Dental Implant FAQ's

What is a dental implant?

Illustration of Dental Implant in JawA dental implant is the replacement of the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Dental implants are made from Type IV surgical-grade titanium alloy -- the same bio-compatible metal used in spinal surgery and joint replacements -- to exact patient specifications. The implant may be placed in the upper or lower jawbone. After a period of time, the implant integrates with the bone and becomes a secure anchor for a replacement tooth, a fixed bridge, a removable partial, or a complete denture.

What are some of the benefits of dental implants?

  • Dental implants act and feel like natural teeth, enabling a strong, stable foundation for comfortable biting and chewing.
  • Replacement teeth, bridges and crowns are kept stable. 
  • Implants eliminate the need for denture adhesives.                                    
  • Dental implants help stop progressive bone loss that occurs with tooth loss, and preserve the integrity of the facial structures.
  • Implants reduce the need to cut teeth for a bridge.
    Implants can be cleaned and flossed in the same way as natural teeth.
  • Dental implants improve the appearance and help improve confidence.
  • Dental implants are permanent.
  • Dental implants are clinically proven with a success rate in excess of 95%.

Am I a candidate for a dental implant?

If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be a candidate for a dental implant. Some conditions, such as diabetes and smoking, may inhibit the success of implant treatment.

Do implants ever fail?

Dental implant procedures have a success rate of over 95%. In most cases, implants are successfully integrated into the bone. If the implant is rejected, it can be replaced. Because this is so infrequent a complication, Dr. Hartman will build lost bone and replace the failed implant at no additional charge should this occur.

Is dental implant surgery painful?

Dental implant surgery is performed with local anesthetic. Most patients experience little to no discomfort and return to work the following day. Dr. Hartman is Board Certified in Conscious Sedation. Should you be a candidate, Dr. Hartman can offer this service to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

How much time is required to get an implant?

The overall process can take up to a year. In some cases, the teeth can be extracted and the implant placed at the same time. In cases where there is infection in the tooth root or gums, the dentist may wait a few months after removing the teeth to allow the area to heal. If bone grafting is necessary, there will be an eight week healing period before the implants are placed.

How much do implants cost?

The cost varies depending on individual needs. Actual costs are based on the number of implant fixtures, type of implant supported restorations (crowns, bridges), extractions, and whether additional procedures such as bone grafting and augmentation are needed. Insurance will vary according to your individual plan. Investment in dental implant treatment is an investment in your overall health, appearance and peace of mind. Dr. Hartman participates with a reputable financing company. An application for this service is available for you if necessary.

How long does an implant last?

Dental implants can last up to a lifetime since they are permanent replacement; however, occlusal or facial trauma can negatively impact their longevity.

How do I maintain my implants?

Implants can be cleaned and flossed like regular teeth. It is recommended that patients see their dentist twice a year.

What is a sinus lift?

When an upper posterior tooth is lost, the sinus drops down into the space where the root resided. Before placing the implant, the sinus must be restored to its original location using a synthetic bone replacement. The procedure is called a sinus floor bone augmentation or sinus lift. It is a common outpatient, intranasal surgery which Dr. Hartman performs weekly.

What is a ridge split?

When bone is resorbed around a lost tooth, it can leave a narrow split of bone. Prior to placing the implant, the bone ridge must be widened. For upper teeth, this can be done during the same visit as the implant. A second visit will be required for lower teeth.

What is a bone graft?

A bone graft is a surgical procedure for adding height or width to a jawbone in order to increase its volume for the placement of an implant.

Interested in dental implants? Call Dr. Gary Hartman, your periodontist, in Virginia Beach, VA at (757) 498-5480 to schedule an appointment!