|Paul D. Braun, D.D.S. Inc.|
|Oral and Maxillofacial Reconstructive Surgery|
|Most Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants|
Who can benefit from Implants?
No matter who the patient, implants can help. Health, rather than age, is usually the determining factor for prospective patients. Implant patients may be young adults with congenitally missing teeth and premature tooth loss, accident victims, long term denture users, or adults who suffer the embarrassment and inconvenience caused by removable teeth.
Are dental implants a new procedure?
No, quite the contrary, the implants we use today have been developed and perfected over the past 40 plus years. Many implant procedures have become routine to experienced implant dentists. The implant systems we use in our practice are Keystone, Steri-Oss, Astratech, Straumann and Nobel Biocare. We feel the quality and success rate associated with each of these systems represents the best that implant dentistry has to offer.
Are Implants successful?
Some patients have had their implants for as many as 40 plus years. The expected longevity of an implant is often equal or greater than restorations on natural teeth. How long an implant remains depends on the general state of health, habits, and commitment to follow up, professional, and homecare. Implants fail for the same reasons as natural teeth - poor oral hygiene.
What about rejection of infection?
Implants are made from biocompatible materials, materials our bodies do not consider foreign - and therefore, no rejection occurs. Since these materials are made of metal such as titanium, there is no likelihood of causing an antigen-antibody response, a rejection similar to that which sometimes occurs with heart and kidney transplants. However, in rare instances, the bone may not heal to the implant and the implant becomes non-integrated and may need to be replaced.
The possibility of an infection occurring around healed dental implants is the same as that for natural teeth. As with natural teeth, you must practice good oral hygiene to keep the tissues healthy, therefore, implants and replacement prosthesis must be professionally maintained.
Will people know I have implants?
Not unless you tell them. Since the prosthesis (replacement teeth) covers the implant posts, no implant components can be detected. However, many patients tell everyone they know that they have dental implants, due to the benefits they receive from having them in place.
How long does treatment take?
Treatment time for surgical placement of implants and healing depends on the location in the mouth and the type of implants placed. The process can take from 3 - 6 months, or in some cases up to 18 - 24 months, depending on pre-existing conditions. The majority of cases do not require the patient to be without some form of tooth replacement during the restorative phase of treatment.
Are implants expensive?
Implants are an investment in your physical and oral health. Both your restorative dentist and Dr. Braun can provide a range of fees prior to your consultation. In a survey of 350 patients treated with dental implants, all agreed that their implants were worth the investment. Patients in our practice overwhelmingly indicate the positive change that implants have made in their lives. Many patients indicate that the initial financial outlay was minimal compared to the long-term benefits.