Discover the answers to frequently asked questions about the dental implant process with Dr. Barry Brace.
For the most part, no. When your implant is placed, you will be provided with an anesthetic, which will ensure that you feel no pain during your surgery. Afterward, it is not unusual to experience soreness in the jaw in the first couple of weeks following your implant’s placement. Depending on your situation, you may be prescribed a pain-killer, otherwise, over-the-counter medications should suffice.
This depends on the piece, as there are three main parts that make up a dental implant. The first is the implant fixture, which takes the place of the missing tooth root. This piece is always made from titanium, as this material is biocompatible, allowing the piece to properly fuse to your jawbone. The next piece, the abutment, can be made from a variety of materials, though some implant providers choose to use titanium in order to match it to the fixture. The restoration is usually made from porcelain, though cubic zirconia is rising in popularity.
How much time your implant placement takes depends on whether or not you will have a supplemental procedure performed in the same visit. If your supplemental procedures are performed in advance, you can expect an hour to two hours for your implant fixture placement.
In some circumstances, insurance will cover at least a portion of the implant treatment, but this largely depends on how the tooth was lost. You’ll want to discuss treatment options with your insurance provider in order to find out how much, if any, of the treatment is covered.
Generally, it is recommended that patients rest for a day or two immediately following their implant surgery. That said, after those days of rest, you will be completely free to travel or fly. It is recommended that you let your implant provider know about your vacation so that they can schedule your check-ups and next steps accordingly.
Unfortunately, no. The reason for this is that the jawbone of a child is in a constant state of growth – until about the age of 21. If an implant were placed in a still growing jawbone, it could become misaligned over time. Until the patient’s jawbone has finished growing, they will be unable to receive dental implants.
To be allowed to place dental implants, the dentist must receive training in the process. That said, in-depth training is not strictly required, which is why it is on the patient to research their potential implant provider in order to determine how much experience and training they have in the procedure.
The healing period following dental implant placement lasts for about 3 – 6 months. This time is required for the process of osseointegration to proceed. It is this process that allows the implant fixture to fuse with the jawbone, and its success is a requirement in order for the treatment to work properly.
It is not required for patients to be put to sleep before having their dental implants placed. By using a local anesthetic, this step is not necessary. If your implant provider provides sedation dentistry, then you may be able to request this if you think it will better help you through the process.
After your implant fixture is placed, you will want to stick to foods that are soft while you wait for it to heal. Foods that are hard or chewy can upset the implant fixture, preventing it from properly healing. Some foods you should include are soft soups, yogurt, and soft or melted cheeses.
This largely depends on what type of anesthesia or sedation you receive during the duration of your implant’s placement. For a local anesthetic, you will be fine to drive yourself following your procedure. But if you have a general sedative administered, then you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
Yes, it is possible to restore multiple missing teeth with dental implants. The most common implant treatments used for patients with multiple missing teeth are implant-supported dental bridges and overdentures.
How long the actual implant portion of the treatment last largely depends on the patient. With the right care and support, meaning proper cleaning and dentist check-ups, a dental implant can last the rest of the patient’s life. The restoration portion of the treatment typically last 7 – 10 years before needing to be replaced.
For patients with gum disease, we will need to clear the condition out before they will be able to move forward with implant treatment. The reason for this is that the condition can interfere with the jawbones ability to heal around the titanium implant fixture, causing the treatment’s failure.
According to the Dental Implant Guide, a website hosted by the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness, the long-term success rate of treatment with dental implants is 95%. This means that your dental implants have a 95% chance of lasting over 40 years, making them the longest lasting tooth replacement treatment currently available.
Caring for a dental implant is actually very simple. In fact, you will care for them just as you would your natural teeth. Simply be sure to brush them twice per day, and floss once per day. This care, as well as attending your bi-yearly cleanings and checkups is all that is required to keep your implant in tip top shape.
Dr. Barry Brace
469 S Kirkwood Rd
St. Louis, MO
Monday: 7:30am - 7:30pm
Tuesday: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am - 7:30pm
Thursday: 7:30am - 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 1:00pm