After Dental Implant Placement

What Can I Use For Teeth While The Implants Heal?

Many options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary denture. Depending on the particular situation, a few implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means a temporary replacement tooth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.

photo of smiling middle-aged couple with good teeth

What Are The Potential Problems?

Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience significant post-operative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible. Rarely, some people develop post-operative infections that require additional antibiotic treatment. Even though great care is taken to place the implant precisely, very rarely adjacent teeth are injured in the placement process. Also, there is a chance that the nerve in the lower jaw, which provides sensation to your lower lip and chin, may be affected. If you are missing quite a lot of bone, it might be difficult to place an implant without infringing on the nerve space. Although we take great care to avoid this nerve, it can be injured during the procedure, resulting in tingling, numbness or a complete lack of sensation in your lip, chin or tongue. Usually these altered sensations will resolve with time, but they can be permanent.

How Long Will The Implants Last?

Dental implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent.  This compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals, another implant usually can be placed.

When Are The Replacement Teeth Attached To The Implant?

The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your implant is firmly fused to the jaw bone. This depends on a variety of factors, but typically the restoration of the implant begins three months after placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.

After the implant has healed, there needs to be a connection between the implant and the tooth (whether it is a crown or a denture).  This connection is called an abutment. Two general types of abutments exist. Frequently, we can use an off the shelf (or pre-fabricated) abutment. Other times (especially for  anterior teeth), custom abutments made of titanium or a tooth-colored ceramic material must be used.  Which abutment to use is a decision that often cannot be made until after healing is complete.  The abutment is connected to the implant with a screw. 

After the abutment is in place, your dentist will make the crown or denture.  An impression will be made and sent to the lab.  Once it returns from the lab, the dentist places it on the abutment.

In general, once your implants are placed, you can expect your tooth replacement to be completed in about 4 months.

photo of younger couple with great smiles

Dental Implants

are the most technologically advanced and longest lasting tooth replacement option available. Restore your confidence… Smile, Eat and Enjoy!

How Do I Clean My New Teeth?

As with natural teeth, it is important that you clean dental implant restorations regularly with toothbrushes, floss and any other recommended aids. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for hygiene and maintenance. As with regular dentures and other tooth replacements, your implants and their associated components are subject to wear and tear and eventually may need repair, including relines, screw tightening, and other adjustments.

Will One Doctor Do Everything?

Usually, an oral surgeon places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures.  Your general dentist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth.  Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment.

How Much Does All Of This Cost?

Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the dental implants and making your replacement teeth. There is an initial charge for the diagnostic work-up, including study models, x-rays, and occasionally the fabrication of a surgical template. In addition you will be charged for the support post (abutment), as well as the crown, dentures, or anything else that will be placed over the implants, including temporary restorations.

With two different doctors involved in your treatment, you will be charged separately for their services.

We will assist you in estimating what your actual payments will be, after evaluating your insurance coverage or any other third party payments.