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Dental Implants | Frequently Asked Questions

The Grand Rapids Dentists at Great Lakes Dental Care want patients to know about the many benefits to using dental implants. Do you have questions about dental implants? Are you a good candidate? Are they painful? What are the costs? 

The dentists at Great Lakes Dental Care specialize in the use of dental implants and we always want our patients to be informed about new technology and procedures that can benefit them and their health. Our West Michigan dentists have provided answers to many of these questions and more below.

The following information on dental implants will help you learn more:

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are titanium screws that serve as anchors in the jawbone to replace missing teeth.  After a few months your jawbone fuses to the implant and then an abutment, or ‘post’ is screwed into the implant. Finally, a crown, designed to look like a natural tooth, is either screwed into or cemented over the abutment. Dental implants replace as many teeth as needed, from one tooth to all of the teeth on an arch.

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What are the benefits of dental implants?

Unlike dentures, dental implants don’t slip, eliminating the need for adhesives to stay secure. They function like normal teeth, not only when you smile, but also when you eat and exercise. Additionally, they prevent loss of bone in your jaw where you’re missing teeth, and don’t damage any teeth surrounding the dental implant.

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How successful are dental implants?

Overall, dental implants work 97% of the time. The knowledge and experience of your dentist play a big part in the success of your own dental implants.

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How much do dental implants cost?

The cost varies depending on several things, including the experience of your doctor, the number of teeth you need replaced and the quantity and quality of your existing bone. Sometimes it is necessary to rebuild the bone either simultaneously with implant placement or several months before the implants are placed.  This will be an additional cost and may lengthen the overall treatment time.  This will be discussed at the consultation appointment.

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Who can receive dental implants?

Almost anyone can receive dental implants, though certain medical factors prevent some individuals from receiving them. Talk with your doctor to find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants.

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Are there any age limitations?

Yes.  We generally wait until young adults have completed their growth cycle. Mature adults of any age can receive dental implants.

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Is the dental implant procedure painful?

No. During the surgery, there should be no pain whatsoever. Generally, most implant procedures can be tolerated very well just with local anesthetic. However, oral sedation can be used for apprehensive patients. Following surgery the discomfort will be similar to that experienced after a simple tooth extraction. Pain relievers along with anti-inflammatory medication will be prescribed and should keep you comfortable after surgery.

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Will my insurance cover dental implants?

Many insurance plans provide partial coverage for dental implants. While coverage tends to be minimal, the investment may last a lifetime. Benefits will be discussed at the consultation appointment, along with interest free payment options.

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How often will I need to get my implants checked?

Dental Implants should be examined and cleaned by a trained dental hygienist every 6 months.

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How can I take care of my implants?

Aside from the occasional examination, proper dental hygiene goes a long way. Care for your implants the same way you would your natural teeth—by brushing and flossing twice a day.