Dental Implant FAQs
Walnut Creek, CA
Before getting a tooth implant, consult with someone who knows the facts. Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs are prosthodontists, one of the nine dental specialties recognized through the American Dental Association. They are board-certified, having received additional education and time in clinic to better prepare for your needs. When it comes to your teeth, seek the knowledge of those you can trust. Having the procedure done correctly vastly improves the long term benefits.
Many of the questions below will depend on each patient and their situation or needs. Our answers are general; we can give you better answers in office following your evaluation.
What is a dental implant?
Why choose dental implants?
Are dental implants successful?
Who places the dental implants?
How much do dental implants cost?
Am I a candidate for tooth implants?
As a senior citizen, can I get dental implants?
What are the advantages of dental implants over dentures or a dental bridge?
How will dental implants affect my life?
Will my new teeth look natural?
Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure I use with my natural teeth?
How much time is required for a dental implant placement?
Is the treatment painful?
How will I feel after the treatment?
How do I care for my dental implant?
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a permanent replacement tooth. Using a small titanium dental appliance that resembles a screw, we surgically place the implant directly into your jawbone. This will serve as a new root for a false tooth. Dental implants can be placed in either the upper or lower jaws. Implants are made from a biocompatible metal, titanium, which is used all over the human skeleton in surgical procedures. Titanium is unique because your living tissue is willing to grow around it, fusing it to your bone, making it part of your skeleton. Fused to our jawbone, implants serve as a strong anchor for a replacement tooth. Dental implants can be used in solutions for replacing single, multiple, or even all of your missing teeth. Back to top.
Why Choose Dental Implants?
Choosing to have a dental implant placed is the best long term replacement option. They are the most natural feeling, and have the highest success rate of any other dental restoration.
After a patient loses a tooth, immediate bone atrophy, or shrinkage, occurs. This problem will continue to worsen, and the effects may not be seen for years.
Patients love that implants are a singular fix. No clips, clasps, or adjustments needed. Under normal circumstances, it will serve its owner for life. Back to top.
Are Dental Implants Successful?
Implant placement has been studied for over three decades now. After more than a million patients treated, studies performed by Nobel Biocare have shown dental implants to have a 95% success rate for the long term. The 5% failure has been based on other factors including having a dentist who is not trained in handling situations when issues arise, or when a patients has outside issues including smoking or diabetes which can inhibit healing. Back to top.
Who Places the Dental Implants?
Don't trust the surgical placement of your dental implant to just anyone. Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs are both highly trained, board-certified, prosthodontists. They specialize in placing tooth implants. Using our 3D Cone Beam technology, along with skill and knowledge, we are able to plan and place your implant with precision, right here in our office. Back to top.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The best way to get an idea of costs is to schedule an evaluation. The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants depends on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of dental implants required to support your replacement teeth.
For some patients, additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary to have Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, we will recommend the treatment that is best for you. Back to top.
Am I a Candidate for Tooth Implants?
We hope to be able to work with all of our patients in some capacity to replace missing teeth. Some factors may present a challenge, including bone loss or if the patient has some outside reason that may inhibit proper healing such as smoking or diabetes. We encourage everyone to inquire though, and let us evaluate the situation. You may be surprised at what we can do. Dr. Keith or Dr. Gibbs will evaluate whether dental implants are a viable solution for you. Back to top.
As a Senior Citizen, Can I Get Dental Implants?
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you're healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you're probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. Certain chronic diseases may contraindicate dental implant treatment. Dr. Keith or Dr. Gibbs will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants after a careful evaluation of your dental and health history. Back to top.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants Over Dentures or a Dental Bridge?
There are benefits that you will love. Patients who choose dental implants have noted:
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||Improved appearance: When you lose the entire tooth - crown and root - shrinkage of the jawbone may cause your face to look older. Dental implants can stop this process. A traditional denture or dental bridge doesn't.
||Preserve neighboring natural teeth: With traditional dental bridges, teeth adjacent to missing teeth are normally ground down to be used as anchors for a dental bridge. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify healthy teeth.
||Permanent solution: There are no loose parts to worry about losing. The dental implant is stable and comfortable. No adjustment is need after placement. For most patients, an implant will serve its owner for life.
How Will Dental Implants Affect My Life?
Your restored implanted teeth will feel just like that, that you tooth has been restored. Dental implant-supported replacement teeth look, feel and function like natural teeth. Patients love this because they find that they can resume eating and drinking whatever they choose. No restrictions. Most importantly, dental implants often improve patient's quality of life in a very concrete way. Implants will increase your self confidence, they will stop your remaining teeth from shifting, they will help slow, or even stop, bone atrophy. We can help you make a significant difference. Back to top.
Will My New Teeth Look Natural?
When dental implants are used in combination with a customized dental crown, their appearance, comfort and function are very likely to exceed your expectations. Often they are hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. Back to top.
Will I Be Able to Chew With the Same Force and Pressure I Use with My Natural Teeth?
Yes. Following a brief adaptation period, chewing capacity is comparable to that of natural teeth. Back to top.
How Much Time Is Required for a Dental Implant Placement?
Using our 3D Cone Beam system, along with guided surgical techniques we can plant dental implants in a single session using keyhole surgery. This new method has significantly simplified the procedure, for both patients and dentists. The major advantage of the guided surgical technique is the minimal amount of manipulation of the soft tissue due to keyhole surgery. This significantly reduces the healing time and the discomfort normally associated with traditional dental implant surgical techniques.
Dr. Keith or Dr. Gibbs will place the dental implant, which which will heal and integrate with your bone over a period of three to six months. During the healing period, your are given a temporary prosthesis until the permanent crown is put in place. Your permanent crown will be placed once the implant is firmly in place.
Adjustments to the placement of your implant may vary the process based on several factors, including your health, the number of teeth involved and which teeth are replaced. These factors will also determine the total number of visits to our office throughout the treatment period. Back to top.
Is the Treatment Painful?
As with any surgical procedure, there will be some discomfort. Placing one implant normally causes less discomfort then placing several. Anesthesia and patient sedation are commonly administered to help reduce any discomfort during the dental implant process. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Back to top.
How Will I Feel After the Treatment?
The first couple of days following surgery, you will be uncomfortable. We will assist in reducing any pain with prescribed medication. Following placement, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. You can expect to be able to return to work within one to two days. Back to top.
How Do I Care for My Dental Implant?
Just as your natural teeth, your new teeth need to be cared for and checked. The doctors and your dental hygienist will inform you to brush and floss your dental crowns placed over implants, just as you would your natural teeth. Continue to see your dentist every six months, or more frequently if so advised. Back to top.
Our team, including Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs, are here to answer your questions about dental implants. Contact our front office at (925) 266-3550.