Dental Implants: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws that are inserted into the jawbone. A prosthetic crown is then attached to the implant screw via a connecting piece known as an “abutment”. Because titanium fuses with bone (a process known as “osseointegration”), dental implants offer the most stability among all of the tooth replacement methods. They also keep the jawbone healthy, and have no eating restrictions.
How much do dental implants cost?
While the cost of dental implants may initially seem expensive, it is important to see them as an investment in your health and lifestyle. In the long term, dental implants typically cost less than bridges. It is also important to keep in mind that alternatives such as dentures and dental bridges require replacement every few years, while dental implants can be with you for a lifetime.
Why are dental implants important?
Dental implants improve patient quality of life and overall health, and they also protect the jawbone, which requires regular stimulation, to prevent atrophy.
How painful is a dental implant procedure?
Once the area is numb the dental implant surgery is painless. You can opt for additional sedation as needed to help you feel relaxed. A single tooth implant surgery itself takes about 30 minutes to complete. Most of our patients immediately return to their normal routine. Following surgery, you may have some mild soreness for a few days but this is typically controlled with over-the-counter pain medications.
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When can I return to work?
Most patients can return to work the same day as the dental implant surgery.
How long does the process take?
Typically, our patients can have their dentist begin the crown in 2 to 4 months. While you are waiting for the various processes to occur, you may have a temporary replacement made for your convenience.
Do I have to have bone grafting?
Patients with insufficient jawbone mass will need to undergo bone grafting – a simple and very common oral surgery procedure that involves the introduction of bone graft material into the tooth site to encourage the body to produce new bone in the area. It typically takes a few months for the body to build new bone and this can often be done at the same visit as your implant surgery. For patients with severe bone loss the grafting is done before the implant surgery.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants can last a lifetime. Simply care for them as you would your natural teeth with regular brushing, flossing and professional cleanings.
Does dental insurance cover implants?
Unfortunately, dental insurance companies may still consider dental implants to be “elective” and therefore deny coverage. We have a variety of financing options to help patients who are interested in dental implants but are unsure if they can afford it. Please reach out to our dental implant coordinators by calling NJ Center for Oral Surgery Phone Number 973-226-8444 for more information.
What if I am missing a lot of teeth?
For patients who are missing an entire row of teeth (or close to that), we offer full arch replacements, also known as implant-supported dentures. During this procedure, a full denture is attached to just four to six implants that are placed in the jaw. It is a wonderful aesthetic and functional solution for patients, many of whom are able to go home the same day as surgery with their teeth attached!