Frequently Asked Questions

1) Are there different brands of dental implants? Does brand matter?

DEFINITELY There are literally hundreds of implant companies worldwide. Most FDA approved implant systems work. However, what is your definition of work? Yes most implants integrate (fuse) to the bone and companies often market on how well and fast their implants integrate. Other companies market on how easy their system is to use. Most implants will have some degree of bone loss at the superior portion of the implant. (Termed “cupping” or “die-back”) For years this has been “acceptable” in implant dentistry.Besides occlusion (your bite), bone loss plays a critical role in the long-term success of any implant. Implant design plays a crucial role in whether bone loss occurs. Presently I am aware of only 2 implant companies which have consistently shown minimalor no bone loss. In fact bone can actually be seen growing over the top of these implants. At Pacific Implant Center we utilize Ankylos (Dentsply) Implants which studies show no bone loss in 90+% of the cases. No bone loss also equates to better soft tissue response which in the esthetic zone is absolutely critical. So does brand matter? Yes. Why settle for bone loss and gingival recession when you don’t need to. To learn more about dental implants, please click on the link below.

Dentsply Ankylos

2)You told me I can have my implant restored but it’s only been 2 months. My friend said theirs took a lot longer. Who is right?
In years past, we would extract a tooth and allow 3 months of healing before the implant was placed. We would then place the implant and allow 3 – 4 more months of healing before making the crown. Today in many cases we can remove the tooth and place the implant with a temporary restorationthe same day. Inthe most select ofcases, a final restoration can be placed that very day. Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for an IMMEDIATE IMPLANT. The implant surface characteristics play a huge role in the speed of bone healing and the amount/percentage of bone thatheals in contact with the implant surface. With Ankylos implants, we only need 6 to 8 weeks of healing. In many cases you can have your restoration completed within 3 months from time of extraction,fraction ofthe time it used to take. And with proper case selection and technique, the success rate is equal to delayed implant placement.
Teeth fractured in a fallRoots removed, Implants placed w/ Temporaries
Restoration by your dentist 8 weeks after implants placed.
In a few select casesthis can be placed at the time of surgery.
3) Are you a dental implant specialist or cosmetic dentist?
I am a dentist trained in the American Dental Association (ADA) recognized specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery which diagnoses and treats diseases of the oral and maxillofacial complex. The ADA does not recognize a specialty in dental implants or cosmetic dentistry. In short a “dental implant specialist” or “cosmetic dentist specialist” is not a recognized specialty of the ADA. Thereare no ADA approved residency training programs in dental implants or cosmetic dentistry thus there is no “specialist” in dental implants or cosmetic dentistry. Please see the American Dental Association for its’ recognized specialties.

4) I was on Fosamax and Actonel. Will this be a problem with dental implant surgery?

The class of medication are the bisphosphonates – Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Reclast, Aredia, and Zometa has been associated with non-healing the of the jaw bones or death of the jaw bone (osteonecrosis) It is important that you notify your doctor that you are taking or have taken any of these medications. Treatment may vary according to other medical conditions you may have.

5) My friend had an implant and restoration done by the same dentist. Do you place implants and restore them?

No. As a DDS by degree, a dentist is licensed to perform any procedure associated with dentistry. Therefore I could place and restore an implant. However as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon I like to leave the restorative phase to a restorative expert, your Dentist.

6) Can I catch any diseases from having a bone graft?

If your own bone is harvested obviously the answer is no. There are many bone substitues available for use today. Some donor materials are processed from cadaver or bovine (cow) bone while others are purely synthetic. The method of processing kills all living organisms from the donor material. Although it is theoretically possible contract a disease, I am not aware of any documented case of this at this writing.

7) I read an article which questioned the use of dental CT scans especially due to the increased exposure to radiation. When should a CT scan be done?

Dental Cone Beam CT scanners have provided us an additional, effective tool to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the oral and maxillofacial complex. When to take a CT scan is purely on a case by case basis. If a CT scan will aid in possibly preventing a major surgical complication, I believe one should be taken. Or if the scan will determine which procedure can or can not be performed, a CT scan is indicated. A CT scan may also decrease surgery time and thus decrease the time one is under anesthesia. It is best to discuss your condition with the doctor and then determine whether a CT scan is needed.