FAQs on Dental Implants
Washington DC & Bethesda – Chevy Chase

Is tooth loss a natural part of aging?

No. With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, if left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can lead to tooth loss. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and over.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

Studies have shown a 10 year success rate of implants to be between 90 and 95%. This success rate also depends on the dentist’s skill, along with the quality and quantity of the bone available at the site, and the patient’s oral hygiene. Our success rate is greater than 95%.

Am I too old for dental implants?

Our senior patients may not consider implants due to their ages. From a biologic standpoint, you are never too old to receive dental implant therapy. Our oldest implant patient was ninety-one years old. However, health is more of a factor than age in assessing if a patient is a candidate for dental implants. Implants offer vastly improved chewing and function normally, which is a primary concern of our older patients.

Will I have pain with dental implants?

Most of our patients do not experience significant pain after implant surgery. To prevent or diminish discomfort, we pre-medicate our patients with an anti-inflammatory, such as, Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen. Following surgery, you may experience some discomfort. However, with medication before and after surgery, most of our patients report being more comfortable than they anticipated. We do ask you to avoid strenuous exercise for the next 48 hours to protect the implant site.

Can I have Teeth In A Day with Implants?

The answer is yes, in selected cases. However, is being promoted as a simplistic way of receiving new teeth the same day as dental implants are placed. It can mean anything from replacing a single tooth via an implant-supported, temporary crown to restoring a whole arch of teeth in one day with a permanent applicance. For more in-depth information on this topic see our section on Teeth In A Day. After a complete examination, we will be able to tell you whether you are a candidate for Teeth In A Day therapy.

Will smoking cause my implants to fail?

Smoking is a significant risk factor with regard to tooth loss and dental implant failure. Smoking negatively affects blood flow to the bone and tissues surrounding the gums and teeth, which impairs bone healing. People who smoke are at a greater risk of infection or other causes of implant failure following surgery.

We encourage you to kick the habit. There are many new smoking cessation products and support groups to help you. Smoking cessation takes a huge commitment and it is usually easier if you have help. To begin a tobacco cessation program, ask us or your physician for more information.

What are mini dental implants?

A mini-implant is a titanium screw with a round head that is placed into your jaw and o-rings are placed into your lower denture to snap your denture securely in place. In many cases these implants can be placed and the denture implants snapped into place the same day. For patients who are interested in preserving their bone (via bone grafting), we use mini implants as a transitional way of having a stable removable, until it can be replaced with the larger implants and a fixed prosthesis.

How many implants do I need?

Each implant maintains the integrity of the bone, since it is a replacement titanium root. A greater number of inserted implants translates to enhanced support for the prosthesis along with additional preservation of the bone. With the Same-day Implant Prosthesis, a minimum of four implants is necessary to support the fixed prosthesis, but additional implants can provide additional bone preservation and a greater number of future treatment options. We will discuss this with you at your consultation visit so that you can choose the treatment that works for you taking into account your budget and your desires.

Will I be able to have additional implants in the future?

The angulation of your new implants (such as in the All-on-4® technique) can affect your ability to have additional implants placed near them in the future. In some instances, angling these implants is necessary because of a lack of bone, in the posterior part of your jaw, but, in other instances, the implants do not need to be angled. At your consultation, we will show you how we plan to place your implants as we demonstrate it on your CT Scan (3D image) so that you can make an informed decision on how many implants to request.