Implant Dentistry FAQ
Dental implants offer patients a long-term tooth replacement option that restores the appearance and function of natural teeth. At the Southern Dental Implant Center, our experienced implant dentist, Dr. Jason Collier, offers comprehensive implant dentistry to patients from Memphis and throughout Tennessee. We want our implant dentistry patients to be well informed about their options and the implant procedure before they decide whether this tooth replacement choice is right for them. Below, Dr. Collier provides answers to some of the most common questions about implant dentistry. Of course, if you have specific questions, please contact our cosmetic and implant dentistry practice to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists.
Implant Procedure and Results
What are the main benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants offer patients who are missing teeth a stable, reliable, and realistic replacement option. Patients who receive dental implants can smile with confidence and eat their favorite foods without worry. More importantly, dental implants halt the bone loss associated with missing teeth and wearing removable dentures.
Who is a candidate for implant dentistry?
Almost anyone who is missing teeth is a good candidate for implant dentistry. You must have a sufficient amount of healthy bone in the jaw to support the implant. As with many types of medical procedures, certain health concerns will prohibit people from receiving dental implants. Those who are not good candidates for dental implants include cancer patients who have recently undergone radiation therapy and patients with uncontrolled diabetes. Other medical conditions generally do not limit a patient's ability to receive dental implants. Please schedule an implant dentistry consultation at our practice serving all of the mid-south area to determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants.
I've been told I don't have enough bone for dental implants. Is there anything you can do?
Yes. In most cases, even severe bone loss can be helped by a bone grafting procedure. This simple in-office procedure ensures that there is enough healthy bone for the successful integration of the implant post into the jaw, creating a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. Gradual bone loss is common among denture wearers, and many experience difficulty stabilizing their lower denture over time, which can lead to chewing, speaking, eating, and even digestion problems. But with modern bone grafting techniques, we can often return the jaw to normal function and place implants to stabilize a denture.
What are dental implants made of?
Dental implants have historically been made from titanium, a metal that is also used for joint replacements. Since titanium is biocompatible, the jaw bone grows around the dental implant, ensuring a firm and stable foundation for a replacement tooth.
Graphic of a dental implant and restoration
Alternatively, dental implants can be made from a material called zirconia. Zirconia is another biocompatible material that has been used for some time in dentistry but more recently has been found to be an excellent implantable material. There are a number of advantages to the zirconia implants. A cosmetic advantage of zirconia is the white color of the implant itself, being closer in color to the natural teeth. There is no risk of a metallic gray showing through the tissue or crown at any point in time. A second advantage is that they are metal free, which is a nice alternative to those seeking a completely metal-free restoration for their smile. The third advantage to the zirconia material is that it has been found to be more plaque resistant than the historical titanium implants, making it zirconia the healthier alternative. Whether a titanium or zirconia implant is found to be the best solution for you, your long-term cosmetic and functional success is our utmost priority.
Is the implant dentistry procedure painful?
At our Memphis-area practice, the implant dentistry procedure is performed by a trained physician, and there is only very minor discomfort. We also offer sedation dentistry performed by a trained physician to help our patients remain comfortable and pain-free during the placement of dental implants. Many patients report that they require only minor pain-relieving medication such as ibuprofen after the procedure, and within a day of treatment, most patients are able to return to their normal activities.
How long does the implant dentistry procedure take?
The length of the implant dentistry procedure varies based on the type of treatment required. In most cases, a four-to-six month healing period is needed to allow the jaw bone to integrate with implant post. However, we are sometimes able to deliver fully functioning replacement teeth in a single office visit with immediate function dental implants or single visit teeth.
Do I have to go without my dentures during my treatment?
No. We would like you to keep your dentures out the day of your treatment, but afterwards you can wear your dentures as you normally would while your mouth and jaw heals.
How much does the implant dentistry procedure cost?
The cost of implant dentistry at our practice serving all of Tennessee is based on several factors, including:
- The patient's level of bone loss
- The number and type of dental implants placed
- The type of replacement tooth the patient chooses
In your consultation, Dr. Collier will review your case and discuss with you your personalized implant dentistry plan, as well as the duration and cost of your treatment.
Is financing available for dental implants?
Yes! We offer several financing options, including one-year interest-free and long-term plans. We also offer a discount for cash payment made before your implant dentistry treatment.
How do I select an implant dentist?
In choosing a professional for your implant treatment, it is important to know the experience level of the dentist. Don't be afraid to ask how long the practitioner has been placing implants and how many implants he or she has placed. Implant dentistry is not currently a separate dental specialty; therefore, just because a dentist is a specialist in periodontal disease or oral surgery does not necessarily mean he or she has adequate implant surgery experience. Also, ask if he or she is certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology and has active membership in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Contact Our Practice for Implant Dentistry Serving Memphis and All of Tennessee
Dr. Jason Collier has extensive experience as an implant dentist and has expertise in the entire implant dentistry procedure. Dr. Collier and his team of implant professionals offer expert placement and restoration of dental implants at our practice serving the Memphis area. Contact our implant and cosmetic dentistry practice to schedule your consultation to determine whether dental implants are right for you.