As a Houston Periodontics specialist, Dr. Kevin Calongne has performed thousands of successful dental implant procedures. If you are interested in dental implants, please read his answers to the top 5 five dental implant questions asked by patients.
What is a dental implant?
A modern dental implant is a metal or ceramic cylinder that takes the place of the root of a missing tooth or serves as an anchor to retain and support a dental prosthesis (a crown, a bridge, or a denture). The implant is placed in the patient’s bone and generally has threads on both the outside and inside to allow a wide range of attachments, crowns, or bridges to be connected to it.
How long does a dental implant last?
Most dental implants last a lifetime. They can be lost due to infection, fracture, or other types of complications, but the success rate is better than 95%, which is better than virtually any other device placed in the human body.
How much does an implant cost?
That really depends on the type of implant, the type of prosthesis that it will be connected to, and whether any grafting has to be done in order to place the implant. We perform a very detailed examination and develop a treatment plan that takes many things into account. With three dimensional x-rays, we can generally give a patient a very accurate estimate of costs at their very first appointment.
Will my implant set off the metal detector at the airport?
Generally no. Metal detectors are specifically tuned to look for large amounts of ferrous metals and heavy metals. Implants are small and made of titanium or ceramics, so you will go through the security screening line without issue. You gold crown is more likely to set off a metal detector than an implant.
Are implants painful?
In most cases, dental implant placement is painless at the time of the surgery with very little discomfort during healing. Patient’s generally experience less pain from implant placement than from a tooth extraction. Most people are pleasantly surprised at how painless implant procedures are.