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Dental Implant Specialists in Colorado

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Frequently Ask Dental Implant Questions

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are used to replace missing teeth. They provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth that are designed to match your natural teeth.

The implant itself is typically made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium, that can fuse with the jawbone. This process is called osseointegration and ensures stability and durability for the implant. The implant is surgically placed into the jawbone, where it integrates with the surrounding bone over time.

After the implant has fused with the jawbone, an abutment is attached to it. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant and the replacement tooth. It protrudes above the gumline and provides a secure attachment for a dental crown, bridge, or denture.

Dental implants offer several benefits:

  1. Improved appearance: Implants look and feel like natural teeth, enhancing your smile and facial appearance.
  2. Enhanced function: Implants function like natural teeth, allowing you to eat, speak, and chew comfortably.
  3. Durability: Implants are designed to be long-lasting and can potentially last a lifetime with proper care.
  4. Preservation of jawbone: When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone can deteriorate over time. Implants help stimulate the bone, preserving its structure and preventing bone loss.
  5. Improved oral health: Implants do not require support from adjacent teeth, unlike traditional dental bridges. This preserves the integrity of neighboring teeth and improves overall oral health.


Dental implant treatment typically involves a comprehensive evaluation and planning, including the assessment of your oral health, bone structure, and suitability for the procedure. It is important to consult with a qualified dental professional, such as a prosthodontist or oral surgeon, to determine if dental implants are the right option for you

I can give you some general factors that dentists consider when determining candidacy for dental implants:

  1. Sufficient bone density: Dental implants require an adequate amount of healthy jawbone to support the implant. If you have experienced significant bone loss, your dentist may recommend bone grafting or other procedures to enhance the bone structure before implant placement.
  2. Good oral health: It is essential to have a healthy mouth, free of active gum disease or untreated tooth decay. These conditions need to be addressed before considering dental implant treatment.
  3. Overall health: Certain medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune disorders, may affect the healing process after implant surgery. Your dentist will evaluate your medical history and any medications you are taking to ensure that they won’t interfere with the success of the procedure.
  4. Commitment to oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the long-term success of dental implants. You should be committed to regular brushing, flossing, and attending routine dental check-ups.
  5. Non-smoker or willingness to quit: Smoking can hinder the healing process and increase the risk of implant failure. If you are a smoker, your dentist may advise you to quit or significantly reduce smoking before undergoing implant treatment.


It’s essential to consult with a qualified dental professional, such as a prosthodontist or oral surgeon, who can thoroughly assess your specific situation. They will evaluate your oral health, review any necessary imaging or scans, and discuss your treatment options. They can provide a definitive answer on your candidacy for dental implants and recommend the most suitable treatment plan for you.

If you are considering replacing all of your teeth with dental implants, there are several treatment options available to you. Here are two common approaches:

  1. A Fixed Hybrid is a full arch of teeth is supported by four or six dental implants per arch, respectively. This treatment involves the strategic placement of implants in areas of the jawbone with the highest bone density. Once the implants are placed, a temporary or immediate full-arch prosthesis is attached to the implants on the same day. After a healing period of several months, a final, permanent set of teeth is fabricated and attached to the implants. This approach provides a fixed and stable solution for replacing all of your teeth.
  2. Implant-supported overdentures: Another option is implant-supported overdentures, which combine dental implants with removable dentures. Typically, four or more dental implants are placed in each arch, and a custom-designed denture is fabricated to attach securely to the implants. The denture can be removed for cleaning and maintenance, but it remains stable and supported by the implants, offering improved comfort and functionality compared to traditional removable dentures.


The specific treatment plan and the number of implants required will depend on factors such as the condition of your existing teeth, the quality and quantity of your jawbone, and your personal preferences. Your dental professional will evaluate your oral health, discuss your treatment options, and develop a personalized plan based on your specific needs and goals.

It’s important to note that replacing all of your teeth with dental implants is a significant undertaking, and the process can take several months to complete. It involves multiple stages, including implant placement surgery, a healing period for osseointegration, and the fabrication of your final set of teeth. However, the result is a long-term solution that provides improved aesthetics, function, and overall oral health.

I recommend scheduling a consultation with a dental professional who specializes in implant dentistry. They can evaluate your oral health, discuss your treatment options, and provide you with personalized recommendations and a comprehensive plan for replacing all of your teeth with dental implants.

Age is not necessarily a barrier to getting dental implants. While it is true that certain health conditions and medications can affect the suitability of dental implant treatment, chronological age alone does not automatically disqualify someone from receiving implants.

The most important factors for successful dental implant treatment are the overall health of your mouth and jawbone, as well as your ability to heal after oral surgery. Your dentist or oral surgeon will evaluate your oral health, bone density, and medical history to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.

It is worth noting that older adults may have specific considerations that need to be taken into account. For example, they may have a higher risk of certain oral health conditions, such as gum disease or bone loss. Additionally, underlying medical conditions or medications that can affect healing or bone density may need to be considered.

Ultimately, it is best to consult with a qualified dental professional who can evaluate your specific situation and provide personalized advice. They will be able to assess your oral health, discuss any potential risks or concerns, and help determine if dental implants are a suitable treatment option for you.

While dental bridges can be a suitable option for replacing missing teeth, dental implants offer several advantages that may make them a preferable choice in certain situations. Here are some reasons why you might consider getting an implant instead of a bridge:

  1. Preservation of neighboring teeth: Dental bridges rely on the support of adjacent teeth to anchor the artificial tooth or teeth in place. This often requires the reduction and alteration of healthy teeth to accommodate the bridge. In contrast, dental implants are standalone structures that do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. By choosing an implant, you can avoid the need to alter or compromise healthy teeth.
  2. Enhanced stability and functionality: Dental implants are anchored directly into the jawbone, mimicking the structure and function of natural tooth roots. This provides excellent stability and durability, allowing you to eat, speak, and chew with confidence. Implants can offer a more secure and comfortable solution compared to bridges, which may feel less stable or put strain on neighboring teeth.
  3. Bone preservation: When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone can begin to deteriorate over time due to lack of stimulation. Dental implants help stimulate the jawbone through the process of osseointegration, preserving its structure and preventing bone loss. Bridges do not provide the same level of stimulation, which can lead to bone resorption over time.
  4. Long-term durability: With proper care and maintenance, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. Bridges, on the other hand, typically have a lifespan of around 10-15 years. By choosing an implant, you may avoid the need for future replacements or repairs, providing a more long-term and cost-effective solution.


It’s important to consult with a dental professional to evaluate your specific case. They can assess your oral health, the condition of neighboring teeth, and the suitability of dental implants for your situation. They will consider various factors to help you make an informed decision about whether an implant or a bridge is the best choice for you.

During the dental implant procedure, local anesthesia is typically used to numb the area, ensuring that you don’t feel any pain during the surgery. Your comfort and well-being are a priority for the dental team performing the procedure.

While the actual implant placement is not painful, you may experience some discomfort or soreness in the days following the surgery. This is a normal part of the healing process and can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medications prescribed by your dentist or oral surgeon.

Some individuals may have concerns about the procedure and feel anxious or nervous. If this is the case, your dental team can discuss options for sedation or relaxation techniques to help you feel more at ease during the treatment.

It’s important to remember that every individual’s pain tolerance and experience may vary. However, dental implant procedures are generally well-tolerated, and advancements in dental technology and techniques have made the process more comfortable for patients.

If you have specific concerns or questions about pain management during the dental implant procedure, it is best to consult with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can provide personalized information based on your specific case and help address any apprehensions you may have.

Dental implants are designed to be a long-lasting solution for replacing missing teeth. With proper care and maintenance, implants have the potential to last a lifetime. However, it’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and the longevity of implants can be influenced by various factors, including:

  1. Oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, are crucial for the long-term success of dental implants. Proper oral care helps prevent the development of gum disease or other complications that could affect the stability and lifespan of the implants.
  2. Bone health: The integration of dental implants with the jawbone, known as osseointegration, is vital for their stability and longevity. Adequate bone density and health are essential for the successful integration and long-term support of the implants. Maintaining good oral health and addressing any issues promptly can help preserve the bone structure.
  3. Lifestyle habits: Certain lifestyle habits can impact the lifespan of dental implants. Avoiding habits like smoking or tobacco use is important, as they can increase the risk of implant failure. Additionally, practicing caution when engaging in activities that may pose a risk of trauma to the implants, such as contact sports or teeth grinding (bruxism), can help protect their longevity.
  4. Overall health: Some systemic health conditions or medications may affect the success of dental implant treatment. It’s essential to disclose your complete medical history to your dental professional to ensure that implants are a suitable option for you.
  5. Professional care: Regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and professional cleanings are important to monitor the health and condition of your dental implants. Your dental professional can identify and address any issues early on to help maintain the longevity of the implants.


While dental implants have an impressive track record for durability and long-term success, it’s important to remember that individual circumstances can vary. Consulting with a dental professional who can assess your specific case and provide personalized guidance is key to understanding the potential lifespan of dental implants in your situation.

The dental implant treatment process typically involves collaboration between different dental professionals, each with their specific areas of expertise. While one dentist or dental specialist may oversee your implant treatment and be responsible for the overall treatment plan, it is common for multiple professionals to be involved at different stages of the process.

Here are the typical professionals you may encounter during the dental implant process:

  1. General Dentist: Your general dentist plays a key role in evaluating your oral health, discussing treatment options, and coordinating your overall dental care. They may also handle certain aspects of the implant treatment, such as taking impressions or creating the final restoration (crown, bridge, or denture) that will be attached to the implant.
  2. Oral Surgeon: These specialists are often involved in the surgical placement of the dental implant. They have the necessary expertise in performing the implant surgery, including the placement of the implant into the jawbone. They may also handle additional procedures like bone grafting or sinus augmentation if necessary.
  3. Prosthodontist: A prosthodontist is a specialist in the restoration and replacement of teeth. They may be involved in the design and fabrication of the final dental restoration, ensuring that it fits properly and functions well with your existing teeth and bite.

The duration of the dental implant procedure can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the number of implants being placed, and the individual’s healing process. Typically, the dental implant process involves several stages, and the overall treatment duration can range from a few months to over a year.

Here is a general timeline of the dental implant process:

Step 1: Initial Consultation

In our office, once you’ve had time to meet and get to know one of our oral surgeons, they’ll start by thoroughly examining your mouth and taking a 3D image. We will educate you on what an implant is and why it may be beneficial for you. With this information, we will begin to lay out a plan for your implant surgery and help you decide which type of restoration is best for you. If we feel that there is a better option for you than a dental implant we will communicate with your general dentist on what we feel is BEST for you.

Step 2: Dental Implant Placement

After any necessary preparatory procedures have been completed, you’ll be scheduled for implant placement surgery. This will be carried out in our dental office, and we’ll use local anesthesia and/or IV sedation to ensure your comfort the entire time.

We strive to make this part of the process as painless as possible, and our patients typically report feeling very little discomfort either during or after their procedure. Most are able to go back to work the same day.

Step 3: Osseointegration

At this point, you’ll be given a 3-4 months to heal. Your gums will heal very quckly, so most of this time is actually dedicated to giving the dental implants the opportunity to bond with the surrounding jawbone. This process is called osseointegration, and it enables your dental implants to provide a strong and steadfast foundation for your new teeth.

Step 4: Integration check

A very important step at the Colorado Oral Surgery Group is the Integration check. Here we will take an x-ray of the Implant to evaluate the bone levels. We will remove the healing cap and test the bond of the implant to the bone. We want to ensure that your implant is stable, strong and ready for your dentist to place a crown.

Step 5: Dental Implant Restoration

After your gums have fully healed, now comes the fun part where you’re actually ready to receive your new teeth. Your implant dentist will take multiple impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth, so they can custom-design a prosthetic to fit seamlessly into your smile. This could consist of an individual dental crown, implant-supported fixed bridge, or a denture.

Your impressions will be sent to a dental lab to fabricate your new teeth, and after a couple of weeks, you’ll be ready for your restoration. After checking their fit and making sure your bite is properly aligned, your new smile will finally be complete!

After the implant placement surgery, there is a healing period called osseointegration, during which the implant fuses with the surrounding bone. This process typically takes several months, ranging from 3 to 6 months on average. The length of the healing period can vary depending on factors such as your overall health, the quality of your bone, and the location of the implant in your mouth.

Once osseointegration has occurred, the next step is to attach an abutment to the implant. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant and the final dental restoration. After the abutment placement, it may take a couple of weeks for the gum tissue to heal and adapt to the abutment.

Following the healing of the gum tissue around the abutment, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-made dental restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or denture. The fabrication time for the restoration typically ranges from a few weeks.

Overall, the process from implant placement to receiving the final tooth restoration can take several months. The exact timeline varies depending on individual factors and the treatment plan determined by your dentist. They will monitor your healing progress and guide you through each step to ensure the best outcome.

I’m sorry to hear that your friend had difficulties with their dental implants. While dental implants are generally considered a reliable and successful tooth replacement option, complications can occur in some cases. It’s important to remember that individual experiences can vary, and what one person experiences may not necessarily be indicative of the overall success rate of dental implants.

Some potential problems or complications that can arise with dental implants include:

  1. Infection: Like any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection after implant placement. Proper oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental check-ups, can help minimize this risk.
  2. Implant failure: While dental implants have a high success rate, there is a small possibility of implant failure. This can be due to factors such as improper integration with the jawbone, poor oral hygiene, smoking, systemic health issues, or other individual factors.
  3. Bone loss or gum recession: In rare cases, bone loss around the implant or gum recession can occur. These issues can impact the stability and longevity of the implant. Good oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits are essential for preventing or minimizing these problems.
  4. Nerve or tissue damage: The placement of dental implants involves working near nerves, blood vessels, and other oral structures. In rare cases, there can be damage to these structures, resulting in numbness, tingling, or other sensory issues. Proper assessment and planning by a skilled dental professional can help minimize this risk.


It’s crucial to choose an experienced and qualified dental professional to perform the implant procedure. They can assess your specific situation, address any concerns, and guide you through the process to minimize the likelihood of complications.

If you have concerns or questions about dental implants, I recommend consulting with a dental professional who can evaluate your case and provide personalized advice based on your unique needs and circumstances.

Dental implants are typically made of biocompatible materials that are well-tolerated by the human body.

Titanium implants: Titanium is the most commonly used material for dental implants. Titanium implants have a long history of success and are known for their biocompatibility and ability to integrate with the jawbone. The implant fixture, which is surgically placed into the jawbone, is typically made of titanium. It provides a strong and stable foundation for the artificial tooth or teeth that will be attached to it.

Dental implants themselves cannot develop cavities because they are made of materials that are not susceptible to decay. Titanium and ceramic, the commonly used materials for implants, do not decay like natural tooth structure.

However, it’s important to note that the surrounding natural teeth and the gum tissues around the implant are still susceptible to cavities and gum disease. Good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings, are crucial to maintaining the health of your natural teeth and the tissues surrounding the implants.

While implants cannot develop cavities, it’s still essential to keep the surrounding oral environment healthy. Proper oral hygiene helps prevent the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, which can lead to gum inflammation (gingivitis) and, if left untreated, progress to gum disease (periodontitis). Gum disease can cause damage to the supporting structures around the implant and potentially compromise its long-term stability.

Dental implants have a high success rate, and numerous studies have reported long-term success rates exceeding 90%. However, it’s important to note that success rates can vary depending on various factors, including the location of the implant in the mouth, the overall health of the patient, the quality and quantity of the jawbone, and the expertise of the dental professional performing the procedure.

Here are some key factors that contribute to the success of dental implants:

  1. Adequate bone support: Sufficient bone density and volume in the jaw are essential for the successful placement and integration (osseointegration) of dental implants. If there is inadequate bone, procedures such as bone grafting or sinus augmentation may be necessary to enhance the bone structure and support the implant.
  2. Good oral hygiene: Maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups, is crucial for the long-term success of dental implants. Proper oral care helps prevent gum disease and other complications that can affect the stability of the implants.
  3. General health considerations: Certain systemic health conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes or autoimmune disorders, may affect the success of dental implant treatment. It’s important to disclose your complete medical history to your dental professional to ensure that implants are a suitable option for you.
  4. Skill and experience of the dental professional: The expertise and experience of the dentist or oral surgeon performing the implant procedure are significant factors in the success of dental implants. Choosing a qualified and experienced professional increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.


While dental implants have a high success rate, it’s important to understand that individual cases may vary. Your dental professional will evaluate your specific situation, assess the factors influencing the success of the implant, and provide personalized guidance and recommendations based on your unique needs and circumstances.

It’s worth noting that the success rate of dental implants tends to be higher in non-smokers compared to smokers and patients with uncontrolled diabetes.

Yes, you can get dental implants to support and stabilize your dentures. This type of treatment is known as implant-supported dentures or implant-retained dentures.

Implant-supported dentures offer several advantages over traditional removable dentures:

  1. Improved stability and retention: Dental implants act as anchors for your dentures, providing increased stability and reducing the chances of them slipping or shifting while speaking or eating. This can enhance your confidence and comfort while wearing dentures.
  2. Enhanced chewing efficiency: Implant-supported dentures allow for better biting and chewing functionality, as the implants provide a strong and stable foundation. This can improve your ability to eat a wider variety of foods and enjoy a more balanced diet.
  3. Preserved bone and facial structure: Dental implants stimulate the underlying jawbone, helping to prevent bone loss that typically occurs when natural teeth are missing. By preserving the bone structure, implant-supported dentures can maintain the natural contours of your face and prevent the sunken appearance often associated with traditional dentures.
  4. Increased comfort: Implant-supported dentures are typically more comfortable to wear since they do not rely on suction or adhesive pastes to stay in place. The implants provide a secure and stable foundation, reducing discomfort and sore spots often experienced with traditional dentures.


The process of getting implant-supported dentures involves the placement of dental implants into the jawbone, followed by the attachment of a specially designed denture that fits onto the implants. The number of implants required can vary depending on factors such as the quality of your bone and the specific treatment plan recommended by your dental professional.

If you are interested in implant-supported dentures, I recommend consulting with a dental professional who specializes in implant dentistry. They can evaluate your oral health, discuss your treatment options, and create a personalized plan to meet your specific needs and goals.

The Dental Implant Guys inside Colorado Oral Surgery Group

Colorado Springs Office

Westminster Office