Dental Implant FAQs

Will I have temporary teeth during the healing phase?

Temporary teeth will be available while you recover from dental implant surgery. The screw-like implant takes two to six months to bond to the bone and form an anchor for your artificial tooth, during which time there will be a gap. Your dentist at Alamo Maxillofacial Surgical Associates can provide a denture or bridge to fill the open space in your mouth. You will be able to remove your temporary solution to sleep or for cleaning purposes.

Do dental implants hurt?

You will have the option of receiving pain medication or submitting to sedation techniques to alleviate any discomfort associated with dental implant surgery. You may experience minor aches after the anesthesia wanes, but it should last only a short time. To minimize pain, we suggest eating soft foods and gently brushing your teeth in the days following surgery. If necessary, your dentist at Alamo Maxillofacial Surgical Associates can prescribe pain medication or antibiotics following your oral surgery.

Do dental implants feel like real teeth?

Because a post placed in your jaw will securely stabilize your dental implants, you will likely be unable to feel the difference between your implant and natural teeth. However, you will not have any feeling in the implant itself. The roots of your natural teeth have nerves that can detect sensations such as heat, cold, and pressure. Any feeling that you may have near your implant site will be from the surrounding gum tissue.

Will I need to miss work for dental implant surgery?

Dental implant recovery time varies depending on the individual as well as the extent of the dental implant surgery. Patients who receive only one or two dental implants may be able to return to work the following day. However, those who receive numerous implants might require two to three days of recovery time. The healing process can be expedited by eating soft foods and avoiding strenuous activity and smoking.

What are single-stage implants?

Dentists at Alamo Maxillofacial Surgical Associates can place single-stage dental implants in your mouth using just one procedure. The operation requires the implantation of a metal post in your jaw, which will serve as the foundation for your artificial tooth. In this type of procedure, your surgeon will attach a healing abutment to your implant that will protrude through your gum tissues. During the two to six months it will take for the implant to fuse to your bone, the abutment will shape the gums in preparation for your implant-supported crown. Following the healing period, a crown will be placed on the implant, thus completing the process and leaving you with the appearance of a normal, healthy tooth.

What if I am missing a lot of teeth?

If you are missing several teeth, we can offer implant-supported full or partial bridges to replace them. The bridges will look and function like real teeth and will provide several advantages over removable partial dentures or fixed bridges. Implant-supported bridges will not require support from adjacent natural teeth, as would the other options. Additionally, the implants will integrate fully with your jawbone, helping it remain healthy and intact.

What are the risks and complications associated with dental implants?

Dental implant surgery is one of the safest forms of oral surgery. Our trained surgeons at Alamo Maxillofacial Surgical Associates will provide you with information and strategies to safeguard against any potential risk from the procedure. Possible complications include:

  • Damage to teeth or blood vessels surrounding the implant site
  • Sinus problems as a result of an implant protruding into a sinus cavity
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection
  • Bone loss surrounding the implant reducing its stability

How long do dental implants last?

A study published in the Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry revealed the success rate of dental implants to be 90-95% over 10 years. With proper care and placement, dental implants can last for decades. They are intended as a permanent solution for your oral needs.

When will I have my permanent teeth?

Your permanent teeth will be affixed to the dental implants once the implants have fused to your jawbone. The fusion process will take from two to six months and provide a base for your permanent teeth. After your gums have healed, your dentist will use impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to make a crown that can be put in place once your jawbone is strong enough to support it. You will have the option of a removable tooth that can attach to the implant abutment and snap into place or a fixed tooth that will be permanently screwed or cemented onto the abutment.

How do I care for my implants?

You will care for your dental implants in much the same way you would the rest of your teeth. Good oral hygiene including regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist will increase their longevity. You may also use interdental brushes, soft picks, and water irrigation units to care for your dental implants. As with your natural teeth, it is also best practice to avoid poor habits such as chewing hard items and using tobacco products.

Drs. Buckley, Edgin, Franco, Hanna, Rominger, Tiner, Verrett and Johnson and staff of Alamo Maxillofacial Surgical Associates, PA welcome all questions, please give us a call!