What Can Dental Implants Do For Me?
Dental implants are created to mimic the appearance of your natural teeth. An aesthetic, effective solution for missing or damaged teeth, dental implants can
- Restore your smile
- Improve function and speech
- Promote optimal oral health
- Protect healthy bone structure
- Provide long-term tooth replacement
Are Dental Implants Right for Me?
During your visit, the doctor will carefully consider several factors to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. Some of these considerations include:
- Adequate bone support to anchor the implant
- Healthy gum tissue
- Sinus and nerve location
- Overall health, including any chronic illnesses.
At Strobel Dentistry, our treatment philosophy is found by actively involving and educating our patients during treatment planning. If we determine you are an ideal candidate for dental implants, we will review your options, field your questions and discuss the next steps with you.
Step by Step Implant Process
Once your evaluation is complete and you’ve opted to pursue implant restoration, the process is pretty straightforward:
- Prepare the area
- If the tooth still needs to be removed, this first phase involves extraction and bone grafting/regeneration if additional support is needed prior to implant placement.
- If it’s a tooth from your upper arch and it’s been missing for a while, your sinuses may have started to encroach into the space the implant needs. A sinus lift would then be needed before the implant can be started.
- In some cases, the implant can be placed immediately in the context of these procedures, but more often than not a period of 3-4 months healing is necessary post-extraction to ensure the area is ready.
- Place the implant
- Once we have adequate support and space, it’s time to place the surgical implant – this is the titanium post that goes into the gum and bone and will eventually support the prosthetic tooth (crown) that completes your restoration. An additional 3-4 months healing is typically needed after this phase to ensure that the implant has successfully integrated with your bone and is ready to support a crown.
- Get your new tooth!
- After the doctor has confirmed that the implant is healthy and successfully integrated into your bone, we’ll be ready to make you the final restoration, your implant crown.
- This takes two visits: first you’ll come in for a scan so we have all the information we need to design and mill your crown. One week later, you come back to have your crown fitted and placed. Then you celebrate being done with your brand new tooth!
Dental Implants are Safe and Effective
Your safety is our top priority! Our team is dedicated to participating in continuing education on implant dentistry. At Strobel Dentistry, we use the latest technology and most up-to-date strategies to provide you with unparalleled service.
Implants today now have a 90-95% success rate, and maintaining regular visits to our office will allow us to provide you with care to ensure your implants will last for years.
What are the risks of dental implant placement?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with dental implants. Risks include: postoperative pain/discomfort/swelling/infection, prolonged or heavy bleeding, damage to adjacent teeth and structures, restricted oral movements related to swelling, nerve injury, bone loss around the implant, implant failure/rejection, jaw joint injury/spasm, and cracking/bruising around the mouth. Thankfully, advanced technology and training have reduced these to an absolute minimum in our practice.
There are risks of not treating the area at all as well. If you opt for no implant and no alternate type of restoration, these risks may include: bone loss, periodontal infection, shifting of adjacent and opposing teeth, increased difficulty chewing, and looseness of surrounding teeth ultimately necessitating additional extractions.
How much does a dental implant cost?
This of course varies depending on a number of factors, such as whether or not your tooth has been extracted yet, or if you need additional bone support/sinus augmentation prior to implant placement. There’s no denying that the long term viability of implants comes with a financial commitment; on average, an implant from start to finish will cost $4000-$4500 before any insurance benefits are applied.
The good news is that many insurance companies will reimburse around 50% up to your annual benefit limit for implants! Additionally, that total breaks down into more manageable amounts, typically billed out over the course of treatment, which as we’ve seen above can be as long as a year, so it’s rare that you’d be responsible for that total all at once.
If you are curious about what benefits or financial options may be available to you, our admin team can help. Get in touch today!
If bleeding is present, bite down gently for the first 30 minutes on the gauze provided, making sure to keep it in place. Do not change gauze during this time unless bleeding is uncontrolled. You may then change the gauze as necessary every 30 minutes if there is continued bleeding. If necessary, Apply ice packs to the outside of cheek 2-3 times an hour for the first 1-2 days.
Bleeding: Some blood in the saliva is normal for the first day after your procedure. If more significant bleeding persists after the first 1-2 hours, avoid physical activity, use ice packs and bite gently on a moistened tea bag to promote clotting. If the bleeding doesn’t abate, call the office. Quickly pooling bright red blood is not normal; if this persists, call the office immediately.
Bruising/Swelling: Bruising and swelling are normal side effects of your procedure and will reach their peak at 2-3 days after surgery. Apply ice packs 2-3 times an hour for the first 2 days to reduce swelling. Keep your head slightly elevated when you sleep for the first 2 Nights. After 3 days, you may use moist heat to reduce any inflammation.
Numbness: The local anesthetic will cause you to be numb for several hours after you leave the office. Be very careful not to bite, chew, pinch, or scratch the numb area.
Implant appearance: You should not be able to see the placed implant as your gums will cover the area. This is good and should not be disturbed. If a healing cap was placed, you will see silver emerging through the gums. Avoid stretching your lip to inspect the area, as this can disturb the surgical site and cause wound breakdown.
Activity: Avoid excessive physical activity and strenuous exercise for the first 2 days after your procedure. Such activity increases blood flow and can disturb the clotting process of the wound.
Brushing: Do not brush your teeth for the night of your surgery. After this, you may brush your teeth gently. If you had sutures placed, please avoid the area of surgery for 3 days.
Rinsing: Avoid all vigorous rinsing or swishing for 24 hours after surgery. Rinsing can disturb the formation of a healing blood clot which is essential to proper healing. This could cause bleeding and risk of dry socket. After 24 hours you may begin gentle rinsing with a saltwater solution (1/2 teaspoon salt + 8 ounces warm water). After 2 days, begin rinsing with the Peridex mouthrinse you have been given 3 times daily in addition to your brushing and flossing routine.
Diet: Restrict diet to soft foods and liquids until numbness has subsided. Avoid alcohol for 2 days. Avoid foods such as seeds, nuts, or other items that may get lodged in the surgical area for the first couple of days. Generally avoid chewing at the area of the implant during the healing process to promote successful integration until you are instructed otherwise.
Removable Appliances: If you use a denture, retainer, or other appliance in the area, you will likely need to leave it out for the first few days after the procedure. Every situation is different – the doctor will give you specific use instructions for your appliance. Call the office with any questions.
Smoking: Smoking can retard the healing process, prolong bleeding, increase discomfort and increase your chances of developing dry socket. Chances for successful integration of the implant are greatly reduced by smoking. It is strongly advised that you avoid all smoking for 2 weeks prior to AND 2 weeks following surgery. Of course, we encourage you not to smoke for the duration of the healing process.
In addition to the antibiotic administered to you before your procedure, you may be given a prescription for Tylenol #3. This should only be filled in the instance of moderate-severe pain. For the first 2 days you should take 1000mg of Tylenol (2) AND 400mg of ibuprofen (2) every 6 hours to prevent pain and help control inflammation. If needed, a gentle sedative may be administered before the procedure. If so, you will need someone to drive you home.
If you are using oral contraceptives, please note that antibiotics and other medications may sometimes interfere with their efficacy. Consult with your doctor and/or dentist about any potential interaction and employ a different means of contraception for one full month if necessary.
We need to see you if you have heavy bleeding/continue to bleed after 24 hours, severe pain, continued swelling after two or three days, or you have a reaction to the medication.