Frequently Asked Questions
Will the implant placement procedure hurt?
Your comfort is always one of our top priorities, which is why Dr. Ben Partovi has extensive training in all types of modern anesthesia techniques. Most procedures are performed under local anesthetic, which helps our patients feel absolutely no pain during their procedure. For those who feel particularly anxious, or for some of our more involved implant or bone grafting procedures, Dr. Partovi recommends IV sedation. With IV sedation, patients often become very relaxed to the point where most just fall asleep on their own accord and have no recollection of the procedure afterward. Also, Dr. Partovi will prescribe appropriate medication to manage any postoperative pain or swelling.
How long will it take for me to get dental implants?
That depends. Cases range from simple to very complex, so we can't give a specific timeline until you meet with Dr. Partovi. For most single-tooth replacements with a dental implant, Dr. Partovi will place the final restorations in about 3 to 6 months. For some of the more complex cases, the final restoration could take 12 to 15 months. Patients will always have an interim, or temporary, prosthesis of teeth until the implants are ready for the final restoration.
Dental implants take longer than conventional dentures or bridges in large part because of something called osseointegration, which refers to the process whereby the dental implant and the bone actually fuse together, providing maximum stability for chewing forces. Because of this, dental implants are able to provide life-long restorative and cosmetic benefits that you simply can’t get with other traditional treatments.
How much will my dental implants cost?
Many decisions for treatments in implant dentistry can depend on a patient's budget, financial arrangements, and dental plans, but we cannot develop an accurate cost estimate until Dr. Partovi meets you for a consultation. At this visit, we will assess your teeth and surrounding tissues, and we’ll then give you options so that you can decide what you value and what will work for your lifestyle. After we establish the type of treatment you value, Barb, our treatment coordinator, can help you with financial arrangements. We always try to strike a balance between your budget, values, and expectations.
To some people, the cost of dental implants can be a disadvantage, as implants are generally more expensive than bridges or dentures. In many cases, dental implants may require a larger initial investment, but they often end up being more cost-effective in the long run. Bridges and dentures will need replacement, sometimes every three to five years. However, dental implants can often last a lifetime.
When it comes to dental insurance, most plans choose to cover the cheapest alternative in dental treatment, which means they will usually cover a denture and not implants. Still, your carrier may cover certain portions of the dental implant process. Our treatment coordinator can give you an outline of your financial arrangement, and they’ll also submit claims to your dental plan to help maximize their contribution.
What is the success rate for dental implants?
For the last 10 years, success rates at many treatment centers with experienced clinicians, including our own, are consistently over 95% with proper personal and professional care. Few forms of medical, orthopedic, or dental treatment have such high success rates.
Am I too old for implants?
No! Many patients feel that they are too old for dental implants. However, dental implants can greatly improve the quality of your life at any age. Many people find great value and comfort with improved chewing and a strong smile, no matter their age.
Are there any health benefits to having dental implants?
In addition to preserving your jawbone and facial structure, dental implants can provide a much stronger bite force than traditional dentures and bridges. Patients who have missing teeth often swallow their food without properly chewing and breaking it down. This causes the digestive system to work harder, and this extra work can create a whole slew of digestive ailments, including ulcers, upset stomach, and even gallbladder attacks.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
The implant procedure involves two phases:
Using very accurate techniques, Dr. Partovi will surgically place the implants into precise positions located under the gum tissue. He’ll then close the gum tissues, and the healing phase will begin, which may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. During this time, the bone will actually fuse with the implant in a process called osseointegration, ensuring a strong base for the new tooth that will be attached on top.
During the final phase, Dr. Partovi will create and affix the new tooth, or teeth, to the implant structure. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, several teeth, and even your dentures.
While I’m healing, will I have any teeth?
Dr. Partovi will make sure that you receive some type of temporary teeth until the final restoration is complete.
Is one implant system better than the others?
There are many different implant systems and there are new implant companies popping up all the time selling their own brand of implants. However many of these systems have limited research, in particular with longevity studies. But there a 4 or 5 implant systems that have been the mainstay for over 20 years. Dr. Partovi predominately selects Nobel Biocare implants, as they are one of the reputable companies and have more published research than any other implant system.
What will dental implants feel like when the procedure is finished?
Once the entire process is complete, your dental implants will actually feel, look, and function just like strong, natural teeth!
How do I take care of my implants?
Normal home care and routine checkups will help you maintain your implants long-term. You will need to schedule a routine cleaning, re-care treatment, and evaluation every 4 to 6 months. Our team will design individualized programs to help you optimally care for your new teeth.