Good candidates for dental implants are those with good oral health and adequate bone in the jaw to support the implants. Ideal candidates don’t smoke or have chronic illnesses that could interfere with healing after surgery. The dentist will do scans and evaluations to determine if a patient has enough bone density and volume for dental implants.
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Studies show over 95 percent of implants successfully integrate and remain functionally stable for over 10 years. As technology continues to advance, implants placed correctly and cared for properly may never need replacement.
Getting dental implants requires oral surgery, however, it is typically not very painful with local anesthesia. There may be some swelling and soreness that is manageable with over-the-counter pain medication in the days following the procedure. Your dentist will evaluate your pain tolerance before numbing the area sufficiently during surgery.
The recovery time after getting dental implants is typically a few days up to two weeks depending on whether bone grafting is required at the time of surgery and how quickly you heal. Most patients can resume light activity after just two to three days and return to work within a week. Complete healing typically takes eight to 12 weeks.
Yes, implants can get infected if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. Bacteria can build up around the implant which could lead to peri-implant disease. Make sure to brush and floss around implants daily. See your dentist regularly to have implants professionally cleaned to detect and treat any infections early.
In most cases, dental implants are comfortable and feel natural like your own teeth once the site has fully healed and the replacement teeth are in place. The crown and bridge look and function similarly to natural teeth. As the bone integrates with the implant, it anchors securely to provide a strong foundation for replacement teeth.
No, dental implants don’t damage healthy teeth, as they fuse directly to the jawbone without affecting neighboring teeth. Implants are anchored into the bone so they don’t rely on adjacent teeth for support. The crown attached to the implant matches the color, shape, and contour of your natural teeth.
Proper brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings are important for caring for implants. Some additional care, like using interdental brushes may be recommended depending on the type of implant and how tightly replacement teeth fit together. Your dentist will give you customized home care instructions.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, floss, and interdental brushes to clean around the implants, avoiding aggressive scrubbing. Don’t use harder bristled brushes or abrasive toothpaste which could wear down the surfaces. Your dentist can demonstrate proper technique for keeping implants plaque-free at home.
Yes, regular dental visits are still essential for professional cleanings and monitoring of your implants and oral health even after getting implants. Your dentist needs to check that your bite and alignment are correct, screen for signs of peri-implant disease, and keep implants clean above and below the gumlines.
After the initial adjustment period while healing and getting used to implants, they shouldn’t affect your speech at all. Well-integrated implants that firmly fuse with the jawbone provide a stable foundation for natural chewing and speaking ability once crowns/bridges are placed. With time, any differences fade.
In a very small percentage of cases, the jaw bone fails to fuse with the dental implant in a process called osseointegration. This may be due to infection, mechanical issues with the implant itself, or poor bone density at the site. If this happens, it requires starting over with a new implant after sufficient healing time.
Implant-supported dentures, or partial dentures, are a great solution combining the stability of implants with the convenience of removable dentures that can still be taken out. The implants provide anchoring to hold the denture securely in place while still allowing easy removal for cleaning and sleep.
The cost for dental implant treatment ranges depending on the location and condition of the jawbone and whether other procedures are simultaneously performed, like bone grafts or extractions. Many dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of the implant post itself.
The screw surgically implanted into the jaw bone is made from titanium. The abutment and dental crown attached to the implant post can be porcelain fused to metal, all-porcelain, or zirconia depending on esthetic requirements. Porcelain and zirconia mimic natural tooth appearance.
A dentist can evaluate if you have enough healthy bone mass and density through X-rays, CT scans, or clinical examination to determine if implants can be successfully placed and integrated into your jaw. They also consider your oral hygiene and general health to determine candidacy.
Yes, several implant posts can be fused to support a full-arch bridge to replace multiple missing teeth. The number that can be done depends on the available bone at the site, which differs across individuals. Several assessments help determine how many teeth you can replace.
Dental experts recommend waiting at least eight to 12 weeks after tooth extraction for adequate healing of the bone before attempting implant placement in the extraction site. This allows new bone to fill in the space providing a solid foundation for the implant to integrate with.
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