Dental Implant FAQs

I was told I’m not a good candidate for implants.

Many people have visited other implant practices and were told they are not a good candidate for dental implants.  Some of this could be based up your medical history, the doctor’s experience, or the corporate business model.  About 30% of the patients we see are second opinions!  We’ve seen it all and cared for it all.  This is the benefit of seeing an oral surgeon with decades of experience.  Our surgeon has restored the smiles of patients who had previously been told they can never have a dental implant.

What are Teeth-in-a-Day?

Teeth-In-A-Day is a term coined by a corporate dental center for a very specific procedure.  This procedure, also called All-On-4, was developed to help give patients with no teeth (edentulous), or with multiple failing teeth, the benefit of securing their dentures with dental implants.

We’ve been doing this procedure for patients since the early 2000s.  One way we differ from the corporate dental centers is that we recognize that every patient is unique.  We construct the treatment around you and your bite rather than a set business model.  The bonus is that we work as a team with YOUR dentist!

I’ve been missing my tooth for a long time.  Can I still get an implant?

The answer is in most cases is YES!  You can still have a dental implant!   There is however a chance that we may need to perform a bone graft to help reconstruct any bone loss that can happen when teeth have been missing for a long time.  The best way to find out is to come in for an exam.

I have been told that implants are expensive.

Although dental implants could cost more out of pocket up front, in the long-term, dental implant can actually be less expensive than a 3 crown bridge.  A bridge is essentially crowns stuck together.  Your dentist will prep the anchor teeth by shaving down the enamel (exposing the soft layer of dentin) and gluing the bridge onto the prepped teeth.  The cost of the bridge is your dentist’s time to prepare the teeth and for the bridge itself.  The American Dental Association and most insurance carriers consider the lifespan of a bridge to be 10 years as compared to a dental implant which could last the lifetime of the patient.

Example:

Estimated cost to replace one lower back molar with a dental implant:  $3,900

Estimated cost to replace one lower back molar with a 3 crown bridge: $6,000

Because the implant requires a strong bony foundation, there are always circumstances in which the implant could exceed the cost listed above.  When making a decision it’s important to think long-term and understand the pros and cons of all your replacement options.

Cost of dental implants

Why dental implants

I saw an ad for inexpensive implants.

You truly get what you pay for!  Many of the ads that you see on billboards, buses, or in newspapers are simply marketing tactics to lure patients in with no promises that the advertised ad is the price you will actually pay.  When seeing a doctor about dental implant treatment interview them!  Here are a few questions to ask:

·         How long have you been placing dental implants

·         How many implants do you place a year?

·         How many failures do you have?

·         How would you deal with a complication?

I had a friend whose body rejected the implant.  Could this happen to me?

Rejection is not likely.  This was a more common 30 years ago when implants were new.  Failures can happen, though.  If an implant is going to fail, it’s more likely it will fail within the bone mending phase (during osseointegration).  Here are some reasons an implant could fail:

·         Overall Patient Health and Medications

·         Patient Hygiene

·         Quality of Bone

·         Patient Bite

·         Implant Positioning in the Bone

·         The Use of Third-Party Components

Does it hurt to get a dental implant?

Dental implant placement is about the least uncomfortable procedure we do in our practice.  The majority of our patients report that they only needed to use over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the minimal post-operative soreness.

Why is guided surgery important?

Guided surgery is far more accurate than the more common free-hand technique.  Guided surgery helps ensure that the implant is placed in the optimal location and angle for aesthetics and function.  This creates a more predicable restorative process and can help in the long-term health of the implant.  Regardless if the site received a bone graft, the area where natural tooth roots were (socket) has a tendency to alter the trajectory of the implant.  This discrepancy can create a difficult and less than ideal restorative outcome, or even failure of the implant. 

If you have more questions regarding dental implants I would be happy to set up an appointment to chat!  Please give me a call: 510-526-8000.

Although I may have the answers to many of your questions, I do, however, understand the need to do your own research!  Another resource to check out: www.thedentalimlantguide.org.  This is non-profit public health site that is focused on delivering the most comprehensive, unbiased, and accurate information about dental implants and implant treatment.