Dental Implants FAQ
Dental implant surgery is a commitment of your time and money. It is understandable to have questions regarding the procedure. If you are considering tooth implants, take a moment to review our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. We hope these will guide and reassure you.
What types of prostheses are available with dental implants?
Dental implant placement is a team effort between our oral surgeons and your general or restorative dentist. Drs. Contino, Reed or Winokur perform the dental implant surgery, tooth extractions, and any necessary surgical procedures such as bone grafting and sinus lifts. Your general or restorative dentist designs, fits, and makes your permanent replacement teeth. They can also make a temporary prosthesis to wear while the jawbone heals after implant placement.
- A crown is a single prosthetic used to replace a single tooth. It attaches to an individual implant.
- A partial prosthesis or fixed bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only a few implants.
- A fixed bridge is a complete dental prosthesis replacing all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. A fixed bridge is not removable. There are various versions of fixed bridge restorations, including hybrid dentures and All-on-4, which places a complete arch of replacement teeth over just four implants to reduce the surgical impact.
- An overdenture is a removable prosthesis that uses a ball-and-socket or bar attachment to attach to the implants and hold them in place. You can remove an overdenture for cleaning.
The number of implants needed for a partial or full prosthesis varies depending on the number of teeth being replaced, the condition of the remaining teeth, and whether a fixed bridge or overdenture is used.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants, you realize there is a way to improve your life and restore your confidence. When you lose several teeth, whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years, chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself. Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence, comfort, and peace of mind.
Other types of restoration are available, including dentures and bridges, but they have limitations you do not have with tooth implants. Bridges require damaging the teeth on either side of a missing tooth or teeth to provide support to the bridge. Dentures can slip, shift, and click (often at inopportune times!) and must be removed daily. They are often uncomfortable and inconvenient when traveling or dining out, when food restrictions become a nuisance. Dental implants are not removable, do not damage any remaining teeth, and are as secure and beautiful as natural teeth.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
The best way to determine whether you are a candidate for dental implants is by having one of our oral surgeons examine your mouth, take x-rays, and review your medical and dental history. Some patients are good candidates but may need initial surgery, such as bone grafting, before the implants are placed.
Patients with cancer, osteoporosis, certain bleeding disorders, or autoimmune diseases may not be good candidates for implants. Heavy smokers and uncontrolled diabetics may also have difficulties, but we assess each patient individually to determine their suitability and the chances of success.
What type of anesthesia is used for implant surgery?
Most dental implants and bone grafts can be performed in the office under local anesthesia; however, sedation is also an option. If you suffer from dental anxiety, discuss this with your oral surgeon at your initial consultation, and we will be sure to use the appropriate anesthesia for your comfort.
How do I care for my dental implants?
You care for your implants as though they are your natural teeth. Brushing twice daily and flossing daily will help ensure your implants last. Regular dental checkups are also needed to ensure any potential problems are caught early.
How much do dental implants cost?
The cost of dental implants varies depending on several factors, including the surgery itself, how many implants are placed, whether bone grafting or sinus lifting is needed, the type of dental prosthesis, and your overall health. Our surgeons will provide an accurate price quote at your initial consultation.
Are dental implants safe?
Yes. The success rate of dental implants is over 95%. Most patients retain their implants for a lifetime. Most implants are either titanium or zirconia, which are biocompatible and safe. Implants also preserve the jawbone’s integrity, contributing to better oral health.
Dr. Contino, Dr. Reed and Dr. Winokur perform in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, optimizing safety and sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is available for patients with special medical or anesthetic needs or those needing extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip, or tibia.
Will my insurance cover my dental implants?
While many dental insurance providers consider dental implants cosmetic, this is changing. Some insurance companies cover part of the cost; others determine coverage on a case-by-case basis. Contact your insurance provider to determine whether you have coverage for dental implants. Questions to ask may include:
- Do I have coverage for dental implants?
- What percentage of the procedure is paid for?
- Do you cover the implant surgery, the prosthesis, or both?
- Will I need a referral before getting dental implants?
If you do not have coverage, we accept all major credit cards and CareCredit, an interest-free financing plan for medical procedures. Visit our Financial Policies page to learn more and apply for CareCredit.
We are always ready to answer your questions regarding dental implants. If you would like to learn more, contact our Naples office at WestShore OMS Naples Phone Number 239-263-7474 or our Bonita Springs office at WestShore OMS Bonita Springs Phone Number 239-992-9201 to schedule a consultation.