Dental implants are a very reliable source for effective tooth replacement. Whether you have lost one tooth or many, implants can provide a permanent solution that looks and functions normally.
Dental implants are special posts made of titanium alloy that are surgically placed into the jawbone. This can be done to replace individual missing teeth and partial dentures or to support full all-on-4 implants. These posts act as an artificial root for a crown when they are used to replace individual teeth. Dental implants stabilize bone levels and can prevent bone loss, resulting in better long-term support, function, and aesthetics.
Dental implants require less adjustment or shaving of surrounding teeth compared to other restoration methods such as dental bridges. They are more flexible and provide a more natural feeling than dental bridges, partial dentures, or full dentures.
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How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
At Orange Grove Family Dentistry, we provide high-quality affordable dental care so our patients can always receive the treatment they need. The cost of dental implants can vary based on the materials used, insurance coverage, and other factors such as whether bone grafts are required. Our office is always happy to provide you with estimates on the cost of a procedure after your initial consultation. We like to go over all possibilities so our patients will know the worst case scenario and then scale back so there are no surprises.
We know many patients are concerned about cost, payment plan options, and insurance coverage when considering dental implants. Our staff is happy to work through these concerns with you so you can get the care you need. Many patients without insurance join our Dental Savings Plan to reduce the cost of their procedures.
Dental Implant Process at
Orange Grove Family Dentistry
- Consultation & Exam. To decide if dental implants are the right restoration method for you we will conduct a full exam, which will include the taking of a 3D scan for placement planning, discuss your surgical guide for placement and your overall treatment options.
- Tooth Extraction & Bone Grafting. If any teeth require extraction, the procedure will be scheduled once a treatment plan is established. This will also require some recovery time to ensure the site is ready for the implant procedure. Any bone grafting necessary to support the implant will then take place which will require at least a few months to heal.
- Implant placement. Once the site is ready the implantation can take place. The implant will be placed into the jawbone and a healing cap will be placed over the implant. This is followed by regular check-ups to ensure proper healing.
- Implant healing. After your implant is placed, osseointegration begins. During this, your jawbone heals around the dental implant providing a solid base for your new artificial tooth. This process takes approximately 3 months.
- Abutment & Crown Placement. Once healing is complete the abutment or connecting piece, and replacement tooth, or crown, can be placed.
Are there any aftercare instructions for dental implants?
Immediately after dental implant placement, you should be careful not to disturb the placement site. This means no chewing near the implant. It also requires very careful cleaning for several weeks to a month after placement. The dental implant takes several months to fuse to the jaw so the fewer disturbances during that period the better. If you have a temporary denture to replace your missing dentition, the denture must not rub on the surgical site.
After implantation, and extraction or grafting if required, you may experience typical discomforts associated with any oral surgery. These can include swelling, pain at the site, and minor bleeding. Below are some specific recommendations for the first 2 weeks after any procedure during this process to ensure proper healing and recovery.
Pain Management. Ibuprofen reduces pain and swelling and is highly recommended after surgery.
Oral Hygiene. Gentle brushing is important to keep the recovering area clean and to avoid irritation from overly aggressive brushing. Warm salt water rinses can also help keep the area clean and reduce pain and swelling.
Minor Bleeding. After oral surgeries, it’s common to have a small amount of blood in your saliva for a day or two. Gently biting on a gauze pad for 30 minutes can help with this. If bleeding continues for more than a few days, contact our office.
Swelling. Besides ibuprofen and saltwater rinses, periodically using an ice pack on the cheek near the affected area can help.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants themselves are meant to last a lifetime. The post itself will fuse with your jawbone and should never require replacement or further intervention unless rare complications occur. Dental crowns, or the artificial tooth itself, that is attached to the dental implant can have a lifetime of between 10 and 30 years. Dental crowns require the same care as normal teeth. With twice-a-day brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups the lifespan of your crown can be greatly increased.
Dental implants are a very safe and effective type of restoration dentistry. However, there is a small chance that the dental implant will fail to integrate with the jawbone in the short term period after implantation and need to be removed. Certain medical conditions can put you at a higher risk for implant failure. As with any surgery, there is a potential risk of surgical complications when placing a dental implant.
Are dental implants painful?
The most painful part of the dental implant process is extracting any teeth that implanted crowns will replace. However, any extraction will include anesthesia meaning little to no pain during the procedure and only a few days of recovery. Any pain experienced during recovery should also be manageable using over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen.
How do I know if I need a bone graft?
If you have insufficient bone to support an implant a bone graft may be necessary. The only way to know for sure that you need a dental bone graft is to be examined by your dental implant specialist. However, if you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth and have gone without replacement for some time the chances of needing a bone graft are higher. Missing teeth lead to gradual bone loss over time. Similarly, if you have noticed a change in your jaw shape over time that can also be indicative of oral bone loss.