Q: Do you offer in-office sedation for your patients?
A: Yes, we have several options available:
- IV sedation with a dental anesthesiologist
- Oral sedation
- Nitrous Oxide sedation (Laughing Gas)
Q: I’ve been told that I have bone loss and that I will need a bone graft before I can get an implant.Are there any alternatives to having a bone graft?
A: Bone grafts are necessary in many cases to replace missing bone and to give a good foundation for an implant. However, in some cases, one or more small diameter implants (commonly called mini implants) can be utilized instead of a single larger conventional implant, to restore a missing tooth or teeth without a bone graft. Also the angulation of conventional implants can often be altered to avoid the necessity of a bone graft. This is done with the “All on 4″ implant technique. (See the ‘Our Services” section for more information on this.)
Q: Who is a candidate for dental implants?
A: Whether you are a young, middle-aged or older adult; whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth, there is an implant solution for you. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are the solution of choice for people of all ages.
Q: What is the procedure like?
A: Usually you will be given a strong sedative prior to the procedure. This will require that someone drive you to and from the office, as well as look after you following the surgery. In many cases the teeth can be placed at the same time the implants are placed. You will usually be given medication for discomfort and will be required to return to the office for a follow up examination. Most patients report little pain or complication following the procedure.
Q: What are the advantages of implants over older methods of tooth replacement?
A: Dental implants can be the advanced solution to the problem of missing teeth. In the past, when a few teeth were missing, the solution was a removable partial denture. This is a bulky cast frame metal and acrylic appliance which has clasps which anchor it to the remaining natural teeth. It is often uncomfortable and unaesthetic. Because it attaches to the natural teeth, it often shows clasps and traps food around it which can cause further decay. It also must be removed for cleaning after meals. On the other hand, dental implants actually integrate into the structure of your bone and can prevent bone loss and gum recession that often accompanies bridgework and dentures. You can enjoy a beautiful smile without anyone knowing you have replacement teeth.
Q: What is the i-CAT?
A: The i-CAT is an advanced dental imaging CAT scan machine which allows the doctor to visualize the patient’s jaws in 3-D. The scan procedure is very simple and only involves sitting in a special chair for a few seconds. The scan is extremely accurate and allows the doctor to measure the bone volume and density. By proper measurement of the bone and visualization of the nerves and blood vessels, the dental implantologist can determine which areas of the jaw are best suited for implant placement.
Q: What can I expect after treatment?
A: Your natural teeth require conscientious at-home dental care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and require the same level of care. In order to keep your implants healthy and clean, you will need to adhere to the home care and follow-up procedures which we recommend to all patients.
Q: What if I’m a smoker?
A: Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of getting them.
Q: What if I have gum disease?
A: Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost teeth to gum disease or decay have been successful.
Q: What if I have existing medical problems?
A: If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.
Q: I want to consider implants to stabilize my loose dentures, but I’m getting along in years. Is there a point where a person is too old for implants?
A: Age is generally NOT a significant factor in determining if a patient is a candidate for implants. Dr Oliver has successfully treated many patients in their nineties and has over 20 years of experience treating nursing home patients. A patient’s overall medical condition and the medications they are taking usually are much bigger factors in determining candidacy.