After Implant Placement FAQ

What can I use for teeth while the implants heal?

Many options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary denture. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants usually can be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day. Depending on your particular situation, some implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means a temporary or permanent replacement tooth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.

A middle-aged man and woman smiling with good teeth

What are the potential problems after dental implant surgery?

Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience significant post-operative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible. Long-acting local anesthetics are now available that can last for several days. Ask Dr. Lee or his staff about the new long-acting local anesthetic called Experel. Occasionally, some people develop post-operative infections that require additional antibiotic treatment. In addition, there is a chance that the nerve in the lower jaw, which provides sensation to your lower lip and chin, may be affected. If you are missing quite a lot of bone, it might be difficult to place an implant without infringing on the nerve space. Although we take great care to avoid this nerve, occasionally it is irritated during the procedure, resulting in tingling, numbness or a complete lack of sensation in your lip, chin or tongue. Usually these altered sensations will resolve within time, but they can be permanent and/or painful. If you notify us of post-operative numbness as soon as possible, it will allow us to manage your care in the most appropriate way.

How long will the implants last?

Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals (or on occasion at the time of removal), another implant usually can be placed.

When are the replacement teeth attached to the implant?

The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jaw bone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.

In general, once your implants are placed, you can expect your tooth replacement treatment to be started to 2-3 months. It is difficult for us to tell you exactly how much the restorative phase of your treatment will cost, although you should receive a reasonable estimate from our office. It also is difficult to give you a specific timeframe for completion of your treatment until after the implants are ready for restoration.

A couple with great smiles

Dental Implants

are the most technologically advanced and longest lasting tooth replacement option available. Restore your confidence… Smile, Eat and Enjoy!

How do I clean my new teeth?

Will one doctor do everything?

Usually, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures – your general dentist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment. Dr. Lee used 3-D, CAD/CAM software to treatment plan your case. This information is shared with your dentist and, together with your dentist, his or her other dental laboratory and Dr. Lee, determine the exact position of your dental implant or implants in your mouth so the teeth can be exactly replaced. Dr. Lee’s practice is technology driven.

How much does dental implant treatment cost?

Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the implants and making your replacement teeth. In many cases, there is an initial charge for the diagnostic work-up, including study models, x-rays, and the fabrication of a surgical template to ensure the best possible result.

We will assist you in estimating what your actual payments will be from your insurance coverage or other third-party payments. You should remember that dental implants are an investment in YOU. Invest wisely:

  • Don’t hurry the process. Every shortcut your surgeon takes increases the possibility of compromise
  • Make sure the foundation (bone) is strong. Don’t build the house (your teeth) on a weak foundation (the bone)
  • Over-engineer the system. Who knows how much pressure you put on your teeth from clenching, grinding and eating. Dr. Lee, your dentist and your dentist’s dental laboratory will engineer it to last as long as possible. Information on the labs Dr. Lee uses are below.
  • Generic Implants are available at a fraction of the cost of branded, guaranteed implants and connecting screws and components. Dr. Lee will not place them.  Generic drugs may be ok but generic implants, sometimes advised by clinics and corporate dental groups, are not.
  • If an implant placed by Dr. Lee fails in the 1st year of restoration by the dentist, Dr. Lee will replace it. Try finding that gaurantee somewhere else!

Each patient is unique, and it is not possible for us to discuss every option and every contingency for treatment outcome. This website is intended to help you understand the general treatment options available to you. If your specific treatment options are not clear, please contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your surgical care.