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Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions - Schenectady, NY • Capital District

Our Qualified Implant Dentists Provide Answers

We understand finding the best Capital District dentist for dental implants is not an easy feat. There are many choices, and it pays to do your research. There are many reasons why we are qualified to help replace as few as one tooth to as much as your entire smile – and we understand you likely have questions. Click each question below to expand the answer to learn more about dental implants. If you have any inquiries not outlined on this page, do not hesitate to contact our office.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a type of dental prosthetic in which a small titanium post is placed directly into the jawbone in order to restore the root structure of a missing tooth. Once in place, it can be used to support a variety of dental restorations above the gum line, thus filling in the gap in a patient’s smile.

How many teeth can dental implants replace?

At Capital Smiles, we can use dental implants to help with any degree of tooth loss, whether a patient is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even an entire mouthful.

Are all dental implants the same?

While there are many different kinds of implants available today, at Capital Smiles, we only use implants made from the highest quality materials and the latest advances in design to provide our patients with the very best when it comes to function, durability, and esthetics.

How much do dental implants cost?

Dental implants actually have no set cost, and the final price of an implant procedure can vary quite a bit from patient to patient depending on a number of factors. These include: what kind of implant restoration a patient needs, if a bone graft is required beforehand, and if any tooth extractions are necessary (to make room for a new denture). You can learn more on our “How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?” page.

How many dental implants do I need?

The answer to this really depends on how many teeth you are missing and how many you would like to be replaced. We can give you a more concrete answer when you come to see us for an implant consultation.

What is the implant procedure like?

The dental implant procedure is typically broken down into two main phases: placement and restoration.

Placement involves a minor surgical procedure that Dr. Erin Page and Shiloh Lieberman perform in-house here at Capital Smiles, where the implant post(s) will actually be positioned within your jawbone. After having a few months to heal (typically 3-6), you’ll return to our office to have restorations attached to your implants. We also offer a procedure called All-on-4/6, where the implants are placed and restored with a full arch implant-retained prosthetic at the same visit.

Does dental implant surgery hurt?

Thanks to modern-day dental techniques, the experience of our doctors, and local anesthetic, our implant patients report feeling very little discomfort either during or after their placement procedure. For those who need a little more help to overcome dental anxiety, our practice provides a number of helpful sedation options.

Are dental implants safe?

As shown through extensive clinical research and experimentation, dental implants are an extremely safe option when it comes to replacing missing teeth. However, certain risk factors such as smoking or a thin/weak jawbone may increase the chances of implant failure. Fortunately, Dr. Page and Dr. Lieberman know how to mitigate the most common risk factors to make dental implants a viable option for the overwhelming majority of our patients.

How do dental implants compare to a traditional denture or bridge?

Dental implants provide several unique benefits compared to other tooth replacements, including a more natural appearance, better longevity, and they are the only treatment that can stop the bone loss that occurs after tooth loss. You can learn more about this on our “Benefits of Dental Implants” page.

How long do dental implants last?

With regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, dental implants can be expected to last for 30 years or more.

Are dental implants right for me?

This is a question we can easily answer if you come in to see us for an initial consultation. Overall, qualified dental implant patients need sufficient jawbone to support the implant posts and stable overall health. If a patient is lacking in one or both of these areas, this will be addressed before beginning the implant procedure.

Will I need a bone graft to get dental implants?

Before a patient can safely get dental implants, our doctors need to determine if they have adequate jawbone density to support the prosthetic roots. If they do not, which is common for patients who have been dealing with tooth loss for a long time, then this can be corrected with a bone grafting procedure to build up and strengthen the bone. To determine whether or not you need one, we will take a variety of X-rays and diagnostic scans during your initial consultation. If it turns out that you do, we can perform the procedure here at Capital Smiles.

Will my insurance help pay for my dental implants?

Every dental insurance plan offers a different set of benefits, so this is hard to answer without you or our team going over your specific policy. Some plans do not offer any coverage, while other plans do provide benefits. Our team will be happy to go over your insurance plan with you to determine if it could be used to help offset the cost of your procedure.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

From an initial consultation to when a patient walks out of our office with their final restorations, the entire process can take anywhere from about 4 months to a year or more. Simpler cases that involve fewer teeth and a healthier patient can usually be completed over the course of a few months, while those that require a full denture and a bone graft beforehand can take longer. We also offer a procedure called All-on-4/6, where implants can be placed and restored in just one visit, making it the fastest implant option available. So how long will your specific procedure take? We can let you know at your initial consultation.

Are there any risks associated with dental implant surgery?

After implant surgery, most patients experience a small amount of pain or swelling in the treatment area, but this can easily be managed with an over-the-counter medicine. As with any surgical procedure, there is a slight chance of an infection developing afterward, and in very rare cases, some facial nerves may become bruised as well. Thanks to our team’s extensive amount of experience with the procedure, these risks are very minor.

Can dental implants fail?

It is possible for a dental implant to fail if it’s placed in insufficient bone or if it isn’t given enough time to fully bond to the jawbone before being restored. Additionally, a lack of good homecare and oral hygiene can lead to oral infections and periodontal disease, which can cause an implant to become loose. To mitigate these risks, our team at Capital Smiles creates extremely precise treatment plans for implant placement, and dental implant patients must keep up with regular cleanings or implant maintenance with their dental hygienist and regular exams with their dentist. Certain homecare products to aid in good oral homecare will also be recommended.

Can dental implants be used to upgrade my current denture?

Yes, we can use dental implants to help improve the fit of a traditional denture, but this will largely depend on the condition of the denture itself as well as a patient’s jawbone. If needed, we can also provide a patient with a completely new implant-retained denture so they can enjoy a stable fit that will last for years to come.

Can I get dental implants if I am a smoker?

Yes, but being a smoker does make the implant placement procedure a little riskier because it increases the chances of an infection developing. This is why our team recommends that a patient, at minimum, stop smoking right before their placement and for a few days after so they can recover.

After implant surgery, how soon can I return to work?

This really depends on the complexity of the surgery itself. For minor cases, we typically recommend that a patient take the day of their procedure off to relax, and for more complicated ones, they may require about two to three days of recovery. We will let you know how much time you should take off before we perform the procedure.

Have more questions about dental implants? Contact us today to get the answers you need!