Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

Are you considering dental implants? The following are the most common questions people have about them. Our answers and insights about implants should help determine if they might be right for you.


Learning about Single and Full-Arch Dental Implants 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the most natural way to replace missing teeth. Typically made of titanium and zirconia, they replace the root structure and provide support and stability for replacement crowns. They represent the longest-lasting dental restoration solution available.

Why should I consider dental implants?

Implants have many advantages over dentures and other alternatives; they:

  • Function like natural teeth
  • Are permanent
  • Don’t need to be removed for cleaning
  • Look and feel natural
  • Don’t restrict what you can eat
  • Are easy to maintain
  • Contain strong, biocompatible material

What does "All-on-4" mean?

All-on-4® is a trademarked procedure that involves replacing all missing teeth in one arch with only 4 implants. It is especially beneficial for patients who’ve lost a lot of bone in the back of the mouth.

What are the stages of the dental implant procedure?

Dental implants are provided in three stages. The first step involves placing a titanium post into the jawbone. Once it fuses with the bone (healing time takes from 6 weeks to 3 months), it is topped with an abutment. The third step is when the artificial tooth, bridge, or arch is fit onto the abutment.

How much does a single dental implants cost?

On average, the total cost for a single dental implant is $3,000 to $6,000. The typical cost is usually around $4,500. Replacing every tooth with a single implant can cost from $60,000 to $90,000, but fortunately, there are alternative procedures that can help you save.

Can you find a dentist who can provide dental implants for less? Absolutely. But you risk finding someone less skilled and with less experience.

How much does a full-arch or the All-on-4 implant procedure cost?

The All-on-4, also called the "Teeth in a Day" procedure, can run between $35,000 and $45,000. The total cost is often financed and spread out over monthly payments, which can range between $300 to $400 per top or bottom arch or $675 for full mouth implants (based on approved credit).

What's included in the total cost of the implant procedure?

Be sure when comparing costs that you compare everything the procedure entails. Beware of advertisements for cheap implants; they often don’t explain everything the procedure requires. The expenses associated with the planned treatment usually include the following:

  • Sedation
  • Any extractions
  • Removal of infected tissues (bone and gum)
  • Implant placement
  • Temporary and final dentures/bridges

Will insurance cover the cost of implants?

Generally, dental implants are not covered by dental insurance. However, policies do vary, and most cover a portion of the restorative procedure. Financing options are often available with competitive interest rates, and payments can be tailored to your budget.

What are the risks of dental implants?

When placing the implants, Dr. Ebrahimian uses gentle techniques while a clean, sterile environment minimizes the risk of infection. If you follow all postoperative instructions and take the required antibiotics, there is minimal discomfort. All patients are given pain medications, but many don't use them.

The most common complications include loose implants, infections, bleeding, implant shifting, allergic reactions, nerve damage, or penetration into the sinus cavity. However, Dr. E takes precautions to avoid or minimize the chances of these issues occurring.

How likely are problems with implants to occur?

Dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. Serious complications are rare. Implant failure is unusual but can happen soon after an implant is placed or years later.

What if there’s not enough bone for an implant?

A bone graft can be performed if there isn’t enough bone density at the implant site. Bone grafting is generally a quick and painless process. But you’ll have to wait until the bone heals before the dentist can place the implant.

How long after tooth extraction can a dental implant be placed?

Most patients must wait 2 or 3 months after a tooth extraction to receive a dental implant. This gives your gums time to heal, but some people require more healing time. However, if your gums and jawbone are healthy enough, an implant can be placed immediately after the extraction.

Will I be awake during the dental implant procedure?

Placing an implant is typically easier than taking a tooth out. Usually, a local anesthetic is used, which means you are awake during the surgery. But if you’re nervous about the surgery, sedative options are available, including IV sedation, which can make you more comfortable during the procedure. It can put you in varying stages of consciousness and a state of relaxation.

Will there be pain after the dental implant surgery?

Immediately after the surgery, and for a few days, you will likely experience some discomfort. After all, this is a major dental procedure. You may experience bruising of the skin and gums, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding. Discomfort may also be felt in the chin, cheeks, or underneath the eyes. However, any pain should be manageable. Painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, will be recommended.

Will I be sedated during implant surgery?

General anesthesia, which puts you into a deep sleep until it wears off, is rarely used. During the surgical procedure, you will be given an anesthetic so that you will feel little or no discomfort. Although discomfort varies from person to person, most patients say it was much less than expected.

How long does it take to complete the entire process?

You will typically spend up to 3 days with us in our office but go home after each appointment. The actual procedure is completed within a 24-hour period. Most of the process is waiting for the implant and jawbone to fuse. The implant surgery itself takes 1 to 2 hours.

Do I really get teeth on the day of surgery?

You will get a full-functioning temporary prosthesis. It is a different material than the final one to allow for any adjustments before we begin milling your final implant.

How do I care for my new teeth?

Initially, you will only use a medicated mouth rinse prescribed by Dr. Ebrahimian. Once your mouth is healed, you will use a water pick to clean around the implants and under the secured denture. You will also schedule regular follow-up visits with your dentist for cleanings.

How long will dental implants last?

Implants can last many years if cared for properly. For some people, they have lasted for more than 40 years. However, the average range is 10 to 30 years. You can maximize the life of your implants by brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly for checkups.

How do I know if I am a candidate for dental implants?

Anyone healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction is likely a suitable candidate for dental implants. However, certain conditions may complicate or prohibit treatment. Patients with chronic diseases, who smoke heavily, or abuse alcohol may not be candidates for implants. Your doctor will determine if this treatment is right for you after a complete physical exam and evaluation of your medical history.

Are dental implants suited for people of all ages?

Tooth loss can occur in people of any age. Dental implants are suited for most adults whose bones have reached maturity. This typically occurs between 18 and 20 years old. There is no upper limit with age; so long as you’re healthy enough, you’re never too old to receive dental implants.

Will receding gums grow around dental implants?

During the healing process, your gums will grow around the implants, helping to support them. Your dentist will monitor the health and growth of your gums during the healing process. Gum recession and other issues can be treated before you receive implants to reduce the risk of complications.

Can cavities form on dental implants?

Dental implants are made of an extremely strong material and cannot develop cavities. That’s not to say you shouldn’t brush and floss normally and eat properly. Some hard foods can cause implants to chip or crack. But cavities are not a concern.

Are dental implants stronger than teeth?

An implant has 80% to 90% of the bite strength of a natural tooth, which is a significant improvement over dentures, bridges, or weak or diseased teeth.

Will I set off a metal detector if I have dental implants?

Titanium is non-magnetic, so it is unlikely to set off a metal detector at an airport or other security checkpoint.


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Dr. Sean Ebrahimian

Southern California's Premier Implant Doctor

13949 Ventura Blvd., Suite 250
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
26457 Bouquet Canyon Road,
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
Monday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
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