us or request an appointment to learn more. 

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