This page serves to help answer general questions about dental implants. They may not address your specific situation. At Longmont Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery we understand that everyone is unique and we are more than happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about your care. Please do not hesitate to call or ask us during your consultation.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants last a remarkably long time. Studies show that 95% of those who replaced one or several missing teeth with dental implants still have fully functional replacement teeth after more than 30 years. The rate is still good but slightly less, 80-90%, for those who replaced all their teeth. All that to say, you can definitely count on dental implants for a long time.
Will I have to go without teeth while the implants heal?
No, you do not. Several temporary options are available. Depending on your need, temporary removable teeth or a bridge can be custom made for you while you wait for your implants to heal. A complete denture may be necessary if all of your teeth are missing. Occasionally in special circumstances, like with the All-in-4 method, implants can be placed and secured during one visit. During your initial consultations, you and Dr. Kevin Andrus or Dr. Benjamin Howard can discuss your options.
When do I get my replacement teeth?
Before the replacement teeth are attached to the implants, the bone needs to be fully bonded to the titanium post and gum tissue healed around it. The length of time varies among individuals depending on health status, age and other factors. Drs. Howard and Andus can often give you a time frame of when you can expect to have your replacement teeth but for most, it will take several weeks, sometimes a few months. Several follow up visits will be made after your procedure to help determine when your mouth is ready to receive the teeth.
Are there complications with dental implant surgery?
As with any procedure that creates an opening the skin, or in this case the gums and other tissues, an infection can occur. In certain circumstances, antibiotics may be given to prevent infection but often they are reserved for only when an infection becomes evident. Special care is always taken to prevent infection by our surgeons here at Longmont Oral, Facial and Implant surgery during the procedure and special instructions will be given to you afterward to help reduce the risks.
Bleeding, swelling and some mild bruising are likely to occur immediately after the procedure, but guidelines will be given to know how much to expect depending on how much work you’ve had done. Pain is often minimal and usually controllable with over-the-counter pain medication. A prescription may be given if deemed necessary by Dr. Howard or Dr. Andrus.
Occasionally, the nerve that provides sensation to the lower lip and chin may be affected by all the work around it. It can become inflamed and irritated causing numbness and/or tingling in the chin, tongue, or lower lip. Often these changes in sensation are temporary but if they last longer than a few days, be sure to contact our Longmont office and we will be sure to address it right away.
Do I clean my new teeth differently?
No, not really. You can clean dental implant replacement teeth regularly with brushing and flossing just like you did your natural teeth (or maybe a little better to keep them all shiny and new like). Visit your dentist for routine cleaning as well. If you’ve had an implant-supported overdenture placed you’ll need to take additional care to clean out the area between the dental arch and the gum tissue. Removable arches may require adjustments over the years, be sure to let your dentist know if anything feels amiss or loose.
How much do dental implants cost?
Dental implants are not an inexpensive replacement teeth option. However, they have several cost-effective benefits and there are some important things to take into consideration when comparing the cost of dental implants to other replacement teeth options.
Some cost-worthy benefits of dental implants:
- Durability– A dental bridge or traditional removable dentures are less expensive initially but they will need to be replaced much, much sooner than dental implants (which could last upwards of 30 plus years). Cheaper options also require more frequent repairs and adjustments along with routine check-ups which can all add up over time.
- Preservation of bone health– Dental implants use a metal called titanium which works to preserve the health and strength of the bone underneath a missing tooth space, unlike dentures, bridges or other replacement options that only provide an “upper layer” solution. With time, if the bone underneath the replacement teeth is not stimulated, as it is with a dental implant, it will deteriorate, weaken and increase one’s risk for fracture and distortion of the facial structures, leading to potentially serious medical and cosmetic effects. All these things can lead to costly future repairs and surgeries.
- Improved quality of life– Not only are dental implants a long-term investment in your oral health, but they can also greatly improve the quality of your life. Since dental implants so closely resemble natural teeth in look, feel and function, you can eat and drink normally without worrying about things falling out, pain or other hassles that can come with other replacement options. Dental implants also look great and can enhance your smile, overall appearance and confidence.
As you can see, the benefits of dental implants for many are well worth the cost but at Longmont Oral, Facial and Implant Surgery we understand that cost is an important factor and will be more than happy to help you find the best cost-effective solution to you meet your needs.
Make an appointment today with Dr. Kevin Andrus or Dr. Benjamin Howard to hear what options are available for you. We will take the time to carefully discuss your needs and desired outcomes as well as the potential costs and benefits of each procedure. We will also assist in finding out if insurance or special financing through a third party such as Care Credit can help with the costs.