Dental implants have been around for over 50 years, though for many people they seem an amazing new technology. And, honestly, we consider them pretty amazing, too. They also seem very complicated to patients, who understandably have questions about how implants work. A few questions tend to come up over and over again, which is why we want to address them here, in the hopes of helping people feel more comfortable with dental implants when they come into our office.

Here are answers to the top five questions people ask about dental implants.

Older woman pondering questions while taking a walk in the park

How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

This one always comes out on top. We get it: you want to know if you can afford them. Unfortunately, this is the hardest question to answer because it depends completely on your procedure. A dental implant is a procedure that is customized to you, and we can’t give you an idea of how much it will cost until we can evaluate what your procedure is like.

How Much Time Will the Dental Implant Process Take?

This one is easy. As far as the actual procedure, a single dental implant can be placed in under an hour. More implants, and combining implants with other procedures like extractions and bone grafts, takes longer. It can take several hours to get a full arch of teeth replaced with dental implants.

Fortunately, though, most people leave the procedure with attractive, functional teeth. This is true whether you are getting a single dental implant or an entire arch of teeth replaced. These are provisional teeth, but they look and function like natural teeth. After a few months, your provisional teeth will be replaced by more long-term restorations.

Does It Hurt to Get Dental Implants?

A little. During the procedure, you will be under anesthesia and should not feel any discomfort. After the procedure, you may feel some discomfort. However, this is typically mild, much less than for a tooth extraction (unless, of course, you had teeth extracted at the time of implantation). Discomfort can usually be controlled with over-the-counter medication.

Discomfort is highly variable. If you have experienced significant discomfort from previous dental procedures, we can talk to you about your previous experience and how this compares to dental implants.

Do I Need to Work with a Specialist for Dental Implants?

There is no specialty in dental implants recognized by the American Dental Association. Therefore, there are no dental implant specialists. Some specialties like periodontists and oral surgeons have expertise in placing dental implants, but don’t know about placing restorations on the implants.

A well-trained and highly experienced general dentist can handle all parts of the procedure without introducing the risk of miscommunication or other problems that come up when multiple dentists work on the same procedure.

Why Do People Prefer Dental Implants Instead of Dentures?

Dentures are better than having no teeth at all, and our own FOY ® Dentures are better than other dentures. However, dentures can’t fully function like natural teeth because they’re not anchored in your jawbone the way natural teeth are.

Dental implants are anchored in your jawbone. This means you can bite and chew with them as you would with natural teeth. Plus, you care for them like natural teeth, and they can last a lifetime!

Have More Questions? Schedule a Consultation in Hilton Head

If you still have additional questions about dental implants, we can answer them in person during a consultation. Please call (843) 706-2999 today to schedule your consultation with an implant dentist at The Durham Office in Bluffton, serving the Hilton Head area.