How Dental Implants Work

Harrison Spriggs
April 21, 2021
Dental Implants
Dental Implant Graphic

If you are looking into dental implants, you may have questions. We want to help you understand the process as best as you can. Here are answers to a few of the questions you might have.

What are dental implants made of?

Dental implants are made of titanium. It is the same material that makes up shoulder, hip, and knee replacement parts. Through osseointegration, the bone grows around the implants and bonds with the bone. After this bonding takes place, the implant functions as a natural tooth with a natural root.

How long does the entire process take?

The entire dental implant process can take up to nine months to complete. The first surgery is when the surgeon implants the metal posts into your jawbone. Another surgery may be necessary later in the process. Most of the time is spent waiting for the bone to heal and for new growth in your jawbone to take place. The process may take longer if you do not have enough healthy jawbone. In this case, you would need a bone graft before starting the dental implant process.

How are they fitted?

How implants are fit into your mouth can vary depending on where you go for the surgery. At Nuvia, dental implants are fit into your mouth through the Safe Smile Method, which consists of six steps:

  1. Seeing your future smile before you begin
  2. Planning the entire surgery before it begins
  3. Receiving a built-in second opinion
  4. Using guided implants only – no freehand placements
  5. Having an in-house anesthesiologist
  6. Using the Penguin Test to ensure implants are ready for teeth

How are dental implants placed in my mouth?

Most dental implants are placed through the freehand process. To get a good result depends on how good the dentist is. At Nuvia, we never freehand an implant. We use the Safe Smile Method, complete with guided implants. The 3-D guided implants ensure the implants are placed precisely where they need to go. This provides a proper bite, the most biting force, and the best longevity of the teeth.

How painful is it to receive dental implants?

The pain depends on the patient. Most patients generally feel more of a discomfort instead of pain. Your mouth is numb during the process, causing less pain. Implanting the metal posts into your jawbone is usually the most painful part. Tissue swelling and discomfort can last up to ten days. Typical discomfort includes facial swelling and bruising, minor bleeding, and pain where the implants are.

How much do implants cost?

The cost of implants varies greatly depending on the patient. Some only need a few teeth implanted, while others need a full mouth of implants. Because of this, the cost can range from $3,000 to $100,000. The cost can also vary based on where you receive treatment. Be sure to shop around before you make your decision.

How do I pay for implants?

First, be sure to check with your insurance. Dental implants are usually considered cosmetic and not covered but check anyway. Some plans could offer some coverage. Other options to cover the cost include financing through the dental office, personal loans, paying with credit cards, or using you HSA or FSA.

How do I take care of my implants?

Just as your natural teeth need to be taken care of, dental implants are the same. Proper cleaning on the implants include:

  • Brushing at least twice daily
  • Regular flossing
  • Receiving a professional cleaning every six months
  • Eating a healthy diet, limiting sugary foods and drinks
  • No smoking – smoking with dental implants can cause complications and implant failure
  • Protecting your teeth from trauma and injury
  • Avoid using your teeth to open bottles, packages, or to crack nuts

How long will your implants last?

Dental implants look and act like natural teeth, but they are not susceptible to dental decay. If taken care of properly as previously described, dental implants can last more than 25 years.

Are dental implants safe?

As with any surgery, there can be risks. The success rate of dental implants typically ranges from 90-95%. The common risks include infection, nerve damage, and sinus problems. Other teeth or blood vessels can also be damaged during the process. When these complications do arise, they are generally minor and easy to treat.

How can you start the process of dental implants? Contact Nuvia Dental Centers for a free consultation to see how implants could improve your smile.