Frequently Asked Questions - Woodbury, MN

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Essential Facts You Should Know About Dental Implants

Given the large number of people with missing teeth, it isn’t surprising that millions of individuals in the U.S. alone have dental implants and this number is growing by 500,000 every year. While dental implants have a long and proven track record as the number one tooth replacement option, dental implant surgery requires in-depth knowledge of soft and hard tissues and a significant level of expertise in all phases of treatment. 

Our skilled implant dentist Dr. Marko Kamel wants you to be informed before making the important decision about restoring your smile. At Woodbury Dental Arts, we believe in transparent communication and delivering the best personalized implant solutions to meet each patient’s unique needs. If you’re missing teeth, considering dental implants and starting to look for information, our dental implant FAQ is a good starting point. We encourage you to read our list of frequently asked questions to help prepare for your complimentary implant consultation in Woodbury, MN. Of course, we always welcome calls to our practice if you have additional questions prior to your appointment.

Common Questions About Implants

Failure to replace missing teeth is the leading cause of jawbone loss. The empty sockets can cause teeth to shift, resulting in major issues with your bite. This can have a domino effect and cause headaches, muscle pain, unnatural wearing of teeth, bacteria build-up, additional tooth loss, sensitivity and even temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Missing teeth can also negatively impact your appearance, self-confidence, social and professional life and general health.

A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth replacement that consists of three parts. The post resembles a small screw fabricated from biocompatible titanium that replaces your natural tooth root. The abutment is a small metal piece placed on or built into the top of the dental implant that connects to the replacement tooth or teeth. The final zirconia crown or full arch prosthesis is customized to match your natural teeth and attached to the dental implants.

Dental implants function like natural teeth because the artificial titanium root is implanted and eventually fuses with your jawbone, thereby preventing the many problems associated with missing teeth. Dental implants are also the most versatile solution because they can be used to replace a single missing tooth, many missing teeth, a complete upper or lower arch or both.

The underlying bone needs to reach skeletal maturity, therefore, dental implants are a potentially viable option for anyone in their mid-20s or older. In short, adults with missing or failing teeth in otherwise good oral health (including no active gum disease) are typically good candidates for dental implants. Candidacy is more accurately determined after a free consultation and evaluation with our implant dentist.

Yes, many people in their 80s or 90s with bone loss can qualify for dental implants with bone grafting that restores the underlying bone. But older adults have a greater risk of chronic health problems with potentially longer healing times, so this needs to be taken into consideration.

Implant supported dentures rely on strategically placed dental implants for added support and stability. By blending two prosthetic methods, implant supported dentures eliminate numerous issues associated with traditional dentures, including slipping, clicking, falling out, speech difficulties, ongoing bone loss and most food limitations.

Temporary dental prosthetics are usually made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), a strong, durable and biocompatible plastic material that can be molded and shaped to look like natural teeth. The prosthesis is made from a mold of your teeth, then milled, shaped and polished before placement in your mouth.

Dental implants have achieved a consistently high success rate (95–99%) since their introduction decades ago. Greater success is achieved through a combination of surgical technology, high-quality materials, clinical experience and proper long-term maintenance.

Known as ceramic steel, zirconia is considered a superior tooth replacement material due to its unparalleled functional and aesthetic results, biocompatibility and natural-looking appearance. It’s 10 times stronger than natural tooth enamel and up to five times stronger than porcelain. In addition, because zirconia has better resistance to hot and cold temperatures, it helps protect against hypersensitivity that can be a problem with other crown materials.

To help guarantee the long-term success of dental implants (restored dental function and health), they must be placed in specific areas of the jawbone. Computer-guided navigation ensures dental implants are placed in the precise location, angle and depth in your jawbone, taking into consideration the underlying nerves, sinuses, bone density and bone volume.

Because every patient has unique needs that require customized dental implant treatment, dental implant costs can vary considerably. Implant fees are based on the type and complexity of the work, the initial exam, preliminary treatments, outsourcing, practice overhead and geographic differences. We believe everyone deserves to transform their smile with top quality, affordable dental implants. Our team offers free implant consultations and third-party financing from several reputable companies to make monthly payments more affordable.

To ensure your comfort during surgery and to alleviate dental anxiety, we offer sedation dentistry. After local anesthesia and your choice of sedation have taken effect, a small hole is carefully drilled in your gums and the implant post is placed in a predetermined location with the strongest bone density.

As with any oral surgery, you may experience minor discomfort after surgery. Swelling around the gums and facial area, slight bruising, pain at the implant site and minor bleeding are normal. Many patients manage pain with over-the-counter pain medication (acetaminophen or ibuprofen). In some cases, Dr. Kamel may prescribe prescription pain medication and/or antibiotics. Before you leave our office, we’ll provide and review important aftercare instructions with you that help prevent complications and ensure proper healing.

The timeline depends on several factors, including if you require preliminary treatments such as extraction and bone grafting. While an uncomplicated extraction can take a month to fully heal, it may take three to 12 months to recover from more extensive bone grafting. A single dental implant usually takes one to two hours to complete, although you’ll need to stay at our office longer if you receive IV sedation. Healing and integration with the underlying bone (osseointegration) generally takes three to six months.

With All-on-4 or All-on-X in Woodbury, MN, four to eight dental implant posts per arch are strategically placed in areas of your jawbone with the healthiest density. Once they fully fuse with your underlying bone, the implants assume the function of natural tooth roots to support new teeth. The All-on-4 and All-on-X protocol allows extraction, surgery and placement of a temporary prosthesis in one day. Dr. Kamel and Woodbury Dental Arts received Nobel Biocare™ All-on-4® Center of Excellence recognition in 2021.

The beauty of dental implants is that they can be cared for like natural teeth. As such, they only require brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Depending on your restoration, a water flosser may be needed to ensure all food debris is removed. In addition, it’s important to visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and comprehensive oral exam.

When shortcuts are taken, the repercussions can be serious, including painful nerve damage, persistent infection and even implant failure. Moreover, numerous research studies have shown a significant correlation between smoking/tobacco use and dental implant failure. If you smoke, quitting before the procedure increases the chance of a successful outcome. A condition called peri-implantitis that causes inflammation and infection in the gum tissue surrounding a dental implant can lead to failure, if left untreated. Dr. Kamel uses a soft tissue laser to gently treat failing implants.

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