Implants FAQ

October 18, 2018 by Dr. Bryant Irawan
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What are dental implants?

Dental implants are meant to replace a missing tooth and typically consist of 3 parts. The implant screw itself which sits at bone level. An abutment that inserts into the screw and sticks out which gives the third part, a crown, a place to sit. The crown is the part that actually resembles a tooth.

Are dental implants made equal? Are advertisements for $399 implants legitimate?

No implants vary widely in quality and results! The implant screw of a dental implant is the most intricate part. Implants only succeed when the screw can integrate with your existing bone. Millions of dollars have been poured in to innovate better coatings and screw designs to achieve this purpose. We only use Swiss-made implants that have been proven time and time again on thousands of cases to be effective. There are implants from China that are as low as 33% of the price. If we knew they work, we would have no problem using them as we always try to bring value for our patients…but they don’t.

In terms of the legitimacy of advertisements, we get this question frequently. While we cannot comment on advertisements from other clinics, just be sure to do your own research and determine if you think it is reasonable a clinic offers something 5x cheaper than others. Additionally, some of our patients that initially tried going to clinics with said advertisements realized that the $399 price does not include a $1300 crown, a $300 exam, a $500 CBCT x-ray, a $500 surgical guide, and other fees.

Can dental implants replace more than one tooth?

In some situations, a dental bridge might also be implanted. A dental bridge implant involves fewer posts and more crowns. For example, three crowns may share two posts, but the crown itself would be a single piece that contained three teeth. We will have to examine your medical history as well as your dental situation to see if this is appropriate for you.

Are dental implants permanent?

Yes and no. Our implants are meant to be permanent, but just like natural teeth, abuse or negligence will cause failure. That means flossing and brushing after every meal. Infection and poor oral health can cause serious problems such as bone loss around the implant and infections. How permanent your dental implants are is almost entirely up to how well you care for them.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

The primary benefit is that they offer a permanent replacement option for missing teeth. In the past, the only option that a person had for teeth replacement was either a denture or a bridge, both of which would compromise the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth.

Will people know I have an implant?

The same technicians that design crowns on existing teeth are the same technicians that design crowns for implants. They are meant to be as realistic as possible and we only work with labs that use the newest and most esthetic dental materials out in the market. In the picture above, guess which tooth is the implant. It’s pretty hard to tell.

How long do implants take?

It depends. Sometimes an implant screw and abutment can be immediately placed on the same day as an extraction of an unrestorable tooth. Sometimes, a temporary crown can even be placed on the abutment on the same day as well. It all depends on many factors ranging from your medical history to your bite forces. The standard is 3 months after your extraction, an implant screw is placed. An abutment with a temporary crown may or may not be placed on this day. If it is determined it is best to only place the screw, we would wait another 3 months to place the abutment and temporary crown. After a temporary crown is placed, our labs will typically give us a permanent crown in 1 or 2 weeks. Longer wait times may be necessary to give enough time for the implant to integrate with your existing bone and for gums to heal.

Who will do the surgery?

We have an in-house oral surgeon/periodontist who comes in once a month to place our implants so we can keep everything in-house for better communication and patient care. We also work with the best oral surgeons in the area if that does not work with your schedule. Dr. Irawan will then restore the implant with a crown.

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