If you have lost a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants offer an innovative replacement solution. Designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth, dental implants are a major focus here at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona. Our oral surgeons are certified by the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and have the extensive training and experience necessary to perform dental implant procedures that produce the best possible results. Unlike many general dentistry practices, Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona can provide comprehensive dental implant treatment right here under one roof, without the need to refer patients out to other specialists. Advanced dental implants from our practice can improve the function of your teeth and the appearance of your smile with results that can last for decades!
- What Are Dental Implants?
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Dental Implant Candidates
- Dental Implant Options
- Bone Grafting Prior to Dental Implants
- Dental Implant Procedure
- Dental Implant Recovery
- Dental Implant Results
- Dental Implants Safety
- Do Dental Implants Hurt?
- Dental Implant Cost
- Dental Implant Alternatives
- Additional Dental Implants FAQs
What Are Dental Implants?
The dental implant is genuinely one of the most revolutionary developments the field of reconstructive dentistry has ever seen. Designed to replace missing teeth anywhere in the mouth, dental implants are made of titanium posts that are inserted into the gum and anchored to the jawbone. During a process called osseointegration, the implant should then fuse to the jawbone, mimicking the function of a natural tooth root. A custom dental crown is then affixed to the top of the implant. Ultimately, dental implants should look and feel like natural teeth, lasting many years with the proper care.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer a full range of advantages over dentures and other traditional procedures designed to replace missing teeth. Some of the many potential benefits of dental implants include:
- Long-lasting results that look, feel, and function like original teeth
- Improved speaking and chewing
- Improved smile aesthetics
- Can be used to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth
- No movement or slippage along the gums
- No dental adhesives, putties, or pastes required
- No dependence on adjacent teeth for support
- Can reduce the likelihood of bone loss and other oral health problems in the area of missing teeth
- Other than daily brushing and flossing, no additional maintenance is required
Dental implants can also be used to enhance support for a partial denture or an All-On-4® fixed hybrid as an alternative to traditional dentures. We use only the best dental implant products at our practice, including implants from Nobel Biocare®, Straumann®, Dentsply (formerly Astra), Biomet 3i™, and BioHorizons®. Our oral surgeons will talk with you about the best option for your needs and goals during your initial consultation.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Thanks to advanced technology and state-of-the-art implantation techniques, more individuals are candidates for dental implants today than ever before. It is important for patients to have adequate jawbone density in the area of missing teeth for the implants to be successfully accommodated; however, if you do not have the necessary amount of bone for the implant, there are treatment options available that can often address this concern. Bone grafting can often be performed to provide the implant with enhanced support, and for patients who are missing teeth in the upper jaw, zygomatic implants (described below) may be an option. These treatments have made it possible for many patients who have been previously told they do not qualify as candidates for dental implants to now be eligible for the procedure.
Staff made sure I was comfortable. Very good experience! Recommend to anyone who has fears – they will help you through it!
What Are My Tooth Replacement Options with Dental Implants?
Dental implants can be effective for a number of distinct needs, and there are a variety of ways they can be utilized for missing teeth replacement. Options include:
A single missing tooth can create numerous problems, regardless of where it is located in the mouth. A dental implant can not only restore dental function and appearance, but can also reduce risks of jawbone deterioration and the serious effects an untreated missing tooth may have on oral health and the health of surrounding teeth.
If you are missing several teeth, replacing each one of them with a dental implant may be the ideal option. This can be effective for missing teeth that occur in various places in the mouth, or for multiple teeth that are missing in a single area.
Implant dentures offer a “hybridized” way for individuals to replace all of their teeth on the upper and/or lower dental arch. This option can provide an exceptional alternative for patients who are not able to replace every single tooth with a dental implant. An advanced treatment such as the All-On-4® implant-supported fixed hybrid denture alternative uses just four dental implants to reinforce the stability of a custom denture, ultimately producing a secure fit without excessive reliance on denture adhesives or putties.
During your initial consultation, our oral surgeon will perform a comprehensive oral evaluation and explore the options for teeth replacement that offer the best solution for your needs and goals.
Bone Grafting Prior to Dental Implants
For individuals who do not have an adequate amount of bone density in the jaw to accommodate a dental implant, bone grafting can often provide an effective solution. This treatment involves the placement of a small bone graft on the jawbone under the missing tooth. The small bone should fuse to the larger bone, enhancing density and increasing the chance that an implant will successfully remain securely in place.
Learn more about bone grafting.
What Does the Dental Implant Procedure Involve?
Once you are determined to be a good candidate for dental implants, one of our experienced oral surgeons will create a customized treatment plan. Detailed x-rays and computer-generated maps of your oral structures will be developed and used as a precise surgical guide for placement of the dental implants. In many cases, dental implants can be placed utilizing local anesthesia. They will be carefully and meticulously inserted into the gum in the area of the missing teeth, and then securely anchored to the jawbone. Over the next few months, the implants should fuse to the bone and become a permanent fixture in your mouth, much like a natural tooth root. Temporary crowns can be placed on the implants during this period. Once bone fusion has occurred, the permanent dental crowns will be attached to the top of the implant posts. These crowns are completely customized to create results that fit comfortably and function like natural teeth. The crowns will be given a final polish, and then you should be ready to walk out of our office with a brand new smile!
What Can I Expect During Recovery from the Dental Implant Procedure?
Patients can expect some degree of bleeding and swelling in the treatment area following the placement of dental implants. Minor bleeding should clear up within 24 hours; if bleeding continues beyond that point, patients are encouraged to contact our office. Swelling in the cheek next to the implant site is normal and should dissipate over the next 36 hours. Soreness and discomfort after the anesthetic wears off can typically be well-controlled with over-the-counter pain medicine. Our doctor may prescribe additional medication in case severe pain is experienced during recovery. It is important to take antibiotics as prescribed in order to reduce the risk of infection as the treatment sites heal. Maintaining regular brushing and flossing habits is also necessary; however, patients must exercise caution and brush very gently around the implants until they have healed properly.
View our section on Care Instructions After Dental Implant Surgery to learn more about what to expect during recovery.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
One of the major benefits of dental implants is their ability to last long into the future. With proper oral hygiene routines and regular dental check-ups, your dental implants should continue to enhance your smile for decades to come.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Our doctors utilize maximum safety precautions to reduce the risk of complications during dental implant procedures. While it is important to note that these treatments involve oral surgery, and surgical procedures always involve some degree of risk, Dr. Michael W. Golding and Dr. J. Gregory Sabol are extensively skilled and experienced with dental implant placement. The combination of our oral surgeons’ experience along with the use of advanced planning technology and treatment techniques can significantly diminish the potential for implant failure, infection, or other complications. We will also provide you with a list of post-operative instructions designed to help you achieve a safe and successful healing process.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Our oral surgeons prioritize comfort for patients during the dental implant treatment process. With the use of a local anesthetic, the treatment areas should be thoroughly numbed, and any discomfort should be minimized. For patients who would like even greater assurance that they will experience a virtually pain-free procedure, we offer a full array of advanced sedation and anesthesia techniques—including nitrous oxide, I-V sedation, and general anesthesia. Dr. Golding and Dr. Sabol are certified by the National Dental Board of Anesthesia and are committed to helping patients feel as comfortable as possible during treatment.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The cost of dental implants is dependent on each patient’s unique treatment plan. The price of a dental implant typically starts in the $2000 range. This is a common price range nationally. We pride ourselves in using only the best implants and implant materials. We only place implants by nationally known companies who back their implants with years of scientific research. Beware of advertisements with cheaper prices as these may be implants of lesser quality, implants not placed by a specialist, or implants with hidden costs that are added on later. Factors such as the number of implants necessary to achieve your goals, the complexity of the treatment, materials and laboratory fees, whether sedation techniques are utilized, and other associated expenses will be taken into account. Once your treatment plan has been developed at your initial consultation, a member of our team will produce a cost estimate that includes all price factors and go over it with you in detail. We will be happy to talk with you about the range of payment methods we accept here at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona, which include dental financing plans through CareCredit®. We look forward to assisting you in finding the best way to bring the dental implant procedure into your budget.
What Are Some Alternatives to Regular Dental Implants?
Our practice offers a number of advanced treatments that utilize other types of dental implant techniques. During the initial consultation, our doctor will talk with you about all of the options available and help you determine the right treatment for your needs. Other dental implant options include:
Zygomatic Dental Implants
Zygomatic implants offer an innovative option for patients who have severe bone loss in the upper part of the jaw. These advanced implants are longer than traditional dental implants and are anchored to the strong area of bone that’s part of the cheekbone. Zygomatic dental implants do not require a bone grafting treatment and can be placed in a single surgical procedure. Patients who have lost bone density in the upper jaw due to gum disease, tooth loss, or other reasons may have been previously told they are not candidates for dental implants. With zygomatic implants, these patients may now qualify for the procedure. Our practice is very proud to offer these state-of-the-art implants, which can serve as a unique alternative for many patients who suffer from missing teeth.
Learn more about zygomatic dental implants.
All-On-4® Implant Supported Fixed Hybrid Denture Alternative – “Teeth in a Day”
Implant supported fixed hybrid procedures can help patients who are missing multiple teeth add strength and stability to a denture appliance. The innovative All-On-4 technique utilizes four implants strategically placed on an upper or lower dental arch. A full custom denture is then securely affixed to the implants to provide a complete replacement of all missing teeth. All-On-4 can be a very effective option for patients who have lost all teeth on the upper and/or lower areas of their mouth. This “Teeth in a Day” procedure can also eliminate the need for bone grafting and an extended treatment process. With All-On-4, patients can arrive at our office with full rows of missing and leave their appointment with new teeth on the same day!
Learn more about the All-On-4 fixed hybrid denture alternative.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Are dental implants covered by insurance?
In some cases, dental implants may be a covered insurance benefit. Whether coverage is offered for this procedure will ultimately depend on each patient’s specific policy. A member of our oral surgery team can assist with questions regarding your insurance benefits and help determine whether your plan may offer at least partial coverage for dental implants.
Do dental implants look natural?
The ability to yield results that both look and feel natural is one of the most prominent reasons why patients choose dental implants over other missing teeth replacement options. Since the dental implants and custom crowns are designed to simulate the function of original teeth right down to the root, these treatment options offer some of the most natural-looking outcomes of any restorative dentistry procedure.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
The exact length of the dental implant treatment process varies from patient to patient; however, for all individuals, there are multiple steps involved that will take place over a period of several months. Once the initial plans for implant placement are developed and the procedure has been performed, the implants will need an adequate amount of time to properly fuse to the jawbone. This “osseointegration” process can take just a few months for some patients; in others, it may take as much as six months before the implant post has securely fused to the bone. With this in mind, it’s important to note that temporary crowns can be placed on the implant posts during this period.
Are there certain foods I should avoid with dental implants?
Once your dental implant treatment process is complete, you should not have to avoid any of your favorite foods. This is yet another advantage offered by dental implants over traditional dentures. With an implant’s ability to function like a natural tooth, there should be no issues with chewing certain foods that patients with conventional dentures are often asked to avoid.
Does smoking affect dental implants?
According to clinical research, there are potential links between smoking and implant failure. Smoking can also negatively impact the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Our oral surgeons advise patients to stop smoking completely at least one month before they undergo a dental implant procedure. It is also extremely important that patients do not smoke after the procedure, so it is recommended to have a plan in place that can help ensure the habit is not started up again.
If you would like more information about dental implants, or if you would like to schedule a consultation here at Oral & Facial Surgeons of Arizona, please contact us today.