Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Answers to Common Questions About Dental Implants

What are the three types of dental implants?

There are three main types of dental implants used to replace missing teeth. The appropriate type of implant for you is determined based on various factors. Your surgeon will explain your options and design a detailed treatment plan around the type of dental implant chosen.

  • Endosteal Implants – These are the most commonly used type of dental implant. The implants are typically made of titanium and resemble small screws. They are surgically placed in the jawbone and, once healed, support the crown, permanent denture, or other restoration.
  • Subperiosteal Implants – Some patients do not have enough jawbone mass or height to support endosteal implants. Subperiosteal implants are placed beneath the gums but on top of the jawbone. The prosthetic tooth or teeth are supported by a metal framework attached to the implant posts protruding from the gums.
  • Zygomatic Implants – These specialized implants are reserved for patients with significant bone loss in the upper jaw. Instead of the dental implants being anchored in the jawbone, they are implanted in the cheekbones using longer titanium screws. Zygomatic implants are an alternative for patients who may otherwise need bone grafting.

Are dental implants painful?

During implant surgery, we use a local anesthetic to numb the jawbone and gums. We may also administer sedation to relax you and relieve any pain or anxiety. During recovery, you will have some swelling and mild discomfort for the first week. These can be alleviated with medication and ice packs for the first three days. After three days, you can switch to warm compresses to soothe any discomfort. Most patients are surprised by how little pain they feel following implant surgery and how quickly they recover.

What is the timeline for tooth extraction and dental implant placement?

Teeth extractions must allow time for the tooth sockets and surrounding soft tissues to heal before dental implants can be surgically placed. For most patients, the wait is between 10 weeks and three months. The timeframe can vary depending on the patient’s overall health and how rapidly they recover. In rare cases, an implant can be placed in the jawbone immediately after extraction, with healing and osseointegrations taking place simultaneously.

Is there a downside to dental implants?

While dental implants are often the best solution for missing teeth, they do come with a few downsides every patient should consider.

  • Cost is an issue for many patients. With the price of replacing a missing tooth with an implant starting at $1,500, it is not an inexpensive solution. However, dental implants last significantly longer than any other dental restorations and are less expensive to care for over time.
  • Time Constraints are also an issue for some people. From the initial consultation to the final restorations, the process can take anywhere from several weeks to over a year. The timeframe depends on several variables, including your oral health, the type of implants, and whether you need bone grafting or periodontal treatment before implant surgery.
  • Complications of Surgery are rare with dental implants, but there is always a chance of infection, excessive bleeding, or the body’s rejection of the implants.

What are the three stages of dental implants?

  1. Implant Placement – Surgically implanting the implants in the jawbone. After placement, it takes several months for the implants to integrate fully with the jawbone.
  2. Abutment Attachment – The abutment is a slender post or pin inserted into the implant to connect the implant to the replacement tooth. Once the abutments are attached to the implants, the gums must heal around them, which takes a few weeks.
  3. Prosthetic Attachment – After the implants and abutments are integrated and the gums have healed sufficiently, the prosthetic teeth are attached.

What is the Average Cost of Dental Implants?

The cost of dental implants can vary widely depending on the type of implants, the amount of surgery needed, whether additional procedures are required, and how many implants are placed. However, a single dental implant usually starts at around $1,500, while a full mouth restoration using multiple implants can begin at $20,000 each for the upper and lower jaw.

While these prices may seem daunting, consider the many benefits, including a lifetime of eating, drinking, and speaking without worry. Over time, dentures and other solutions need frequent repairs and replacement, making them quite costly over the years.

The best way to know how much dental implants will cost you is to consult with one of our dental implant specialists. We will provide a detailed, accurate estimate based on your functional and aesthetic goals. Contact our office at Missouri Center for Oral Surgery & Implants at St. Peters Office Phone Number 636-928-7217 to schedule your appointment and learn more about how dental implants can change your life.