Dental Implants FAQs

Dental implants are known as artificial teeth roots that serve as a permanent foundation in having fixed new teeth. Dentures, bridges, and crowns offer a foundation as well but dental implants are now the efficient and popular permanent solution for people with dental problems like tooth loss, decayed teeth or chronic oral conditions. Many people agree that they feel and function as if they were their natural teeth. It is becoming the preferred method for tooth replacement. You can learn more about dental implants in order for you to know if they are the best choice for you.  Below are some frequently asked questions.

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Q: Will they fix an overbite

A: The answer varies when it comes to fixing an overbite. An overbite is when the upper front teeth overlap in relation to the lower teeth. It is natural to have a slight overbite. It becomes an issue when it is a significant overbite because it can cause pain, loss of permanent teeth, and temporo mandibular displacement. That is when the jaw joint gets displaced which can be painful. In between the process of preparing for a treatment plan to replace missing teeth, dentists are able to fix a certain amount of overbite. The dentist will be able to give you a more precise assessment whether a procedure can fix your overbite to improve your smile.


Q:  What is a Dental Implant

A: They were initially made of pure titanium but the pure metal is not strong enough, and mixtures were made with minor amounts of other metals like nickel to improve the strength. There are a number of people that happen to be allergic to these types of mixtures. There were other concerns with these types of mixtures in the mouth like piezoelectricity, thermal conductivity, oxidation, and showing of the metal color in places above the gum. Zirconia which is oxide of zirconium metal, is being considered as the possible alternative. However, zirconium is delicate and may crack. There is no repair possible and must be removed which would leave a large fault in the bone. Being one piece zirconium implants demand an error free placement. For that reason, titanium mixtures are normally preferred. Get a beautiful smile with full or partial Dental Implants Orange County CA.


Q: Can I get a prosthetic for the upper front tooth?

A: Yes it would be the ideal solution for the problem. Apart from the strength you get from your front teeth, they also have an aesthetic value. It is important that esthetic replacement of front fixed teeth is precise. The first step is for the broken tooth to be removed completely, and without damaging the surrounding bone and flesh. If there happens to be any damage to the socket it may cause the procedure to be aborted. The empty socket must be able to receive the new root and hold it firm. The strength comes from the surrounding bone that grows into the surface of the artificial root in a natural process called osseo-integration. It is important that there is not a gap lest in between the bone and surface of the post because osseo-integration will not be completed and the procedure may fail.

The front teeth are special because the sockets are conical, and hence, the new root of the exact size must be screwed in deep so that there is no gap around it. The procedure needs expertise and precision. The fixed restoration on the front tooth will give you a permanent and painless restoration with natural characteristics.


Q: Will insurance cover them?

A: Yes! However, the coverage depends on your insurance. Some insurance will provide coverage immediately while other will demand a waiting period. Some insurance only cover partially. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to see what you are covered for and to what extent.


Q: Do they cause pain?

A: Please note that installation of new permanent tooth involves surgery and it may be several times. The procedure begins with the extractions if necessary which then will allow the gums to heal to move forward.

You do not have to worry about pain during the procedure because the dentist will ensure a suitable anesthesia. However, post procedure you may feel slight pain or discomfort just like with any other surgery. Your dentist can manage the pain and discomfort with suitable painkillers that will be prescribed.


Q: How long will the healing time take?

A: There are many stages to the process. Some stages may require more healing time than others. However, there are many factors within the recovery time like the number of teeth involved, health of the patient, and aftercare. Below is a list of steps between the procedures and healing once they have been completed.

  • If grafting of a bone was needed, a waiting period of four to six months may be required before the next stage can be worked on.
  • If extractions have to be done there is also a healing time required for the gum injury. Some patients have the artificial roots installed at the same time as the extraction to avoid a double healing period. There is a healing cap screwed onto the artificial root before stitching is made over the gum tissue. This process can take up to a week to heal.
  • There is a second surgery that is completed after four to six months when the bone has integrated with the metal. The healing cap is completed and the stitching around the gum which heals around the cap shifting to the shape of the cap.
  • Once the gum has healed, and the dentist is sure the osseo-integration is complete, he can remove the cap and place an abutment where the artificial tooth or denture will be placed.


Q: What is the proper care?

A: One major advantage dental implants have over any other types of restorations is that once completed, the new permanent tooth or teeth require any special treatment. All you need is to perform the regular and daily oral hygiene habits. Below is what must be done:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day using low-abrasive dentifrice. It is important to use low-abrasive dentifrice because it can wear out the teeth and the root of the artificial tooth below.
  • So as not to miss out any portion when brushing teeth, a definite order is preferable, eg:
    • Start from the outside of right of the upper jaw and move to the left end.
    • Then brush the insides of them moving from the left end to the right end. Make sure to clean the chewing surfaces of the molars.
    • Now start from the right of the lower jaw cleaning the outsides of the lower teeth reaching the left end
    • Clean the insides of them starting from the left end.
  • Make sure to floss daily to ensure inter-dental cleaning. For this purpose, you can use a tap-floss or a water flosser/waterpik may be used.  If you are not sure of what type of floss to use you can always ask the dentist.
  • It is recommended that you visit your dentist every six months.
  • To avoid staining, avoid smoking.


Q: What can make them unsuccessful?

Although the procedure requires surgery and has its own risk factors there has been a 95% success rate for the procedure. Some of the main reasons they have failed are:

  • Failed Osseo-integration – A properly installed artificial root will normally merge well with the jaw bone through a natural process which is called Osseo-integration. The cells of the bones grow into the surface of the artificial root that causes a strong natural bond. Possible causes for failure of osseo-integration are:
    • Insufficient bone density or mass
    • Incorrect positioning
    • Overloading / sudden impact
    • Damage to surrounding tissues
    • Fractured Fixture
    • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Peri-Implantitis – This is an infection of the region surrounding the new oral restoration. In case there were bacteria present during surgery the proper post-surgery hygiene could not be done rigorously which can result in peri-implantitis. This can also happen when the specific cement used in putting the crowns on abutments leaks out into the gums.
  • Nerve and Tissue Damage – This does not happen often. It is considered to be rare, but can happen during surgery.
  • Foreign body rejection – This does not happen with materials currently used, but may occur in very rare cases.
  • Allergic Reaction – Titanium is very bio-compatible, but in extremely rare cases a patient might have an allergic reaction.
  • Uncontrolled Type II diabetes – can cause the procedure to be unsuccessful.
  • Other factors are use of bisphosphonates, bruxism, smoking, etc.


Q: Who invented them?

A: Osseo-integration was the main factor for the success of implants. Bothe, Beaton and Davenport first observed it in 1940. They were able to describe the tendency of titanium to fuse with animal tissue and talked about the potential for use in permanent teeth for human. It was not until 1951, when Gottlieb Leventhal also described his experiments with similar results. In 1965, for the first time Prof. Branemark placed one in a patient.