What are the Dental Implants?

Dental implants are man-made appliances (cylinders and mesh frameworks) that are surgically placed into or onto the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. Once the bone attaches to the implants, they become rock-solid anchors to support new teeth. (See Implant Types).

Osseointegrated implants are effective in over ninety-six percent of all patients treated. HAMBLIN DENTAL-IMPLANT & AESTHETICS is one of the leading centers for osseointegrated dental implants in the United States.

A natural tooth consists of a crown (the part you see above the gum), and the root (the part hidden under the gum). It is the root in the jawbone that actually holds the natural tooth in place. A dental implant is a small man-made titanium fixture that serves as a replacement for the root portion of a missing natural tooth. Titanium is used because it is the most compatible with our human body. The dental implant is placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw and functions as an anchor for the replacement tooth. After the bone has grown around the implant, implants can hold a crown, bridge or overdenture just like roots hold natural teeth in place.

Implants provide additional support where teeth are missing without putting forces onto remaining natural teeth. They may be used to support the replacement of a single missing tooth or a complete functional set for individuals who have lost many or all of their teeth.

What Are The Benefits Of Dental Implants?

Improved Appearance
When teeth are lost, ongoing shrinkage of the jawbone occurs making the face look older. Dental implants can slow or stop this process. Dental implants look and feel like your own natural teeth.

Improved Comfort
Dental implants eliminate the pain and discomfort of removable full or partial dentures. Since dentures sit on top of the jawbone and gums, continuous shrinkage of the jaw bone alters the fit of the denture resulting in slipping or rocking of the dentures. Exposed nerves and irritation of the gum tissue may add to the discomfort. Implant supported replacement teeth are like natural teeth because they are anchored securely to your jawbone. Gum irritation and the pain of exposed nerves associated with conventional full or partial dentures are eliminated.

Improved Speech
With ill fitting dentures, the teeth slip and slide around the mouth. The facial muscles become tense in an attempt to hold the teeth in place. This often results in mumbling, slurred speech or clicking noises. Replacement teeth allow you to speak with confidence in a relaxed and natural tone.

Eat Better
The average denture patient with an excellent fitting denture eats at 15-20% efficiency when compared to a person with natural teeth. As the jawbone shrinks, your chewing efficiency is reduced even more, making it difficult to eat certain foods. Dental implants can restore chewing efficiency comparable to that of natural teeth. This allows you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain, enjoy what everyone is eating and not think twice about it. A full upper denture covers the palate of the mouth and reduces the ability to taste foods. With dental implants, you can have the palate removed from your upper denture so you can taste and enjoy your food.

Dental implants can eliminate the numerous embarrassing inconveniences of removable partial and full dentures. You will eliminate the use of gooey denture adhesives that must be re-applied throughout the day. You will no longer need to cover your mouth when you laugh or smile, for fear that your teeth will pop out or fall down.

Protect Your Remaining Natural Teeth
Dental implants are often more appropriate than a bridge for the replacement of one or more adjacent teeth. With conventional bridgework, the teeth surrounding missing teeth must be ground down. Dental implants often eliminate the need to modify these teeth, resulting in a conservative, yet esthetic restoration.

Improved Self Esteem
Considering all other benefits, dental implants can improve your self-esteem. You may feel better about yourself. You can regain nearly all the capabilities that most people have with natural teeth, giving you renewed confidence, and allowing you to enjoy life, do what everyone else is doing and not think twice about it.

How Much Will It Cost?

The fee for tooth replacement with dental implants will depend on several factors, including the number of teeth being replaced and the number of implants required to support your replacement teeth. Some additional procedures may be required prior to the placement of your dental implants to ensure the long-term health of your dental implants. Typically, there is a fee for the surgical procedure and a separate fee to attach the posts and construct your replacement teeth. To obtain a specific fee estimate, it is necessary for us to examine your mouth. After a thorough diagnostic examination, we will recommend the treatment that is best for you and what your investment would be for the procedure.

How Can I Afford Them?

The cost for Dental implants is NOT expensive, when one evaluates the return for the investment and the long range benefits that come from having secure, functional, attractive teeth and a winning smile. Unlike all the rest of the human body, the virtual "youth" of dentition can be preserved by dental specialists right on up through the age of a hundred. For some who prioritize dental health, the concept of eating well until death is a significant motivation to implant treatment.

Dental implants are a costly treatment to provide for a number of reasons. First, an entire team of highly skilled professionals are necessary in order to deliver the most perfect result that we can for each individual. With the exception of meticulous sterile detail and attentive, thorough home care instructions, there is nothing routine about dental implant treatment. Each patient receives a highly customized treatment plan that takes into consideration their overall health needs in conjunction with the esthetic and functional requirement to achieve a long-lasting smile.

The doctors and staff administering implant treatment commit a great deal more time to the procedure than the patient does. The Implantologist will intensely study the patient's diagnostic and health profile, and will engineer a custom plan to meet the patient's distinct needs. Behind the scenes, surgical staff and laboratory support perform dozens of labor intensive steps to produce the result. The time of many professionals blends to insure success.

Secondly, the materials used to build implant prosthodontics are costly themselves. To obtain comprehensive diagnostics, special radiographic assessments are required using panradiography and cephalometrics. CT scans may also be indicated. The titanium implants and the highly technical computers used by the doctor to place them in the mouth are extremely costly. In addition, the prostheses, both interim and the final version, contain precious and semi-precious metals, and are fused with porcelain that must be artistically applied by careful technicians.
Finally, some patients require bone grafting, sleep sedation anesthesia or genetically enhanced accelerated healing procedures that add to the bottom line cost of the treatment plan.

At HAMBLIN DENTAL-IMPLANT & AESTHETIC in Sandy UT, we have been able to provide comprehensive dental implant treatment to patients of every income level. For some, a home equity loan is a good solution. Others forego a new automobile or a family vacation in lieu of a longer lasting benefit. Finally, in many cases, a treatment program can be broken into several phases, accomplishing the more serious needs first. It is not unusual to design a plan that is delivered and paid for over a period of several years.

Who Can Benefit From Dental Implant Treatment

It would appear that someone who wears full dentures that are loose and ill-fitting would be the person most likely to benefit from implant treatment. Implants, however, can be just as beneficial to a young person with congenitally missing teeth by returning his or her smile along with their confidence. It is possible, if not probable that ANYONE with missing teeth can benefit from implant treatment.

Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?

In the past, bone loss was the primary factor in determining if a patient was a candidate for implant treatment. This is no longer true today due to the tremendous advancements in bone grafting techniques . If you have been told that you are not a candidate for implant treatment due to bone loss, it may be advantageous for you to seek another opinion at this time.

Will I Have To Go Without Teeth At Anytime During My Dental Implant Treatment?

In the majority of cases, patients will always have temporary teeth to wear during treatment and in most instances the temporaries can be worn throughout the treatment period. There are those cases, however, where temporaries are not needed or where temporaries should not be worn for a few days after surgery. This aspect of treatment is discussed during consultation and treatment planning so that the patient knows what is expected regarding "temporaries".

I Have Severe Periodontal Disease, So Will I Have It With Dental Implants?

Once teeth infected with periodontal disease are removed, the disease will no longer be present. Replacing the teeth with dental implants is an opportunity to "start over". GOOD dental hygiene performed on a daily basis will eliminate bacteria build-up around the gum line and is the primary requirement to keep periodontal disease from getting a foot-hold.

What Is The Material Used In Making Dental Implants?

Implants are made of titanium, a metal that is bio-compatible with the human body. It is the same material used in surgically placed orthopedic appliances, such as hip joints, plates, screws, etc.

Are Dental Implants Rejected?

Implants are not rejected by the human body due to the use of bio-compatible materials. They can fail, however, if hygiene is neglected, if the bite becomes unbalanced and is not corrected in a timely manner or if the patient develops a systemic disease that eventually affects the whole body. ie: uncontrolled diabetes.

How Long Will Dental Implants Last?

Implants are more predictable than ever before giving them the potential of lasting a lifetime. Successful long-term implant treatment requires that implant treatment be performed with skill, knowledge, and experience; that post surgery healing is good; that dental hygiene practices are performed correctly and regularly; that the patient follows through with regular check-ups and x-rays; and that long-term overall health remains good.

What Are The Risks Of Dental Implant Treatment?

Risks of dental implant treatment are generally no more or no greater than those found in general dentistry procedures. Areas to be aware of are the floor of the sinus in the upper jaw and the main nerve that travels through the lower jaw. It is important to have a 3D dental cat scan done to evaluate those areas.

How Many Surgeries Are Involved With Dental Implant Treatment?

Again, this number can vary depending on the treatment plan. Two-stage root-form (in-the-bone) implants require two surgeries, the first to put the implant in the bone under the gum tissue and a second to expose the implant ("uncover") a few months later. When extensive bone grafting is involved, an additional surgery may be required to remove the Tram plate. (See bone grafting section for an explanation of this procedure). (Note: There is a one-stage root-form (in-the-bone) implant that can be utilized when conditions are right that requires only one surgery.)

Will I Be Put To Sleep?

The majority of patients can be made comfortable with oral sedation taken 1 to 2 hours prior to surgery in conjunction with local anesthetic injected into the surgery site(s). The sedation taken by mouth causes the patient to be sleepy and relaxed and tends to have an amnesic affect which results in most patients having little memory of the surgery procedures. Overall, this method is safer than use of general anesthesia and allows the patient to be co-operative during surgery. Oral sedation is not usually prescribed for simple cases involving one or two implants unless the patient requests otherwise. IV sedation is available if a patient desires.

Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?

Initial administering of local anesthetic can cause a degree of discomfort. However, once injected, its purpose is to keep the patient pain free during the surgical procedure. Post-op discomfort may include swelling, tissue discomfort and possibly a temporary soreness in the joint area(s). A regimen of medications, ice and instruction in post-op care usually makes the healing process easier. Most patients tell us that they had no pain to speak of or that they needed pain medications for only a day or two. Some comment that their experience with implant surgery was easier than undergoing root canal therapy or extraction of teeth.

How Do I Take Care And Maintain The Health Of My Dental Implants??

Caring for implants is simple and no more difficult than the care that should be given to natural teeth. This includes DAILY hygiene using a prescribed anti-bacterial agent and proper brushing techniques as instructed along with regular check-ups and x-rays as recommended by the doctor. Although, implants are not susceptible to decay like natural teeth, they are susceptible to poor hygiene that will cause bacterial build-up around the gum line which can lead to infection, bone loss, and eventual failure of the implants. Regular hygiene is a must to maintain the health of implants and natural teeth.
Equally important is a well balanced bite which can be insured by proper loading of the implants (aspects involved in placing the teeth on the implants-Dr's job) as well as regular follow-up visits to maintain a balanced bite (patient's job). Implants are stronger in the bone than natural teeth. But, like natural teeth, implants are susceptible to uneven chewing forces which over a period of time can cause bone loss and possibly eventual loss of the implant(s).  Life-time health maintenance is also an important factor in the long-term care of dental implants. Just as serious health problems can affect natural teeth so can they affect implants.

If I Am Diabetic, Am I A Candidate For Dental Implants?

Although diabetes adds an unpredictable factor to the success of implant treatment, many of our patients are diabetics and have been able to have successful results. At the time of consultation, health history is one of the facets considered in the process of determining the prognosis of implant treatment.

If I Smoke, Am I A Candidate For Dental Implant Treatment?

Of course, most doctors would prefer that his patients not smoke for many reasons including those of dental implant treatment. It is a proven fact that smokers are at more risk than non-smokers for complications in terms of infection, tissue healing and maintenance of hygiene.In this practice, patients are encouraged to stop smoking, if not forever, for at least two to three weeks after surgery to give the tissue a chance to heal  (Short term, it is known that the heat from a cigarette can damage tissue to the point where it will not heal properly, consequently, inviting the occurrence of infection. Long-term, smoking creates more hygiene problems which can result in infection also.)

Can I Afford Dental Implants?

In many ways you must ask yourself, can I not afford Dental Implants? If your quality of life is being affected, then you certainly should prioritize your dental situation. Some patients have missing molars (back teeth) and cannot chew their food properly. Others are missing front teeth which can greatly affect their appearance and self confidence. You may be a person who has lost teeth due to a sports injury, accident, illness or disease. You may be a person who has ill-fitting dentures that affect your appearance and ability to enjoy food. All of these situations can be addressed through dental implant treatment.

As to the cost, all aspects of treatment must be considered before cost can be determined. This is accomplished by a team of skilled professionals who will evaluate your mouth, your health and the implant options available to you. Factors that may enter into determining the cost include extractions, temporary teeth, bone grafting, Cat Scan, IV Sedation, and restoration of natural teeth, if performed in conjunction with implant restorations. Each patient is different, consequently, each patient's treatment is planned according to individuals needs.

What About Insurance, Dental And Medical?

Dr. Hamblin provides only the finest and will not compromise on quality just because a certain dental insurance company tries to dictate a lower standard of care.  Although Dr. Hamblin is not a contracted provider for any dental or medical insurance company, many times it is possible for our office to file a claim and collect benefits for covered services if the plan has a provision for "out-of-network" benefits. Once a patient has been evaluated and a treatment plan established, an "estimate of benefits" can be requested which will determine if benefits are available; and if so, help in estimating the out-of-pocket costs.

Insurance Facts:

  1. Most dental plans do not cover the surgical aspects of dental implant treatment.
  2. Some dental plans will occasionally provide benefits for "crowns and/or dentures that will be supported by implants".
  3. Dental plans have a maximum payable benefit per year which generally ranges between $1,000.00 and $2,000.00.
  4. Depending on the insurance company and the employer contract some medical plans MAY provide benefits for the surgical aspects of full-arch or full-mouth reconstructions when a medical diagnosis has been made and the treatment has been approved to be a medical necessity. (Note: Even in cases where the insurance company agrees that a medical necessity exists, benefits may still be denied simply because the services and procedures are not covered under the contract.)
  5. Medicare does not cover implant treatment procedures or services.
  6. Most dental and medical insurance plans have yearly deductibles that must be met, as well as a table of allowances for specific types of treatment, or dollar limits on covered services. Any or all of these factors may limit the amount of payment any one insurance company may make in a given situation.