The Implant Procedure
The placement of dental implants may take as little as 30 minutes for one or as many as three hours for multiple. This will vary from patient to patient, as will the number of appointments required to complete the full procedure and process. Dr. Ramirez will use her experience and attention to detail to complete your dental implant procedure with the utmost precision.
Before your procedure begins, you will likely be given intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide. The NobelPerio team may also prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection. All of these details will be discussed with you at the appointments leading up to your surgery. Following the administering of your sedation, local anesthesia will be gently injected into your gums around the area receiving the implant.
To begin the procedure, Dr. Ramirez will create a small incision in the gums that reaches to the bone. Next, space for special instruments will be created in the incision to help insert the titanium implant, and then the incision will be closed. A portion of the implant may be visible through the gumline.
The Healing Phase
Healing and recovery after dental implant surgery can vary from patient to patient and greatly depends on the strength and density of the jawbone. The NobelPerio team will explain follow-up care and aftercare instructions, as well as what to expect during healing. After the initial recovery phase has ended, one of our skilled surgeons will place a cap onto the implant to allow the gum tissue to mature.
NobelPerio often performs an impression immediately following the placement of the implant in order to prepare the crown ahead of healing. This will allow time for the crown to be prepared so that you can receive it as soon as you are ready. The length of time needed for full recovery depends on a number of factors, but your progress will be closely monitored at follow-up appointments.
Sometimes, Dr. Ramirez recommends a soft tissue graft in conjunction with dental implants to incorporate healthy gums that tightly form around the teeth. This procedure involves moving a small amount of healthy gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant.
When Are the Implants Placed?
Dental implants are typically placed several months after extraction. In some situations, dental implants can be placed immediately, but this can involve a bit of risk. A benefit of immediate placement is fewer visits to our facility. If there is an active infection or an issue with the jawbone, dental implants cannot be placed right away.
If the missing tooth has been gone for a long period of time, your jawbone is likely smaller and less dense. This is caused by the lack of bone stimulation by a tooth's root. Jawbone density quickly diminishes in the months following tooth extraction. If you are missing a large amount of bone and hope to receive dental implants, a bone graft can be incorporated. This procedure will assure that your jawbone is strong enough to support the implant.
How Many Do I Need?
Most patients will receive one implant per missing tooth. Teeth in the back of the jaw are larger so these will be replaced individually with larger dental implants.
After Implant Placement
What can I use for teeth while the implants heal?
There are many options that are available for temporary teeth while your dental implants heal. If you would like a temporary tooth during healing, your options will be given to you and tailored to meet your specific needs. If all of your teeth are being replaced with implants, your complete denture can be modified for temporary use. For patients that prefer non-removable teeth during healing, a temporary transitional implant can be placed and temporary teeth made on the same day. Depending on your needs, some types of implants can be placed and the tooth incorporated on the same day.
Many patients are concerned about potential pain when considering this procedure. Though this is a natural concern, it is pertinent that you realize that most patients do not actually feel extreme pain during or following the dental implant procedure.
Following the surgery, pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as comfortable and quick as possible. Occasionally, a patient will develop a post-operative infection that requires additional antibiotic treatment.
Although Dr. Ramirez is careful to place the implant with precision, occasionally, the adjacent teeth can be impacted. There is also a very small risk of damage to the nerves in the lower jaw. In the event that this occurs, sensation to the lip and chin could be affected. Patients who are missing a substantial amount of bone density may be at a greater risk for this type of damage. Extra precaution is always taken to avoid these complications, but sometimes, it is unavoidable. Altered sensation could include numbness and lack of sensitivity in the chin, tongue, or lip. This side effect typically resolves itself in time. If you experience prolonged post-surgical numbness, contact NobelPerio as soon as possible so that we can tailor a treatment plan.
How Long Will They Last?
Long-term success rates for dental implants are extremely high. For patients who are missing all of their teeth, success rates over a period of thirty years are at a stable 80 percent (plus) rate of success. Patients missing one or more teeth show an even greater success rate at 95 percent.
If your dental implant does not heal properly or loosens with time, you may need to have it removed and replaced (after healing) to achieve optimal success rates.
The Replacement Teeth
Your final replacement teeth will be attached to your dental implants when Dr. Ramirez feels ample healing has taken place. Your jawbone must be properly fused to the implants before this can take place. It is sometimes possible to incorporate your replacement teeth immediately following or shortly after the dental implant surgery. However, each patient heals differently, thus, each case is unique. You can expect your dental restoration to be incorporated within a year of dental implant placement. The number of appointments necessary to complete your procedure will also vary accordingly.
The process of creating your replacement teeth begins with creating a replica of your mouth and dental implants. Bite records will also be taken so that we can study the way your top and bottom arches meet. Using this information, the abutments (support posts) that attach your new teeth to the implanted portion will be created. There are several types of abutments available, ranging from gold or ceramic. Prices and processes will vary with your choice of the abutment.
The Cost of Dental Implants
As there are many factors involved in the dental implant procedure, the cost of your individual treatment can only be determined after a consultation at which we will provide you with a reasonable estimate and an approximated timeframe for completion. When considering the cost of your dental implants, it is important to consider the following factors:
When comparing the cost of dental implants to dentures and bridges, it is important to take into consideration the longevity offered by dental implants. Although upfront, the cost of dental implants is higher, dentures and bridges often need replacement every ten years, which may be very costly over time.
Your jawbone deteriorates over time when a tooth is missing. This process is not slowed or stopped by dentures or bridges. In contrast, the placement of dental implants will stimulate the jawbone, strengthening it, and preventing deterioration.
Quality of Life
A dental implant is the closest available option to a natural tooth. This allows patients to eat and speak normally and participate in their standard day-to-day life without the fear of embarrassment. This means that dental implants increase your quality of life when compared with dentures. That factor alone is priceless.
It is important to keep in mind the many steps and processes that are involved in the dental implant procedure. The following are items that need to be considered when comparing cost estimates between our practice and another:
All exams and office visits
The potential removal of remaining teeth
Bone grafting procedures
The placement of the implants
The creation and placement of the crowns
Digital x-rays and post-operative care
Dental implants are a long-term investment in your future health, happiness, and appearance. NobelPerio hopes to help you afford your dental implants by checking your benefits through your dental insurance provider. If they will not cover any of the expense, we can recommend low-interest medical financing companies that may be able to help cover the cost.
Schedule Your Consultation
The only way to receive an accurate price quote is to call us and come in for a consultation. We can give you an estimated cost for your procedure after meeting with Dr. Ramirez. Contact NobelPerio today to get started.