What are dental implants?


Dental implants, also known as tooth implants, are considered a strong, long-lasting treatment option for patients with lost or missing teeth. Though some dentists must refer patients to an oral surgeon for this procedure, Dr. Frey is recognized as a top Beverly Hills implant dentist. Each implant consists of a fake tooth, and a biocompatible “root” made from titanium that is attached to the bone – just like a natural tooth. Tooth implants can be applied to replace one or two missing teeth, an entire arch of teeth, and even an entire smile. Implants are typically considered to be a part of the cosmetic dentistry family.

Dr. Frey discusses dental implants
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Frequently Asked Questions.

If you want to learn even more, we invite you to reach out for a free smile consultation where we can answer all of your questions in depth.

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What are the risks of dental implants?

The primary risk of dental implants is failure. An experienced dentist takes every precaution to minimize the chances of this happening, such as building up the jawbone if necessary and placing implants at the precise depth for maximum integration. There are certain factors that could increase the risk of implant failure. These include bacterial infection, which could happen at the time of placement, but is rare. The rate of implant failure is only 1 to 2%.

Are dental implants painful?

There are no nerves in the bone, and many of our patients do not experience post-operative discomfort. In most instances, dental implant procedures can be performed with a local anesthetic; however, Dr. Frey also practices sedation dentistry. If you’re concerned about post-operative discomfort, Dr. Frey can also prescribe pain medication.

It’s important to follow the written instructions, which Dr. Frey will provide, to ensure that your implants heal quickly and properly.

Are dental implants covered by insurance?

At this time, most insurance providers do not cover the cost of dental implants. We encourage patients to contact their insurance company directly to inquire about their coverage. Some companies extend benefits for certain aspects of the procedure. For example, a patient may be responsible for the implant posts and surgery costs but may have coverage for the crown, bridge, or denture that will be seated on the implant or implants.

Will dental implants need to be replaced?

Typically, we do not expect to replace dental implants that have integrated successfully into the jawbone. The osseointegration process surrounds implant posts with healthy bone. After that point, chewing sends vibrations through the implant just as this action would with natural roots. These vibrations reverberate into the jawbone, stimulating bone regeneration. With this process occurring as it should, dental implants should remain intact and functional for many years.

How long does a dental implant last?

With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.

What foods should I avoid after a dental implant procedure?

Our patients can expect to receive full post-treatment guidelines and assistance with their questions after their procedure. In general, patients are advised to eat a soft-food diet for one week, then transition to a “fork-tender” diet for another week or two. Examples of foods to avoid include:

  • Hot foods for 24-48 hours. Stick to cool or room-temperature foods and beverages.
  • Very spicy foods
  • Chips and pretzels
  • Crusty breads and pizza crust
  • Sub sandwiches
  • Raw vegetables and apples
  • Corn on the cob
  • Granola
  • Gum
  • Hard candy

How do I care for my dental implants?

Daily brushing and flossing, just as you would care for natural teeth, will keep your new smile looking radiant and healthy.

What does the tooth implant recovery process look like?

The total healing time can take 3 months, during which you can wear a natural-looking provisional tooth. During this time, osseointegration will occur, in which the bone becomes one with the new root. Once the bone has healed, an abutment is attached to the implant and the crown or bridge is placed over it.

What does the tooth implant recovery process look like?

The total healing time can take 3 months, during which you can wear a natural-looking provisional tooth. During this time, osseointegration will occur, in which the bone becomes one with the new root. Once the bone has healed, an abutment is attached to the implant and the crown or bridge is placed over it.

How many visits are required to replace missing teeth?

Tooth implants can be applied in just one visit. During the first visit, we will place the titanium root with a temporary tooth on top. We call this procedure “Teeth in a Day.” A single implant procedure can be completed in less than one hour.

What are the benefits of all-on-four dental implants?

The advantages of this procedure are that it’s relatively inexpensive, it’s quick as it happens in one day. Most importantly, it ends the nightmare of suffering from teeth that are constantly failing and costing thousands of dollars to restore.

What are all-on-four-dental implants?

All on four dental implants is a way for a patient to have beautiful teeth and a beautiful smile in one day at a relatively inexpensive price. Many patients who suffer from a not so desiring smile, gum disease, and broken fillings and a bad bite do not have the money to restore their mouth properly. This “re-organized” approach allows the patient to have the teeth and smile they always dreamed of having.

Are dental implants use for one tooth or many teeth?

A dental implant can hold more than one tooth, in what we call a “dental bridge,” or just one tooth, a “dental crown.” Several teeth can be replaced with a dental bridge, in a customized way depending on the shape of your jaw and smile:

  • Two to three dental implants will support one dental bridge, for just one area of your smile
  • Your entire upper or lower arch can be replaced with five to six dental implants
  • Ten to twelve dental implants can replace your entire smile

Those who opt for tooth implants can choose between a fixed dental bridge, or a hybrid dental bridge that “snaps” onto the implant abutments.

How do tooth implants work?

Tooth implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth and provide a very strong foundation for new teeth in the jawbone. When the root is not replaced from a missing tooth, the jawbone sinks where the tooth used to be and can shrink the bone. This is known as “bone resorption,” which alters the entire shape of your face and makes you look older. Dentures typically become loose as your jawbone shrinks, and your gums recede. Tooth implants are permanent, and allow you to bite, chew, and smile efficiently.

For maximum effect, implants may be used in conjunction with other restorative dental procedures.

Who is a candidate for dental implants?

We seek to achieve long-term results for patients who have lost one or more teeth. For dental implant treatment to be successful, candidates should have healthy gums and bone structures in the surgical area. Bone density can change after tooth loss. In some cases, it is necessary to build up the jawbone using bone graft material. This helps secure the implant and maintain its stability for several years. For the bone and gums to stay healthy and strong, it is best for dental implant patients not to smoke. Results seem to be better in patients who do not have health conditions that affect their healing process. Finally, dental implant patients should be willing to commit to good oral health practices after their procedure.

What kinds of implants does Dr. Frey use?

Dr. Frey uses Nobel Biocare dental implants. These are high-end, brand-name implants and are used in all of his cases. Learn more about Nobel Biocare here.

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