1. How Long is the Entire Procedure?
A dental implant is not a one-step process. There are multiple steps and a lot of waiting and watching to the procedure. Between waiting for your jaw bones to heal, scheduling visits to your dentist, and creating your crowns, the entire process generally takes 6-8 months to complete.
2. Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Dental implants represent one of the biggest advances in dentistry and have an overall success rate of about 95%. Though it’s not a one-day procedure and the length of the healing process can be frustrating, there should be no pain involved. Some slight pressure and lots of poking around, but no pain overall.
3. How Much do Dental Implants Cost?
With any surgery, there are many factors that determine the price of a dental implant. Make sure you have a discussion with your dentist about cost beforehand. There are 3 major costs for dental implants: the base implant, the abutment, and the crown. Not including insurance coverages and discounts, you should expect the entire procedure, including the crown, to cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per tooth.
4. You can get a temporary tooth until the crown.
Even though you won’t leave the dental office with a permanent crown on your first few meetings, you don’t have to leave with a hole in your smile either. There are several options for a temporary tooth including dental flippers, dental bridges, retainers, or temporary crowns.
5. Stock the fridge with soft foods.
In order to let the implant settle and heal properly, it’s best to restrict your diet to soft-foods for a week or longer. Even if you promise you’ll only chew on the other side, it is easy to inadvertently forget and crunch down on your healing implants. You should also limit your sugar intake since it can actually slow your healing process. Our principal doctor at Smile Well Dental, Dr. Shin, recommends green smoothies and soups instead!
6. You’ll need to stop at the pharmacy.
You will probably be prescribed a dose of antibiotics to prevent infection. Although this is not mandatory, dentists do recommend taking antibiotics prophylaxis to achieve high long-term survival and success rates of dental implants.
7. Don’t book anything for the rest of the day.
You won’t be given an exact time frame for how long the procedure, start-to-finish, will take. Make sure not to schedule an important meeting too close to the start of your procedure! Also, everyone heals differently and there’s no way of predicting how fast your implants will heal, so schedule your upcoming week(s) carefully.
8. No two mouths (or surgeries) are the same.
Just because your cousin needed a bone graft doesn’t mean you will! Similarly, just because your brother’s implants fully healed in 5 months doesn’t mean your implants won’t take up to 8 months.
Avoid Surprises During Dental Implant Procedure
- Jot down notes at the initial consultation with your dentist so you don’t forget anything.
- Ask the office staff if there are any written materials on the implant procedure.
- Do your research in advance.
- Talk to someone who has done the procedure or ask a former patient about their experience with your dentist.
- Think of questions in advance and write them down.