Dental Implant FAQ

Is the surgery to place a dental implant painful?

No.  The procedure is performed under local anesthetic, just like a filling.  Once the anesthesia takes effect, you should feel no pain.

When the anesthetic wears off, what then?

Since there are no open wounds with implant surgery, the healing is relatively quick and without problem.  You may experience some minor discomfort, which can be alleviated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen in prescription strength.

How long is the surgery?

It depends on the number and location of the implants.  Simple, uncomplicated, single implant usually takes about an hour.

Will I be able to eat after implant surgery?

It is important to avoid exposing any surgical site to food, if possible.  Usually a diet of soft but nutritious foods and good hydration is recommended.  Your dentist will offer you a diet plan and instructions.

How long will it take to heal and to make the replacement teeth (crowns)?

Usually it will take between two and nine months to be completely healed, depending on your treatment plan and the extent of the work.  After the implants are healed and fused to the bone, the tooth replacements are fabricated and attached.

How long do the implants last?

Once the implant is fused into the bone and is fully functional, it will last for many years, if properly cared for.  Many implants have been in place for more than 40 years.

Can my body reject the implant? If so, what then?

If you are allergic to titanium, which is extremely rare, the implant can be rejected.  Occasionally the implant does not fuse to the bone either because of an infection, or because it develops a capsule of fibrous tissue.  If that happens, the implant is removed and the area is allowed to fully heal.  Then the dentist will implant another post.

Are dental implants expensive?

The cost of dental implants are a little higher than a fixed bridgework, but because dental implants last so much longer, they are more cost effective in the long run.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

At this point in time, insurers consider dental implants an elective procedure and will not be covered if there is an alternative that is less expensive.  As implants become more commonplace, some insurance companies are covering the cost of this procedure.  It is best to check with your carrier to be sure.  Most dentists offer payment plans to be sure you get the best treatment available to replace missing teeth, regardless of your coverage.

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