Dental Implants FAQ

Dental Implants in Northern VA: Answers to the Top Ten Questions

Getting dental implants is a serious undertaking. Most people considering getting implants at the Capital Dental Implant Center have questions about implants and the process of getting them. Dr. Bonacci takes the time to answer all questions in detail so that patients can make informed decisions. To help you choose the best tooth replacements, we’ve responded to the ten most common dental implant questions below.

Who can get dental implants? Am I a candidate?

Any healthy adult missing one or more teeth is a good candidate for dental implants if they are willing to commit the time it takes for the complete process and healing times. You are a good candidate if you are in good overall health with no signs of gum disease. However, if you have gum disease or an oral infection, this must be treated before we can begin the implant process.

Dr. Bonacci will review your medical history at our implant consultation to ensure you are a qualified candidate.

Who should place my dental implant?

Dental implants should always be placed by an oral surgeon who is experienced in dental implant placement. Dr. Bonacci’s team specializes in dental implant surgery and has been doing so for over 25 years. Dr. Bonacci’s blend of unmatched skill and an artistic sensibility ensure that every patient’s restored smile is functional and beautiful.

Oral surgeons have years of extensive training in surgical techniques, anesthesia, and emergency medical care that dentists do not have. Although complications are rare during implant placement, an oral surgeon like Dr. Bonacci is your best choice for optimal results.

What happens during a dental implant procedure?

The surgeon numbs the surgical site using a local anesthetic and, in most situations, will administer some form of sedation to relax the patient. IV sedation (twilight sleep) is a commonly used sedative.

Once the patient is relaxed, the surgeon carefully cuts into and peels back the gum tissue around the empty tooth socket, then carefully places the dental implant. The titanium implant resembles a screw and takes the place of the missing tooth root. The gums are sutured back into place and, when the patient wakes up, is given medications and instructions for at-home care.

Patients may also be given a temporary prosthetic tooth or denture to wear over their gums until their permanent restoration is finished and ready to be connected to the implants. The healing process for dental implants can last three to six months.

Will I be given anesthesia for the procedure?

Most people prefer to be sedated during implant surgery. With IV sedation, you will be put into a light sleep, sometimes called “twilight sleep,” and may not be fully aware of your surroundings. You will not feel any pain until after your sedation wears off.

How long does it take to heal after receiving dental implants?

It varies from person to person. Our experience is that patients take the surgery day off, take pain medications as prescribed and most patients are able to work the next day depending on the nature of their work. Most patients return for their post operative visit and are usually surprised by how easy the process was.

Can dental implants fail?

Yes, but this is rare. The success rate of dental implants is around 95%. To increase the odds of your implants being successful, follow the post-op instructions we provide. When an implant fails, we can often remove it and allow the area to heal, placing a new implant later. If you develop signs of implant failure, such as loose implants, excessive pain, or swelling, please get in touch with our office at Christopher E. Bonacci, DDS, MD, PC Office Phone Number 703-255-9400.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants varies depending on the type of implant used, the number of implants placed, the type of restorations used, the type and amount of anesthesia used, and other factors.

We will provide you with an accurate cost, including diagnostic work-ups, study models, X-rays, and the fabrication of surgical templates to ensure the best possible results. You will also be charged for the abutments (attachments to fasten the implants to the visible portion of the artificial teeth), the dental restorations (whether individual crowns or an entire arch of prosthetic teeth), and anything else that will be placed over the implants, including temporary restorations. If you require bone grafting or other additional procedures, additional costs will be added to your estimate.

Does insurance cover dental implants?

If your insurance carrier deems them medically necessary, they may pay for dental implants. Coverage limits vary from provider to provider, with some covering implants up to the equivalent cost of dentures. Anything over that cost, you must pay out-of-pocket. We suggest you contact your dental insurance carrier to determine how much of your dental implants are covered. We will work with you to get the maximum coverage possible.

For your convenience, we accept most major credit cards and can schedule payment plans for patients on a budget.

Will implants look like my natural teeth?

Yes. We use only the finest quality materials to replace missing teeth. Your dental implants and the restorations look, feel, and function like natural teeth. Only you, your dentist, and your oral surgeon will know the difference.

If you have additional questions about dental implants or would like to schedule an initial consultation to discuss whether they are the best tooth replacements for you, please call our office at Christopher E. Bonacci, DDS, MD, PC Office Phone Number 703-255-9400.