Implants FAQ + How do dental implants help if I have full dentures or partial dentures?Actually implants are most popularly used in patients who wear full dentures or partial dentures. Dental implants can be used to provide retention and support for a removable implant overdenture, which basically snaps on the implants like a trailer-hitch! Therefore the partial or full denture does not move and reduces the dependency on denture adhesives/denture glue. OR, dental implants can be used for a Fixed Denture, where a patient’s dentures are fixed/bolted to the implants through titanium components. Only the dentist can remove this from the mouth and not the patient! The patient just takes care of the “fixed teeth” just like natural teeth! + I have 4 implants underneath my bottom denture and my denture is still loose. Why?If the implants had been placed a long time ago and you have not returned for folllow-up/maintenance visits, such problems can occur. Unfortunately, in time the bone shrinks beneath dentures causing the dentures to slip and slide resulting in painful ulcers. Additionally, the attachment parts get worn down with use or damaged and require replacement. Regular visits to a prosthodontist is recommended. + Are dental implants removable like regular dentures or do they stay in your mouth?No, dental implants are fixed solidly in the bone and allow teeth to be replaced in a manner that is closest to natural teeth. + What is all on four?All on 4 is a trademarked treatment procedure that essentially involves replacement of all missing teeth in one jaw by using only 4 implants. This procedure is especially beneficial in patients who have lost a lot of bone in the back areas of the mouth. + Do dental implants last?Unlike natural teeth dental implants are not susceptible to dental disease such as decay; however, the health of the gums is vital to maintaining last implant success. Conscientious home care by the patient and regular professional cleanings and check-ups are essential elements for dental implant sustainability. Each patient is different, and success relies upon diagnosis and planning, medical history and a variety of other factors. + What if I want "metal-free" implants?Firstly, there is no such thing as “metal-free” teeth. Almost all materials used for teeth replacements have some sort of metal ions in them. Dental implants are made of titanium alloy (similar to hip implants, shoulder implants, and knee implants), which is highly biocompatible, and allergy to titanium is extremely rare! Currently, there are no proven alternatives to titanium dental implants. + How much do implants cost and does insurance cover the cost?In general, the cost of replacing a single tooth with a dental implant is almost the same as replacing it with a regular fixed bridge. Dental implant treatment may qualify for some insurance coverage, but situations vary. The cost will vary by patient needs, bone quantity, and region. Dr. Liddle, a prosthodontist will make an assessment based on your unique needs. + What is the success of dental implants?It varies from individual to individual and with health and habits. For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene and good health, dental implants are predictably successful and survival rates above 90-95 percent are reported. You may consider seeking the care of Dr. Liddle, a prosthodontist, who is a dental specialist with 3 years of additional education after dental school, and who is trained to treat patients requiring dental implants. + What are the disadvantages of dental implants?Like any minor oral surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection, inflammation and pain but Dr. Liddle a Prosthodontist will discuss how these can be managed for your specific situation. If there is no available bone to place the implant, then bone and gum grafting procedures may be required, that can increase the cost of your treatment. However, the upfront investment can pay off in the long term. + What are the advantages of dental implants? Humans are “blessed” with 2 sets of teeth- baby teeth and adult/permanent teeth. When a single permanent tooth or all teeth are lost due to dental decay or gum disease, dental implants can now replace them as the 3rdset of fixed teeth! Dental implants can last a lifetime and can improve your appearance, your confidence, and your ability to eat the foods you like, and participate in an active lifestyle, without worry about your teeth. Dental implants are made of titanium and can never get dental decay! + Who is a good candidate for dental implants?Almost anyone who is missing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or all teeth are candidates. Talk to Dr. Liddle, a prosthodontist for your specific needs. + What are dental implants?A dental implant by itself is not a tooth! A dental implant is a prosthesis. Essentially, it is a small titanium post/fixture that is inserted into the jawbone, on top of which, a single crown (cap), a fixed bridge, a partial denture, or full denture can be attached. Once the implant integrates to your bone, a structure called abutment is connected to the implant and then the artificial tooth/teeth are attached. Therefore, there are 3 parts to an “implant tooth”- the dental implant itself, the abutment, and the artificial tooth.