Dental Implants FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

It is natural to have questions if you are considering replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Successful implant dentistry requires expertise and experience. To help our patients make the right choice, we’ve put together the answers to the most common questions about implant dentistry and how it is utilized for tooth replacements that can last a lifetime.

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

Anyone missing one or more natural teeth is a candidate for tooth replacement with dental implants. The person must be in good overall health without active periodontal disease. Older age is not a factor, with many individuals getting implants in their 70s or 80s.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

  • The implants and attached teeth restore your ability to chew foods.
  • Implants preserve facial contours, preventing a prematurely aged look.
  • They preserve the jawbone.
  • They feel and look natural, resembling a normal tooth
  • Unlike dentures, upper jaw dental implants do not require covering the roof of the mouth.
  • There is no movement or shifting of the prosthetic teeth.
  • You care for dental implants like your natural teeth.
  • Unlike dentures, you do not have to remove your teeth at night.
  • Dental implant teeth do not stain or develop cavities.
  • Implants help restore your beautiful smile.
  • Dental implants can last 30 years or longer in certain situations

What are the disadvantages of dental implants?

  • Dental implants and restorations are more expensive upfront than alternatives such as dentures or dental bridges; however, studies show that after 6 years, implants are the better buy.
  • Tooth implant surgery is invasive surgery, making it more susceptible to infection or failure.
  • The dental implant procedure can take months, depending on the type of implant procedure performed and whether you need additional surgery, such as bone grafting.

Who should place my dental implants?

An oral surgeon should place your dental implants. Oral surgeons have an in-depth understanding of facial anatomy, dental anatomy, and facial musculature. They have studied for years beyond dental school to hone their surgical skills and bring that expertise to every implant placement procedure. Other dentists may occasionally place implants, while Dr. Boudreaux and Dr. Fisher place dental implants daily. We always recommend an oral surgeon for invasive surgery, such as dental implant placement, to minimize the chance of complications and ensure an optimal outcome.

What happens during the dental implant procedure?

Your implants are surgically placed in the jawbone by Drs. Boudreaux or Fisher after making incisions in the gum tissue for access to the jawbone. Depending on how many implants are placed, this may take a half-hour to three hours. For a more detailed explanation, visit our implant placement overview page.

Will I be given anesthesia for the procedure?

Yes. A local anesthetic is applied to the area before surgery so you do not feel any pain. You will also receive a MAC / IV sedation to relax you and put you into “twilight sleep;” a form of semi-consciousness. You will be groggy and may not remember the procedure after the anesthesia wears off.

Is the procedure painful?

Not at all. We keep the surgical site numb throughout the dental implant procedure, and you will be under MAC anesthesia (mild intravenous sedation) during surgery to ensure you’re comfortable the entire time. As the anesthesia wears off later in the day, you’ll be able to manage any discomfort with over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen.

How long is recovery?

The length of your recovery and the speed with which you will heal depend on the quality of your jawbone and the location and size of your new implant. You can typically expect the initial healing to take a week or two and the complete integration of the implant and jawbone to take around three to four months.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

The success rate of dental implants is an impressive 95-98% for patients who care properly for their implants after surgery.

Can dental implants be done in one day?

Yes and no—it depends on your specific case. We believe no one should have to walk around with a missing tooth, so we provide the opportunity to receive an implant in a day. However, the temporary crown that we insert is a placeholder until full integration is complete, at which time we place the permanent restoration. We work with your referring dentist to provide temporary options as desired during the above-mentioned integration process.

Can dental implants fail?

Dental implants can fail, but our in-office success rate of 98% is vastly superior to the national success rate of 94%. You are in good hands with us.

Are dental implants permanent?

Yes. Permanency is one of the biggest advantages of dental implants. Over time, the implant fuses with your jawbone and forms a solid and permanent attachment.

Can I get an implant for a single tooth?

One of the life-changing advantages provided by implants is their ability to integrate with your jawbone. The biocompatibility of the material we use allows the implant to fully integrate with the bone and form a mechanical bond. The implant is the base upon which we build your replacement tooth. This permanent stability can be used to support a new single tooth, multiple teeth, or dentures.

Can people tell if I’ve had dental implants?

No. The only individuals who can tell you’ve had a tooth replacement are you, your dentist, and your oral surgeon. Dental implants are designed to resemble your natural teeth for a seamless match that blends with your facial features. However, your friends may notice that your smile is healthier and more attractive than before!

Do dental implants look real?

Dental implants are today’s superior teeth replacement method because they look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.

Can dentures be made into implants?

In many cases, your current dentures can be modified for use as temporary teeth replacements after implant surgery. Once the area is sufficiently healed, a permanent prosthetic is designed and fabricated to replace your dentures. The new prosthetic will be lighter and thinner, designed to be permanently fastened to the dental implants in the jawbone.

Will I be able to eat food?

In the first few weeks, you’ll want to avoid crunchy, sticky, chewy, spicy, acidic, and hot foods because the surgery site will still be healing. However, once your healing is complete, your chewing strength will be similar to that of your natural teeth, and you’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite foods.

Will dental implants change my face?

Dental implants will transform your appearance in the best ways. Say goodbye to discolored, crooked, or missing teeth and hello to a gorgeous new smile. Dental implants not only improve your face but also improve your self-esteem. If you’re concerned about your face’s natural contours, implants preserve those while improving your overall look.

Are dental implants removable like dentures?

The implants themselves are embedded in the jawbone. Most restorations, whether a crown or an entire arch of replacement teeth, are permanently attached and cannot be removed except by a dentist or oral surgeon. However, implant-supported overdentures are available for patients who prefer a removable denture that snaps onto stabilizing bars or balls attached to implants. These are much more stable than traditional dentures and are removed for cleaning and when sleeping.

How do dental implants help if I have dentures?

Although you may be comfortable with dentures, they do not provide all of the advantages of dental implants. Replacing missing teeth with implants preserves the strength and integrity of the jawbone. When tooth sockets are empty, the surrounding bone deteriorates and shrinks due to a lack of stimulation. The result is a prematurely aged look and shifting of any remaining teeth. Dental implants eliminate this problem.

Dental implants are also more dependable when eating. If your dentures have ever slipped or pinched while you were eating, you know how uncomfortable and embarrassing it can be. A tooth implant is permanently fixed in the jaw, eliminating any chance of slipping or pinching.

What is the cost of fixing or maintaining dental implants?

Dental implants rarely need repairing. Once the implants are placed in the jawbone, they gradually fuse with the surrounding bone, a process called osseointegration. In rare situations, dental implants may fail. In these situations, an evaluation by your oral surgeon is required to determine if the implants can be fixed and saved or must be removed and replaced later. If the restoration attached to an implant is broken or damaged, it can often be replaced or fixed without disturbing the implant.

For answers to questions not mentioned here or to learn more about dental implants, contact our office at Lake Charles Office Phone Number 337-478-0468 to schedule a consultation with Drs. Boudreaux or Fisher.