What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a three-part tooth replacement solution: a small post, most often made of titanium, that replaces the root of your missing tooth, a connector piece called an abutment that is placed on the top of the dental implant to anchor the final piece of the restoration, and a crown that is custom-made to match your natural teeth.
Why are dental implants so popular?
Simply put, dental implants are a complete tooth replacement, which means that they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth. They also keep your jaw bone healthy and maintain the harmony of your facial structure because they are anchored in your jaw permanently and stimulate the bone in your jaw like natural teeth when you chew. Dental implants won’t ever slip or click when you talk, eat, or laugh, so you can live without the worries associated with other restorations like traditional dentures.
How much do dental implants cost?
The best way to receive an accurate estimate your dental implant cost at our Pocatello and Blackfoot offices is to request a consultation appointment with Dr. Baker and Jepsen. During this first visit, you and your oral surgeon will work together to develop a treatment plan — your cost estimate will be determined at this time.
Can my child receive dental implants?
When a child loses a permanent tooth due to an injury or accident, dental implants can be the best long-term solution for their oral health and smile; however, in many cases, oral surgeons will want to wait to perform the dental implant procedure until your child’s growth has completed. This is usually around age 16 for girls and age 18 for boys. We recommend meeting with your trusted oral surgeon to discuss options if your child has lost a permanent tooth.
Can a general dentist place my dental implant?
To ensure that your implants have long-term success, dental implants should be placed by an experienced oral surgeon, not a general dentist. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the dental professional with the training, skill, and experience in the surgical procedures required to perform this delicate surgery. A general dentist places the temporary teeth that you may use while your implants are healing, as well as the permanent replacement teeth that will be attached to the dental implants to complete your treatment. See our page on oral surgery for more important information about this.
How long is the dental implant process?
The process of receiving implants can range from just a few months to more than a year for more complex conditions. You may be receiving one or many implants, or you may be receiving a dental implant-supported denture or bridge — during your first visit with your oral surgeon you will have a complete oral exam, including all the necessary diagnostic images, and then you will receive a treatment plan that will include the estimated amount of time it will take to complete your restoration. Your treatment will depend on a few factors: your specific needs and desires, your medical and dental history, the health of bone in your jaw, and more.
What happens during dental implant surgery?
Your oral surgeon will go over every detail of your dental implant procedure before you have your surgery, including your options for anesthesia, your pre- and post-operative instructions, and your projected recovery time. You will have your dental implant surgery in the comfort and safety of our practice under intravenous (IV) sedation unless otherwise specified during your consultation, and you will be continuously monitored throughout your procedure. Our doctors and clinical team are trained in the safe administration of in-office anesthesia and sedation. On the day of your surgery, the anesthesia that you chose during your consultation will be administered so that you will not feel any discomfort during your procedure. Next, your oral surgeon will make a small incision in your gum tissue over the area where your implant is to be inserted. Your doctor will then insert the implant post into your jaw bone and stitch the surgical site closed. After the procedure, you will have time to rest comfortably at your practice before your designated driver takes you home. A single implant placement procedure takes 30–60 minutes and around two to three hours for multiple implants. Every case is different, and you are receiving personalized care at our practice, so the amount of time that your procedure will take will vary based on the specifics of your surgical treatment plan.
Is the dental implant procedure painful?
Many of our patients want to know if it is going to be painful to receive dental implants. Of course, all oral surgeries do involve some discomfort, but we want to assure you that it is our priority to be sure that you are comfortable and safe along every step of your treatment. You are in excellent hands with Drs. Baker and Jepsen and their surgical team — our surgeons have extensive hospital-based anesthesia training and are experts in the placement of dental implants. Their specialized skills ensure that you are receiving precise and efficient procedures with the least amount of post-surgical downtime possible. You will receive detailed aftercare and post-surgical instructions before your treatment, including medications for any post-operative discomfort you may experience.
What if there is not enough bone in my jaw for secure implant placement?
When teeth are missing for a long time, bone loss in the jaw can occur, and dental implants can be harder to place securely. However, even our patients with extensive bone loss can be candidates for successful implants with the help of bone grafting. Bone grafting can restore lost bone in areas where an implant is going to be placed to ensure that your dental implant has a stable foundation for long-term durability. Our oral surgeons perform bone grafting procedures in the comfort of our practice.
How do I care for my new dental implant?
When your oral surgeon gives you the go-ahead that you’ve healed enough, you can brush and floss your implant the same way you do your natural teeth. It’s as simple as that! If you keep your mouth healthy and see your dentist regularly, your implant will have the potential to last a lifetime.
What is the recovery like after dental implant placement?
One of the benefits of dental implants is that they replace the root of your tooth, fusing with your jaw bone for a lifelike and permanent solution. It takes a few weeks of healing for your implants to fuse with the bone in your jaw, so you will want to stick with a diet of soft foods and then avoid chewing on the implant sites until this healing period is complete. Most patients are back to their regular routines within a few days after the placement of their implants. We will go over every detail of your aftercare and post-surgical instructions with you before your treatment begins, including medications for the management of any post-operative discomfort. Learn more on about preparing for and recovering from oral surgery on our oral surgery page.
What will I use to chew with while my implants heal?
While you wait for your implant post to fuse with the bone in your jaw, which will take a few weeks of healing time, you have a few options for temporary replacement teeth. A temporary bridge can be made, and in the case of multiple implants, your current denture can be modified. In some cases, a new temporary denture will be customized for you, or non-removable transitional crowns can be made and placed during this time. Once your implant sites have healed sufficiently, your permanent custom-designed crown will be placed on your dental implant post to complete your restoration. In other words, you will not have to live without teeth! Your oral surgeon will discuss all your options in detail before your procedure.
It is our privilege to offer you premium oral surgery care, so please feel free to contact us today at one of our two convenient locations in Pocatello and Blackfoot. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is here to guide you. Drs. Baker and Jepsen are experts in the full scope of oral surgery procedures and are available to meet with you for a consultation to discuss if dental implants are the right choice for your unique case.
If you are anxious about receiving dental implant treatment to restore your tooth or teeth, that is perfectly normal. It may help you feel more relaxed to hear some personal stories from our dental implant patients.