Dental Implants Questions
When you lose teeth, it makes it more difficult to bite and chew as normal, let alone smile with confidence. Dental implants are generally considered the gold standard for tooth replacement, and we are pleased to provide dental implant surgery for patients in Houston, TX, and beyond. Additionally, we are happy to answer any questions you might have about the dental implant process. Here are some of the most common inquiries.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a metal rod made to function as an artificial tooth root, which is surgically placed in your jaw to hold a dental prosthesis in place. Unlike traditional bridgework, dental implants do not require any adjacent teeth to be shaved or otherwise compromised. Dental implants look and feel completely natural, and with the right upkeep and care, they can potentially last a lifetime.
What Can Dental Implants Do?
Dental implants are used to replace one or more missing teeth without adversely affecting any of the neighboring teeth. Implants may also provide support for bridges, eliminating the need for partial or removable dentures. Finally, implants can provide support for dentures, allowing them to fit more comfortably and securely.
Why Choose Dental Implants Over Dentures or Bridges?
For most patients, implants are the most advantageous option, providing many benefits over dentures and bridges. For example:
- Dental implants deliver the most natural-looking aesthetics, replicating the appearance and function of your natural teeth. With implants, no one will notice that you have had a tooth replaced.
- Unlike dentures and bridges, implants do not require any healthy teeth to be altered or damaged in any way, preserving their health and reducing the likelihood of future tooth replacement. Therefore, implants are considered the best option for preserving long-term oral health.
- Dental implants allow you to go about your life confidently, without any difficulty chewing or biting, and without any fear of the clicking, popping, or wobbling of dentures.
- Implants are extremely reliable, offering a high rate of success. Oral surgeons widely consider them the best option to replace missing teeth.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
The vast majority of patients who are missing one or more teeth or anticipate needing teeth extracted qualify for implants. However, there are exceptions. If you have untreated periodontal disease, you will need to get treatment before new implants can be placed. And, if you lack sufficient jawbone, you may require a procedure known as bone grafting before implants can be secured. With any specific questions about implant eligibility, we invite you to contact our office to set up a consultation.
What Is Implant Placement Like?
Your comfort and safety are our top priorities. Your treatment will begin with the careful administration of anesthesia and/or sedation, ensuring you do not feel any physical discomfort during implant placement. The procedure itself will be tailored to meet your needs and may involve tooth extractions, single implant placements, or multiple implant placements. The implants will be secured into small holes in your jawbone, then left to heal for several months before final prostheses can be placed. In the interim, we can provide temporary replacement teeth.
Can I Get Implants in a Day?
Patients undergoing full mouth restoration through the All-on-4® treatment concept are given a temporary prosthesis on the same day or the day after they receive their dental implants. While the procedure is sometimes called “teeth in a day,” your final implant-supported dentures will not be ready until you have fully recovered from implant placement surgery.
When left untreated, periodontal disease can erode your gums and compromise the health of your teeth. Fortunately, periodontal treatment can restore you to a healthy and confident smile. Our doctors provide a range of periodontal treatments to patients in Houston, TX, and the surrounding area. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about periodontal treatment.
Why Do I Need Periodontal Surgery?
We only recommend surgery to patients whose gum tissue is unhealthy and for whom non-surgical methods have proven ineffective. Periodontal surgery is often the only way to repair tissues and restore robust oral health.
Will Periodontal Treatment Hurt?
We prioritize your comfort and safety and offer a range of sedation and anesthesia options to minimize physical discomfort and help you manage your anxiety.
How Long Will It Take for Me to Heal?
The recovery process varies by patient, and it is always important to talk with your doctor about specific guidelines or restrictions. Most patients are able to resume their normal daily routines within 24 hours or so.
Will My Insurance Cover Periodontal Treatment?
Many insurance plans will cover at least part of your periodontal treatment. Getting the right care is important, and we do not ever want anyone to forgo care simply because they do not think they can afford it. Contact our office with specific questions about insurance, as well as any questions you may have about flexible financing options.
Questions About Your First Visit
We want your first visit to Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston to be as smooth and pleasant as can be. If you have any questions about how to prepare or what to expect, please contact us directly. Here are a couple of the most common inquiries.
What Can I Expect From My Initial Visit?
During your first visit, you will meet with a doctor in a private, comfortable examination room. Your doctor will ask some questions about your symptoms and your health history, perform an evaluation of your teeth and gums, and review medical images provided by your regular dentist. In some cases, we may need to take additional images. Your doctor will present you with different treatment options, answer any questions you might have, and work with you to develop an effective, personalized treatment plan.
What Should I Bring to My First Appointment?
We ask that you complete the patient forms available here on our website. If you are unable to complete them in advance, simply arrive 15 minutes early, allowing plenty of time for you to fill out the necessary paperwork.
It is natural to have questions or concerns before receiving clinical care. We always want you to feel well-informed and completely comfortable with your care plan, and we invite you to contact our office at any time. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about the treatment experience.
What Types of Anesthesia are Available?
We provide several options, from local to general anesthesia, as well as nitrous gas. Your doctor will discuss anesthesia options with you and help you determine the best option for your needs and procedure.
When Is It Okay for Me to Return to Work?
Recovery times vary from patient to patient and procedure to procedure. Your doctor at Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston will discuss the possible recovery timeline based on your procedure and ways to help the recovery process go by quickly.
When Can I Eat Like Normal Again?
Most patients are instructed to limit their diet for five to seven days, at which point it is okay to eat as normal. Your doctor will provide you with a more specific set of instructions.
Will I Have Sutures?
Your treatment may involve sutures, most of which will dissolve on their own. In some cases, you may be asked to return to our office to have the remaining sutures removed by a doctor.
Will I Need an Antibiotic?
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for you to take before or after the procedure to minimize your risk of surgical infection.
Will I Need Pain Medications?
Most of our patients do just fine with Tylenol or Ibuprofen, but prescription painkillers are available as needed.
After Surgery, Can I Brush and Floss?
We advise you to brush and floss as normal, simply avoiding the surgical site or any area where there is pink packing material.
Is an Ice Pack Necessary?
Following surgery, we recommend applying ice 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for the first day. This is the single best thing you can do to keep swelling at bay.
May I Continue Smoking?
No. Smoking significantly impedes your body’s ability to heal and may compromise your entire recovery process.
Will There Be Any Bleeding?
Bleeding is normal for the first 24 hours or so. If you experience bleeding past the first day or so, contact your doctor.
One of our goals is to make each appointment as smooth, convenient, and pleasant as it can be. If you have any questions at all about your appointment, contact our office. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about clinical appointments.
How Long Will My Appointment Take?
Your appointment time will depend on the type of appointment. For consultations, most appointments last under an hour. Surgeries usually last one to two hours, and more complex procedures may last even longer.
As a New Patient, What Should I Bring?
Fill out your patient forms online before your appointment, or arrive 15 minutes early to complete them here. Also, be sure you bring your insurance card and ID with you.
What is the Policy for Appointment Cancellations?
We ask that you provide at least 48 hours’ notice for consultations or non-surgical treatments. To cancel or reschedule a surgical appointment, we ask that you provide us with at least 72 hours’ notice.
Will I Be Charged for My Consultation?
Yes. The consultation is an important step in your treatment journey, as it provides your doctor with an opportunity to determine a clinical treatment plan that is right for you. The consultation is rarely conducted on the same day as a surgical procedure, which we bill for separately.
With any questions about insurance or financing, contact our office directly. Here are a few of the payment questions we hear most often.
What Forms of Payment Do You Take?
We are happy to take Visa®, Mastercard®, American Express®, CareCredit®, personal checks, or cash.
Will You Bill My Insurance, or Do I Need to Pay on the Day of My Appointment?
We are happy to bill your insurance company on your behalf, but we ask that you pay your estimated co-pay on the day of your appointment. For pre-authorized treatments, we ask that you pay the patient portion at the time of your appointment.
I Do Not Have Dental Insurance. Is There a Way for Me to Make Monthly Payments?
We are always happy to provide affordable monthly payment plans, including CareCredit payment options. Contact our office to learn more about these options.