After Implant Placement

What Can I Use For Teeth While The Implants Heal?

Many options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary denture. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants usually can be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day. Depending on your particular situation, some implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means a temporary or permanent replacement tooth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.

middle-aged man and woman with good teeth

What Are The Potential Problems?

Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience severe or significant post-operative pain. Pain medication, and in certain circumstances,antibiotics, will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible. Occasionally, some people develop post-operative infections that require additional antibiotic treatment. Even though great care is taken to place the implant precisely, there are risks involved with any surgical procedures. There is potential for adjacent teeth to be damaged as well as the risk of encroaching on the mandibular nerve in the back portion of the lower jaw.  This risk is of greater concern when there has been severe loss of bone above the nerve canal in this area. In the unlikely event of injury to the nerve, if you notify us of post-operative numbness as soon as possible, it will allow us to manage your care in the most appropriate way.  In the back of the upper jaw, there is risk of invading into the space of the maxillary sinus, the airspace above the roots of the back teeth in the upper jaw.  Of course, there are many circumstances where we will deliberately invade into the sinus cavity to increase the amount of bone height to enable use of an adequately sized implant.

Of course, there is also the risk that an implant, or even more than one implant, does not heal successfully and needs to be removed and replaced.

Dr. Pollack, Odrich or Sarmiento will discuss with you before your surgery the risks and potential complications in the procedures you are considering.  You can also get more information about the risks of surgery from the Academy of Osseointegration at or the American Academy of Periodontology at 

How Long Will The Implants Last?

Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals (or on occasion at the time of removal), another implant usually can be placed.

When Are The Replacement Teeth Attached To The Implant?

The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jaw bone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.

The dental work required to complete your treatment is complex. Most of the work involves actually making the new teeth before they are placed. Your appointments are considered more comfortable and more pleasant than previous methods of tooth replacement. Frequently, this process can be performed without local anesthesia.  As specialists in periodontics and dental implant surgeries, Drs. Pollack, Odrich and Sarmiento will perform the surgical portions of your treatment and refer you back to your general dentist or prosthodontist for the actual dental restorative work.  Rest assured that throughout all phases of your treatment we will be in close communication with your restorative dentist.  From development of an initial treatment plan, through to scheduling post-treatment recall cleaning appointments, we  will be confer with your dentist to ensure the most successful team efforts for your care.

Your restorative treatment begins with specialized impressions that allow us to produce a replica of your mouth and implants. We will also make “bite” records so that we see the relationship of your upper and lower jaws. With this information, we will make the abutments (support posts) that attach your replacement teeth to your implants. Various types of abutments exist. Frequently, we can use “off the shelf” abutments. Other times, custom abutments must be made of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic material. As you can imagine, these custom made abutments add to the cost and treatment time involved. Which abutment to use is a decision that often cannot be made until after healing is complete and impressions have been made.

couple with great smiles

Dental Implants

are the most technologically advanced and longest lasting tooth replacement option available. Restore your confidence… Smile, Eat and Enjoy!

How Do I Clean My New Teeth?

As with natural teeth, it is important that you clean implant-supported restorations regularly with toothbrushes, floss and any other recommended aids, and we will need to see you for follow-up periodontal cleanings and scalings to assure proper care and good health of the tissues around your implants, as well as the natural teeth. You should also visit your dentist regularly for hygiene and maintenance. As with regular dentures and other tooth replacements, your implants and their associated components are subject to wear and tear and eventually will need repair, including clip replacement, relines, screw tightening, and other adjustments.

Will One Doctor Do Everything?

No, as surgeons, Dr. Pollack, Odrich or Sarmiento will place the implant(s) and perform other necessary surgical procedures – your general dentist or prosthodontist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment. Also, depending upon a variety of factors, different dental specialists may help with your dental care, e.g. if you need root canal treatment or orthodontics.

How Much Does All Of This Cost?

Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the implants and making your replacement teeth. Periodic maintenance such as hygiene visits, tissue conditioners, denture relines and other repairs will also incur additional charges.

When different doctors are involved in your treatment, you will be charged separately for their services. We will try to assist you in estimating what your actual payments will be, as well as help you determine your insurance coverage or other third party payments. Be aware that many insurance policies provide limited or no coverage.

Each patient is unique, and it is not possible for us to discuss every option and every contingency for treatment outcome on this site. This booklet is intended to help you understand the general treatment options available to you. If your specific treatment options are not clear, please contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about your dental care. At your initial consultation visit we will review the treatment options available to you, as well as the general costs anticipated.  As your treatment plan develops we will also provide  you with a fee estimate based on the planned procedures for your best treatment.