What is a dental implant?

  • A dental implant replaces the natural tooth root and provides a stable foundation for a new crown. Dental implants are made of titanium, which is a biocompatible material used in orthopedic implants such as knee replacements.

What are some of the advantages of dental implants?

  • Dental implants prevent the bone resorption, or deterioration, that results from the loss or removal of teeth.
  • Unlike other treatment options, dental implant treatment does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, and therefore does not compromise the health of any other teeth.
  • Dental implant treatment provides patients with a long-term solution for missing teeth, making it the most cost effective treatment option long-term.

How long do dental implants last?

  • Documented clinical research demonstrates long-term success rates of over 95%. This is a much higher success rate than other treatment options for replacing teeth. Research indicates that bridges need to be replaced approximately every 10 years.
  • Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. However, long-term success is impacted by regular maintenance and home care.

Do dental implants ever fail?

  • Dental implant treatment is one of the most successful procedures in health care, with a success rate of over 95%.  However, long-term success is impacted by regular maintenance and home care.  For more information regarding maintenance, refer to The Implant Guide/Maintenance.

Am I am a candidate for dental implant treatment?   

  • Nearly everyone who is in good health is a candidate for dental implant treatment. There are a few medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, that can lower the success rates. Smoking also negatively affects the success rate of dental implants.   In reality,  there are very few conditions that would prevent you from having dental implant treatment.
  • The integrity of bone within the patient’s mouth is the largest factor in determining the efficacy of dental implant treatment. Fortunately, bone grafting procedures that make it possible for people to have implants even if they have lost a significant amount of bone.  

How long does the treatment take?

  • Depending on the complexity of the case, it can take anywhere from several weeks to few months to complete your treatment. Sometimes it is even possible to have a dental implant placed immediately after the tooth is extracted.  Conversely, if the patient has no natural teeth left in the mouth, or has lost a significant amount of bone, it can take as many as six to nine months to complete treatment.  

Is dental implant surgery painful?

  • Everyone has a different threshold for pain. The majority of dental implant patients report that their post-surgical discomfort is greatly reduced by mild pain relievers such as Tylenol or Advil.  More complex surgical procedures may cause additional discomfort following surgery, but even then, stronger pain medication is rarely necessary.  Dr. Goeckermann and his staff will do their best to explain what you should expect to experience after surgery.  

How much do dental implants cost?

  • There are a number of factors that determine the cost of dental implant treatment, including the number of teeth being replaced, the type of replacement teeth, and any additional procedures that might be required in order to achieve the ideal functional and aesthetic results.
  • The fees for treatment are based on the amount of time it takes for the procedures involved in your case, the actual cost of the implants and other components, as well as the cost for the dental laboratory to fabricate the replacement teeth. The fee for dental implant treatment is usually comparable to other methods of tooth replacement.

Does insurance cover dental implants?

  • Coverage for dental implants is entirely dependent upon the individual plan.  It is important to note that there are limitations and restrictions written into most plans.  
  • Dental benefits are designed to cover minimal basic care. Insurance companies use statistical data to establish their “usual and customary fee” schedule. All of the dental plans have an annual maximum, which is typically $1,000 to $1,500.
  • The number of dental insurance plans that cover dental implants has increased significantly over the past 5 to 10 years.  Some dental insurance plans will contribute the amount of the lowest cost alternative, such as a partial denture.  Even when dental implants are covered under a dental insurance policy, the benefit paid is still limited to the annual maximum of the individual plan.  

Are dental implants covered by medical insurance?

  • Medical insurance will sometimes cover dental implants for people who have serious medical conditions as a result of complete tooth loss. There are also plans that provide benefits for bone grafting procedures. Other than these special cases, medical coverage for dental implants is rare.
  • Medicare does not cover dental implants. 

    For additional information regarding dental implants, click here: The Dental Implant Guide