You should understand exactly what dental implants are before deciding if they are right for you. We have created a series of questions and answers to help provide you with more information and insights into dental implants and how they can improve your smile. Should you have additional concerns, please contact us to book a consultation with Dr. Gray.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jaw to replace a missing tooth. Compared to dental bridges and dentures, implants are a more permanent solution to losing a tooth.
Can I receive more than one dental implant?
The short answer is yes. You can replace all of your teeth with implants. However, if a patient is missing an entire row of teeth, procedures like All-on-4 or Implant Supported Dentures may be more suitable:
- All-on-4 are custom made to replace a full upper or lower set of teeth that are permanently installed into the mouth and cannot be removed. It is a one-piece full bridge secured into place using implants
- Implant Supported Dentures are removable and can snap into place. They are similar to All-on-4 in that the row of teeth is supported by implants, except the row of teeth can be removed.
What is Teeth-In-A-Day?
Teeth-In-A-Day is a procedure used to remove any remaining teeth, place the implants (All-on-4, or Implant Supported Dentures), and have a fixed set of teeth in place until the bone is completely healed (typically 3-6 months). The entire procedure is performed in a single visit under deep sedation.
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
Implants are typically placed in a single appointment of less than 1 hour.
How long is the healing process?
The initial pain and swelling from placing the implant should subside after 3-4 days. If pain and swelling should continue after 5-7 days, please contact our office. The process by which the titanium portion of a dental implant embeds itself into bone takes anywhere from 3-6 months. After 3-6 months of healing, the protective cap placed over the implant can be removed and a permanent crown can be placed.
I noticed my face is sinking or collapsing. What does this mean?
Teeth are what keep the structural integrity of your jaw. If one tooth goes missing, that piece of your jaw where the missing tooth was starts to shrink.
What is a bone graft and why would I need it?
Bone grafting is the process of replacing or augmenting bone around a missing tooth. Bone loss is typically caused by the extraction of a tooth and the loss of the supporting bony structure. When placing an implant, bone may need to be augmented to give the implant a supporting structure.
Can you do an extraction and an implant at the same time?
Yes! At the time of the extraction, we recommend replacing the missing tooth with an implant because this usually eliminates the need for bone grafting later and helps prevent facial collapse. This also prevents the need for two healing periods (one for the extraction and another for the implant).
How does a dental implant procedure work?
At Dr. Gray Dental Group, we use a Guided Implant System (CBCT), which is a 3D X-ray, coupled with a mold of your teeth. This form of implant surgery is the most accurate and reliable for placing dental implants.