Dental implants are the strongest, longest-lasting, and most natural-looking solution for missing or damaged teeth. Implant placement has become one of the safest and most predictable procedures offered in dentistry today. As a prosthodontist who has also completed his surgical fellowship, Dr. Fraiman has advanced knowledge on both the surgical side and the prosthetic side. He’ll work with you to make sure your new teeth are designed to perfection, with your unique smile in mind, and installed painlessly. The expectation is that, once your implants are installed, they will never need to be replaced.
Bridge Versus an Implant
Bone Graft with Immediate Implant Placement
- What are dental implants?
- When do I need them?
- Who is the ideal candidate for implants?
- What is the process of getting them?
- Do I need to prepare for dental implants in any way?
- Do implants ever fail or fall out?
- How long do implants last?
- What’s unique about Dr. Fraiman’s approach to dental implants? What sets him apart from other dentists?
- I’m nervous about getting implants. How will Dr. Fraiman help?
- Are implants covered by dental insurance?
- Some companies offer dental implants in 24 hours. What’s the benefit in taking more time with implants?
Common Questions about Dental implants
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium fixtures used to support any type of prosthetic tooth, whether it be a crown, a denture, or a full mouth piece.
When do I need dental implants?
Dental implants are the strongest, most natural-looking option for patients who need to replace a missing tooth, or those in danger of losing teeth in the near future. They can also be used to stabilize or fixate loose dentures. In other cases, if a patient is very prone to cavities or dry mouth, implants can be a better solution than multiple fillings.
Who is the ideal candidate for implants?
Any patient over the age of 16, who is medically stable, is a good candidate for implants. If a tooth is damaged, missing, or needs to be removed, implants are the strongest, most predictable solution.
What is the process of getting dental implants?
If a patient would benefit from dental implants, Dr. Fraiman will first take an x-ray to determine the quantity and quality of the bone, which is where the implant will be placed. Once he’s determined the patient has the proper amount of bone, he’ll schedule an appointment for the implant.
Implant dentistry is prosthetically driven, meaning the end goal is not to have an implant, but to have teeth. For this reason, Dr. Fraiman always works backward when preparing an implant. He starts by designing the final tooth, which then allows him to determine the ideal placement for the implant, optimizing both appearance and function.
Once Dr. Fraiman has all the necessary records, including the x-rays previously mentioned, he’ll take impressions that will serve as a guide for the placement of the implant, guaranteeing it is exactly where it needs to be, and is well-situated in the bone.
When it’s time to place the implant, Dr. Fraiman uses a local anesthetic (lidocaine or novocaine), just like with a filling. Typically patients do not need to be sedated or put to sleep. Dr. Fraiman makes a small incision in the gum, which allows him to access the bone. He then makes a very small opening in the bone, which can be made wider and longer to make room for the implant. The implant is placed by hand into the bone, and a healing abutment is screwed into the implant. Patients are given antibiotics for five to seven days, as well as a prescription for pain medication (although nine out of ten patients are perfectly happy with over-the-counter pain relief).
Over a period of about three months, the bone will fuse to the implant (via a natural healing process called osseointegration). If the implant is in a more visible area, such as the front teeth, a temporary will also be installed, so no patient ever goes home with a missing tooth. As you heal, the implant becomes part of your body, which is what makes it stronger and longer lasting than any other replacement. When the healing process is complete, the abutment is removed (it’s simply unscrewed from the implant). An impression or a 3D x-ray is then taken of the implant fixture. Dr. Fraiman uses that image or impression to design any teeth that will be anchored by the dental implants. He’ll allow you to try out the prosthetic before it’s final, taking the extra time to make sure you’re happy with the outcome, and that your smile is exactly the way you want it. Once your new tooth is finalized, it’s simply screwed into the implant.
Do I need to prepare for dental implants in any way?
Dr. Fraiman generally recommends that patients have soft foods in the house and over-the-counter pain medications available to them, in case they have any discomfort. Aside from that, there are very few preoperative instructions, because implants are one of the most common and predictable procedures in dentistry today.
Do implants ever fail or fall out?
When placed by a specialist like Dr. Fraiman, the overall success rate for implants is somewhere between 95% and 96%. However, if a patient is an active smoker, that success rate drops to 90% to 91%.
How long do implants last?
The expectation is that the implant will last for the foreseeable future. The idea going in is that your implants will never need to be replaced.
What’s unique about Dr. Fraiman’s approach to dental implants? What sets him apart from other dentists?
Dr. Fraiman is a prosthodontist—the only specialists recognized by the American Dental Association for both the placement and restoration of dental implants. He’s also completed a surgical fellowship, so he has advanced knowledge on both the surgery side, as well as the prosthetic side. This is important because implants are a prosthetic-driven treatment plan. The main goal is not simply to have implants, but to have teeth anchored into the bone. Dr. Fraiman has the explicit knowledge and expertise not only to perform the procedure, but to determine how the tooth should be designed and placed in order to achieve the best outcome.
I’m nervous about getting implants. How will Dr. Fraiman help?
Dental implants are a safe and predictable solution for missing or damaged teeth. Some patients have anxiety going in for the first implant, but are relieved of that feeling after the procedure, once they’ve seen how painless and smooth the process is. Nine out of ten patients take nothing more than over-the-counter pain medication after the procedure, if anything. Because there are no nerves in the bone, the implant is placed very far away from any nerves in the mouth, making it a relatively painless procedure—far less painful than having a tooth removed.
If patients have advanced anxiety or fear, Dr. Fraiman offers oral sedation or nitrous oxide to help put them at ease. However, in Dr. Fraiman’s experience, the majority of patients who have had implants will later admit that they didn’t realize how easy it would be, and that they wish they had it done sooner.
Are implants covered by dental insurance?
Dental implants are at least partially covered by most insurances. Because every dental insurance is different, Dr. Fraiman and his team will work with your insurance company to find out exactly what it’s covered. He will be your advocate with the insurance company, making sure you get the maximum amount of coverage available.
Some companies offer dental implants in 24 hours. What’s the benefit in taking more time with implants?
Dr. Fraiman firmly believes that if a patient is undergoing the time, effort, and expense to have implants installed, they should love the final result. Other companies can move faster because they design the replacements beforehand, leaving little room to adjust if the fit isn’t quite right. Just like trying on a shirt at a store, Dr. Fraiman offers you the opportunity to try on your smile before it’s final. This way you can confirm the functionality and aesthetic of the tooth, and make sure your new teeth are perfectly suited to your smile and personality.