Dental Implant FAQ Stevenson

Frequent Dental Implant Questions asked by our patients at Stevenson Dental Care

How long can implants last?

  • Dental implants can last a lifetime if properly cared for with daily care at home including brushing, flossing, and often times using a water flosser like Water Pick®, along with following your dentists recommendations for regular dental visits for routine cleanings, exams.  In fact, dental implants can be the most cost effective investment in dental restoration over one’s lifetime when compared to conventional crowns, or bridges, which average 10 years, or removable appliances that need to be relined every 3-5 years and replaced every 5-10 years.

What if I can find implants that are less cost somewhere else?

  • You may have heard the saying “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”. Or, “beware of bargains when comes to choosing a parachute”, and the same applies for dental implants.
  • There are many manufactures of dental implants, some systems work very well and can last a lifetime, and others are less than ideal and may not work out so well. It’s hard for patients to know that not all implant systems or restorations are created equal.
  • Here at Stevenson Dental Care we continually develop our highly trained team of restorative dentist, oral & maxillofacial surgeon, dental lab, and support staff who have years of training, meet regularly to embrace new technology, maintain a high level of communication between our offices, all to provide you with a highly skilled and coordinated team committed to providing you with the most excellent care in a comfortable up-to-date environment. We primarily work with Zimmer Biomet 3i implant systems who understand that this level of teamwork and commitment is worth their participation to insure your success when most implant makers or providers do not.

What about getting implants outside the United States?

This a great question many patients are asking these days. It would be nice to go to Mexico or Costa Rico for vacation, but not if you need something evaluated, maintained, repaired, or replaced? Here in the USA we have the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) who regulates and approves medical and dental materials and devices, as well as dental implants.  Other countries will have implants and parts that are not FDA approved for US dentists to use or restore. So if the idea of visiting a beautiful place for your dental implants appeals to you, consider Stevenson Dental Care and enjoy the natural beauty of the Scenic Columbia River Gorge.

What are implants made of? Can my body reject them? Are they safe?

Dental Implants are made of titanium which is a highly biocompatible material. Just like the many medical implants used routinely to replace hips, knees, and brace bones, titanium has been used successfully for decades and is very safe and preserves healthy bone. You can rest assured our implant team is invested in your success.  While there can be complications with any medical procedure, and there are some medical conditions that may limit, compromise, or preclude use of dental implants. Your restorative dentist and oral surgeon can help determine any risk factors for your success. Dental implants in general, and our dental implant team specifically have such an extremely high rate of success, we can assure you that your implant solution will be safe, sound, and effective.

How long does it take for implant to heal?
Can the implant be placed at the same time the tooth is removed?

  • Three to four months is the typical time for the implant to integrate fully with the bone before it can be restored with the finished restoration.
  • The best and most efficient way to have an implant placed is immediately following the removal of the failed tooth. This way there is the one healing phase as opposed to removing the tooth and having to wait 4 months for the site to heal and potentially loose more bone before an implant can be placed and then wait another 3 to 4 months for the implant to be ready to restore.

Will I need to go without teeth?

  1. No need to go without teeth. There are a number of options to consider when planning for the transition from a natural tooth or whole arch of teeth so you don’t have to go without teeth. Typically this involves a temporary tooth or teeth that may be fixed to the implant(s) or may need to be removable.  Your restorative dentist and oral surgeon can explain the specific solution for you.
  2. One plan for whole arch restoration can be Diem® which means same day or “teeth in a day”, so the same day that natural teeth are removed and implants placed an arch of teeth are fixed, resulting in a fully functioning smile.

What are the different types of Implant solutions?

  • Single Implants. One dental implant can replace one missing tooth, keeping the single missing tooth a single tooth solution rather than grinding down the two adjacent healthy teeth for a conventional fixed bridge for instance.
  • Immediate Implant is placed right after the tooth is removed, reducing the number of appointments needed to replace the missing tooth. This has advantage of the shortest healing time, preserving surrounding bone, and preventing collapse of surrounding teeth.
  • Implant-Supported Bridges. Dental implants can be placed to support a bridge where multiple teeth are missing next to each other. This prevents the need to grind down your healthy teeth to support the bridge.
  • DIEM® Full-Arch Restoration & Implant Retained Dentures. Several dental implant posts are placed to support a fixed denture in one or both arches, resulting in a complete and fully functioning smile.

What are the benefits of dental implants over removable or other treatments?

  • Dental implants are the most like natural teeth for function, look, and maintenance.
  • Maintain the natural face shape
  • Preserve and maintain adjacent teeth and surrounding bone.
  • Long term solution that can last a lifetime if properly care for, and more cost effective compared to other restorations and removable solutions that may need replacement every 5-10 years.

Click here to learn how to care for your implants after implant placement surgery.