Dental Implants FAQs
Dental implants are a major commitment that can dramatically improve your life. It is natural to have questions regarding the process. Rest assured that your dental implant surgery is in the best of hands at Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry.
Dental Implants are as strong as natural teeth because they are anchored into the jaw. They are a teeth replacement method that allows you to eat your favorite foods, laugh, and speak without worrying about slipping or shifting dentures. Implant teeth give you back the freedom to talk, eat, and laugh without constraint.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth that replaces a missing natural tooth. It consists of three parts. The implant is a titanium screw placed in the jawbone to replace the tooth’s root. An abutment attaches the screw to a crown, which is the visible portion of the dental implant. When completed, your dental implant is indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
Dr. Greenbaum tailors each treatment to the patient’s individual needs and the complexity of their case. There is a time commitment required. The process can take up to 18 months to allow for complete healing of the jawbone and any needed bone grafts.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants have been used for decades to replace damaged or missing teeth. We use biocompatible titanium implants that fuse to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Our patients are happier and healthier after dental implant surgery because they can once again eat properly and have improved oral health
How successful is dental implant surgery?
We have over a 98% success rate with dental implants.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
The surgery itself is not painful. A local anesthetic is applied to the area to numb the gums and surrounding tissue, and you will be sedated during the surgery. Although there is some discomfort during the initial healing phase, our patients often report they experience less pain than they expected. There is pain and swelling for the first three to four days, which you can control with ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication. If this is ineffective, Dr. Greenbaum can prescribe a more potent pain reliever for the short term.
What can I eat after dental implant surgery?
For the first two days, you are on a liquid diet. Be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and encourage healing. Food options for the first two days after surgery include milkshakes, yogurt, smoothies, pudding, mashed potatoes, refried beans, hummus, cottage cheese, and liquid nutritional supplements such as Boost or Ensure.
On day three, you can begin adding soft foods such as noodles, macaroni and cheese, scrambled eggs, soft bread, bananas, avocado, and soft-cooked vegetables. You can add soft-cooked meats such as shredded chicken, delicate fish, and ground beef when comfortable. By day seven, you can begin adding firmer foods to your diet. Most patients can eat any foods they enjoy within two to three weeks.
Are dental implants expensive?
We are not going to tell you that dental implants are cheap. They cost more upfront than alternatives such as dentures, but you get a superior solution for missing teeth. Fortunately, dental implants are considered restorative dentistry, meaning they are often covered in whole or part by dental insurance.
The cost of dental implant restoration varies depending on the tooth or teeth being replaced, whether bone grafts are needed, and the complexity of the restoration. You get an accurate estimate of the cost before your procedure. Please contact our office if you have questions about the specific price for your dental implants. The staff can assist you in determining your dental coverage and help maximize any coverage to reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
Good overall and oral health are required for dental implants. Your jawbone must be sufficient to support the implants; if it is not, bone grafts will be necessary before implant surgery. If you have cavities, gum disease, or other issues, these need to be treated before considering implants.
For those in good health, you are a good candidate if you meet the following criteria:
- One or more teeth are missing
- You have enough jawbone to support the implant or receive a bone graft
- Your gums and mouth tissues are healthy
- You do not want to or cannot wear dentures
- You do not have an autoimmune disorder that affects healing
- You do not have a bleeding disorder
- You are willing to commit up to 18 months to the procedure
How long do dental implants last?
The titanium screws placed in the jawbone last a lifetime with proper care. The crowns or prostheses attached to the implants can last 20 to 30 years if you care for them like your natural teeth. Daily flossing and brushing are crucial, as are regular dental checkups.
Can I get a dental implant right after having a tooth extracted?
Dr. Greenbaum determines this on a case-by-case basis. In rare situations, he may be able to place the implant on the day of the extraction. However, there must be enough bone to support the implant, which may require three to six months of healing after extraction.
Will I have to see another dentist?
No. Dr. Greenbaum and the dental team at Bethesda Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry are unique in the area because the entire implant process is handled in our office. You do not need to see a separate dentist or prosthodontist to have the crown or prosthesis created and attached to your dental implants.
If you have additional questions about the dental implant procedure or dental implants in general, our office staff is happy to answer your questions. Contact us at 301-812-4946 to learn more.
Missing Teeth? Consider Dental Implants!
We are accepting New Patients and always look forward to helping you with all your dental needs.
Call our Bethesda MD office at (301) 530-3600 orSchedule an Appointment