Replacing your missing teeth with dental implants is a big decision that will dramatically impact your life and overall health. Since this treatment is a significant financial, physical, and emotional investment, many of our patients have important questions about dental implants. For your convenience, Dr. Spector has created this list of commonly asked questions.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a high-quality tooth replacement treatment that’s surgically attached to your jaw, so it stays firmly in place. The titanium implant fixture acts like the root of a natural tooth.
Following implant surgery, it will take a few months for the bones in your jaw to develop a strong attachment to the fixture. Then you’ll return to our office so Dr. Spector can complete the process by attaching the abutment and crown.
The abutment is the middle piece, connecting the implant fixture to your crown.
Lastly, Dr. Spector will place your attractive porcelain crown, the only part of the implant that people will see. The result is a fully functional tooth that looks and feels natural.
Is there an age limit for dental implants?
There is no age limit for dental implants. If a patient is healthy, has good oral tissues, and is willing to follow the doctor’s recommendations, they can usually receive dental implants. For more information, please see our Dental Implant Candidacy page.
How long will it take to receive my dental implant?
This depends on the patient and their oral health. Some patients may require supplemental procedures like bone grafting or soft tissue augmentation. If such procedures are necessary, your overall treatment time is likely to be extended. However, the implant process typically takes three to six months to complete.
Can any dentist place my dental implants?
Only a properly trained implant provider like Dr. Spector can ensure that your dental implants are correctly placed so they will last for many years. Although many professionals offer dental implants, it’s a good idea to research a potential provider before choosing them.
Is the surgery to place a dental implant painful?
The dental implants placement procedure is performed anesthesia in our office in Haworth, as it is when a patient gets a filling. Once the anesthesia takes effect, you’ll feel little to no discomfort or pain.
How will I know if I need bone grafting?
For patients with insufficient jawbone mass or damaged gums, many dentists suggest supplemental procedures before proceeding with the implant process. This helps ensure your jawbone is stable enough to support your dental implant.
However, the only way this can be determined is through a comprehensive oral examination, which Dr. Spector will provide as part your consultation. This will allow us to tell you whether or not you need a bone graft or any other type of supplemental procedure.
Are dental implants expensive?
Restoring your smile with dental implants can be a major financial decision, which is why we offer financing programs through great companies like CareCredit to make you payments manageable.
We recommend contacting your insurance provider to find out what your benefits package entails and to see what your health plan covers. If you have any additional questions, our helpful financial coordinator is ready to assist you.
I am a smoker. Can I still get dental implants?
Yes, but you’ll want to talk to Dr. Spector about this because smoking can inhibit the healing process.
Since patients who smoke have higher rates of gum disease and higher implant failure rates, your provider will encourage you to stop smoking or at least curtail your smoking habits while you undergo dental implant placement. Your mouth will be examined very carefully to ensure that your oral tissues are healthy enough for dental implants.
Do dental implants require special care?
Dr. Spector recommends caring for your dental implants the same way you would care for your natural teeth. It’s important that you brush them twice a day, floss at least once a day, and rinse with mouthwash.
The only difference between caring for your implants versus your natural teeth is that you should be extra careful about the dental products you choose. Using non-abrasive toothpaste will ensure the implant fixture doesn’t become scratched. We also suggest using nylon-coated floss and alcohol-free mouthwash.
How long do dental implants last?
If you take proper care of your implants and follow our post-operative care guide, they can last a lifetime. While the implant itself can’t become infected, the gums that support them require daily brushing and flossing as well as regular checkups with Dr. Spector to remain healthy.
Contact Us With Additional Questions
At Gentle Dentistry, we want your dental experience to be stress-free, cost-effective, and fully satisfactory. If you have more questions, please feel free to reach out to our Haworth, NJ office.
If you think you would benefit from dental implant treatment, call 201-429-9758 to schedule a consultation right away. We look forward to assisting you and providing you with a beautiful smile to last a lifetime.