Dental Implants FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

How long will implant treatment take?

The time frame for implant therapy varies depending on the extent of treatment. Traditional thinking would be that care will take somewhere between 3 and 6 months. However, the media is full of claims of immediate implant treatment: “teeth in a day”. Yes, this can be done in certain circumstances, but it does not set the standard for healing in most cases. Many issues come into play when answering this question. Placing a tooth on an implant too soon is no different than walking on a broken leg too soon. The bone cells must have time to react to the surgical stimulus and respond appropriately. So the final answer is that it depends on the circumstances, human biology and the patient’s health. All cases are not the same.

How long does it take to place an implant?

Most single implants can be placed in an hour or less time, provided that the preliminary planning has been accomplished.

Will there be pain associated with the implant placement?

Most surgical procedures will cause some surgical stimulus or pain. Our patients would tell you that they sometimes take nothing more than aspirin, ibuprofen or Tylenol to relieve discomfort. We do provide post-operative analgesics for those patients that require more pain coverage. Our goal is to provide a stress-free, low-pain experience.

Do you provide the entire treatment experience? I do not want to go to a second clinician.

In most cases, our clinic does not provide the entire implant care package. We work with your dentist or other experienced specialist to give you the best restorative outcome. We call this the “team concept” and feel that it is the best long-term approach for you and your family. What we do is a specialty and so is the treatment provided by your dentist.

Do I need to go to asleep to have an implant placed?

In most cases, general anesthesia or IV sedation is not necessary for safe, effective implant placement. Good local anesthesia is all that is necessary for effective care. However, there are instances that require more than local anesthesia. Longer cases are often best handled with IV sedation or general anesthesia. We will discuss anesthesia during your consultation. Each patient is different and requires individual consideration for anesthesia.

How many appointments are necessary for adequate implant therapy?

Most patients need an exam or consultation in order to be adequately evaluated prior to implant treatment. Once the treatment plan is formulated there will be an appointment for the surgery and several post-operative appointments for adequate follow up. In many cases, a second surgical appointment is necessary to prepare the implant for the restorative doctor. This second surgical appointment is included in the original treatment plan fee.

Can you tell me over the phone if I am a potential implant patient?

The answer to this question is no. In fairness to you and your family, you cannot be evaluated over the phone. There are many considerations that must be taken into account in order to provide the best diagnosis. Too many variables are present to allow for a discussion with substance over the phone. It is important to get the best, most thorough advice to make an informed decision.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

Dental implants are highly successful. In fact, there are very few issues in dentistry or medicine that carry the same success rate. In the mandible (lower jaw) the success rate is above 95% at 5 years. In the maxilla (upper jaw), it drops below 95% but is still very high, well above 90%. Of course this depends on the patient, their care and how the implant is restored.

Will the implant last me the rest of my life? Is it permanent?

In most cases, dental implants can be expected to last the life span of the patient. There are many reports the exceed 30 years for implants in a single patient. Nothing is permanent, but dental implants last longer than what you can expect from any other dental device. Most patients should expect a very long-term implant experience, provided that they care for the implant as they would any other medical device.

How do I know the Doctor is using the best dental implant? Are there differences in product quality of dental implants?

Today, there are more than 70 different implants being marketed in the United States. All of these implants have met the minimum requirement of the FDA. However, there are many different issues with certain implants. Our office uses one of the top implants. There is a long history of success with the Nobel Biocare implant and it remains one of the top implant solutions. There is more research associated with this implant than any other on the market. While there are many “knock offs” that are less expensive, the old adage that “you get what you pay for” is never more true. You want something that will be there 20-30 years from now and a product that sets the standard for care and for research. Be careful about cheap implants, they are not always cheaper or less expensive.

For all of your dental implant questions, please call our office today at Portland Office Phone Number 503-292-8824!