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Robert C. Clay, Jr., DDS, Ltd.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Dental Implants

How can we help you?

If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. We know that most people have questions about their dental health, the services we offer, and dental insurance. We get asked questions about these topics, and many others, every single day. We welcome all of your questions, and it is an encouraging sign that you are taking interest in your oral healthcare. We would love the opportunity to help.

So, whether you have a dental question, an insurance question, or heck, if you can’t remember the lyrics to a song, we will do our best to help you get the answers you are looking for. We have a few of the more common questions compiled here, but please feel free to ask us if you have any other questions you need answered.

Dental Implants

A simple answer is....sometimes.  The truth is that every implant case is so different that the options are based on the patient’s needs as well as the existing conditions.  With individual implants to replace single teeth, the tooth root shape and the implant shape are relatively similar, so we have a better chance to have the option to place an implant the same day the tooth is removed. For multi rooted back teeth, it isn’t as easy, or even possible to do same day implant placement due to the different shapes of a cylinder implant versus a multi rooted tooth shape. Other variables like bone shape, infection, or other health issues also come into play with immediate implant placement. I always tell patients that we don’t want to rush to do things wrong.  It is always better to do it right the first time, and although immediate placement may be desired, it isn’t always a good idea.

 

There are a lot of tv ads about getting implants done as well as “teeth in a day.”  To learn more about this particular implant option, click HERE

There are various reasons we do crowns as well as various processes involved.  Most of the time, after a tooth is prepared and an impression taken, we can have the crown ready to cement in two weeks.  Crowns on implants will often require an additional week to make as implant components must be ordered by the lab and custom parts fabricated.  Those additional steps require more time at the lab. 

 

There are other times that the time frame may differ for various reasons.  Sometimes we like to keep a temporary crown on, or even the permanent crown, using temporary cement for an extended period. We will do this when we have concerns about the health of the nerve in the tooth and we want additional time to evaluate it.  If we need the lab to make a post for the tooth, this will also require additional time and appointments. Other times, we will send you to the lab so the lab technician can see you for custom shading and tinting so the best esthetic result can be obtained.  Timing of that appointment and availability of the patient and lab technician may delay the final finish date accordingly.

 

Like so many things, we want them done right, not just fast.  We understand that patients want things done right away, but we want them done right. We will always go the extra mile to make sure you get the result you want and deserve. 

Having a missing tooth can be very stressful when considering esthetics, the treatment one needs to undergo to replace the tooth, or teeth, and the costs associated.  Since every patient has their own individual needs as well as financial constraints, it is not always up to us to decide what is “best” for you. We will always present all of the available options and weigh the pros and cons as far as optimal dental treatment goes.  Along with that, we will present the fees associated with all of these options.  Finally, we will present you with options for third party finance companies to help spread the costs over a longer period of time where costs are a concern.  We will try to find a way to allow you to get the best treatment, the treatment that you deserve, but also understand if the “best” treatment just isn’t feasible at this time.  We will then work to help you decide on one of the alternate options

Dental implants have several advantages over other tooth replacement options:

  • Dental implants appear the most life-like and natural.
  • The actual implant piece of the dental implant is made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.
  • Dental implants are the most secure and stable.
  • Dental implants prevent bone loss, keeping your jaw tissue healthy and preventing changes in the shape of your face.
  • With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Dentures and partials are both treatment options that utilize removable prosthetics to replace missing teeth.  Full dentures replace all of the teeth when they are all missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain and we need to replace the missing natural teeth with artificial teeth. Traditionally, both of these options involve prosthetics that the patient can take in and out of their mouth by themselves in order to clean them; however, modern dentistry also allows us to present options with implants. Utilizing implants we can now fabricate dentures or partials that the patient can take in and out of their own mouth by clipping onto implant attachments, as well as options that involve screwing the teeth into the implants where the patient cannot remove the teeth by themselves.  Give us a call to see which options are available to you.

When patients talk about “cosmetic dentistry” we are always interested to hear what people think that means.  To us, dentistry has evolved to the point that we feel most services could be considered “cosmetic” as we use tooth colored filling material for almost everything.  That said, many people consider cosmetic dentistry to include the use of porcelain crowns, porcelain veneers, bonded white fillings on front teeth, tooth whitening or bleaching, and white fillings on back teeth.  And yes, we routinely perform all of these procedures.  We also utilize Invisalign to help straighten your teeth,  and dental implant restorations to restore a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even all of your teeth.  In fact, we even feel the conventional dentures and removable partials we fabricate also fall into the cosmetic category as we not only use top labs and materials, but also take every extra step to ensure they look as realistic as possible.  So yes, we do perform all of these cosmetic dental services, and we will discuss them with you, as well as present options and risks of treatment before we start your treatment. Give us a call to set up a consultation so we can see what can be done.

When dental implants, or any restorative option for that matter, are used, we make every effort to make your dental work blend in and look as natural as possible. The implant surgeons take great care and planning to place implants in a location that will not only be functional, but also allow us to make things looks as natural as possible.  In most cases, it is difficult to impossible for other people to identify the use of an implant.  There are times, however, where we may have challenges to what we want to do based on various factors.  In these cases where we may have compromises, including esthetics, we will always try to discuss these challenges prior to treatment. That said, there are many ways we can make things look natural, even in the most difficult cases.  The best way is to let us see you so we can evaluate your needs and then we can come up with a restorative plan with all of the options available.

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