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3 Myths About Tooth Implants -Pain, Expense and Time – Burbank Dentist Explains

dental implants Burbank CADental tooth implants have been in use for more than 40 years!  Even though they are quite common, there are three “myths” that I hear potential patients describe all the time.

1. Dental implants are painful!

2. Dental Implants are expensive!

3. Dental implants take a long time!

1. Dental implants are painful!

FALSE! In my more than a decade of placing dental implants, most of my patients say, “that was much easier than I thought!

There are three things that will predict whether this procedure will hurt.

The ease or difficulty of your unique situation is first. The second factor is your ability to heal well. And third, the skill and training of your implant dentist.

Pain should not be a factor in your decision making process. Choose the treatment that will give you the best result.  Although I do write narcotic prescriptions such as Vicodin, most of my patients end up just using tylenol and/or advil.  IV sedation is highly recommended as it will reduce post-operative pain too!

2. Dental implants are expensive!

FALSE! Dental implants do not cost much more than an average 3 tooth bridge! In my office in Burbank, the cost is almost identical. The long-term cost for having an implant versus a bridge is much lower, since a bridge will be replaced every 7 -15 years. Your dental implant will most likely never need to be replaced!

If you have a bridge, your adjacent teeth will be irreversibly ground down into little nubs. This fact alone is worth it.

3. Dental implants take a long time!

FALSE! Having an implant usually takes 2 – 4 months on average.  A bridge takes 3 – 6 weeks.

It is a short term sacrifice for a long term benefit!

Bone by nature, takes a while to heal. Have you ever broken a bone and had to wear a cast? I’m sure you had to wear it for a several weeks! The bone around a newly placed implant has to mend, just like the bones in your arm would have to.

A bone graft, may or may not extend the amount of time it takes for healing.

In my Burbank office, you will always have a temporary tooth! You don’t have to walk around with missing teeth during the process!

Here what my patients have to say: Burbank Dentists Video Testimonials

74 thoughts on “3 Myths About Tooth Implants -Pain, Expense and Time – Burbank Dentist Explains

  1. After years of orthdontic work I was left with a bonded retainer along my bottom front teeth which over the course of 10 years of personal neglect & various other factors has lead to the development of marked gum recession on both sides & possible bone loss. As the retainer has held these teeth together, I am cannot judge wether any of them are actually lose, but am currently afraid to remove it to find out. I am aware that i May have advanced periodontal disease in this area, tho the rest of my mouth seems fine. Is there a preferred method of replacing these bottom front teeth if there is extensive bone loss & periodontal treatment is unable to save them? I am 28 years old & have limited money.

    1. I doubt there is much of an issue as you might think. Just get an x-ray and a good cleaning. Likely the teeth are ok and you don’t even need to think about implants!
      😉

  2. Thank you Dr. Amin, for this forum. I had a throbbing, painful infection on my tooth #3 last month, which was resolved with antibiotics. The tooth underwent root canal in 2011 and a crown was placed at that time . I went to my endodontist and X-rays revealed infection, yet I was in no pain. I just had a retreatment today, but my doctor, half way thru the process said the tooth was cracked and ceased any further treatment and referred me back to my dentist. He said there was not her more that he could do and that I would need the tooth extracted and either a bridge or implant performed. My question is this: If I am in no pain, is this something that needs to be done in an urgent matter? Does any delay cause the infection to spread or complicate things? Since completion of the antibiotic mid-May, I have not had any pain, since antibiotic completion, But My X-rays “show” that the infection is there. I have never had an implant, am 56 years old, with no known co-morbidities.

    Thank you,
    Bill

    1. bacteria will follow the path of the crack from the top of the tooth into your bone. This is how the infection occurs. If it is cracked it needs to come out. Tooth #3 is complicated in that sometimes the sinuses hangs over the top requiring an internal sinus lift. This video should help you understand the anatomy of the upper first molar.

  3. Hello,
    I’m wondering what health issues does a person have that can’t be a canidate for implants. I need 2 and i’m afraid that the procedure is going to hurt and also i have high blood pressure and low iron. What should i know before having implants? I’m 35

    1. Each patient is a unique individual with different anatomical,
      aesthetic and functional requirements. A detailed risk analysis
      should be part of the decision-making process during
      treatment planning. I
      assess as much as 60 different risk factors before finalizing
      a treatment plan.

      RELATIVE contraindications———–adolescence, osteoporosis, smoking, diabetes, immunodeficiency isssues, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, certain medications.

      ABSOLUTE contraindications———— to implant rehabilitation include heart attack, recent stroke, recent valvular prosthesis surgery, immunosuppression, bleeding issues, active treatment of cancer, drug abuse, psychiatric illness, as well as intravenous bisphosphonate use.

  4. Hello Dr. Ramsey- do you see out of town patients? I live in Memphis, TN I’m a 47 year old female that has no back teeth. I hate so bad that I was not told about the importance of taking care of your teeth. My front teeth are starting to chip because I know use them to eat. Can you recommend anyone here in Memphis,Tn, I would love to visit your office.

    1. Yes I do. It can be complicated and typically you need to be around for some time since these are surgeries.

      Search my site on how to choose implant dentist. There are some resources for you.

  5. I have severe TMJ disorder but the pain is muscular and not from arthritis. I am thinking I might need a dental implant soon. I had two crowns (side by side) that were not hurting, redone a year ago. Since then, I can not bite or chew on that side. When he replaced the crowns , the dentist had to cut some gum to have enough structure to attach to. Both of these teeth also had root canals. My bite always feels off due to the TMJ issues.He has taken xrays as has a second dentist and can’t seem to find a reason for this pain. Have you treated patients with TMJ disorders? I am worried about the pain of dental implants and my TMJ.
    Thank you for the information!

    1. Stabilize your TMJ pain BEFORE shaving the implant. It could worsen for more dental work. Go slow and wait until it feels good again.

  6. Hello there,

    I have a question that has been on my mind for a while. How long do these implants take? (A single tooth) and is there always going to be an incision involved? I have a huge fear of the dentist and have been wondering.

    Thanks so much for your other replies,

    Braden

    1. You should be sedated for this procedure. It can be intense at times.

      Incisions are more normal than not. The procedure can take as short as one day or it can take as long as two years depending on your unique situation.

  7. I am fourteen and have a tooth missing in the bottom front because of a genetic thing (not sure of the name) I was told that I would need to get an implant, but my cousin, who has the same thing, said that it involves getting a shot in your mouth. Is this true?

  8. how long will it take to implant 23 to 27 teeth? is it done on a single procedure or is it done teeth by teeth?

  9. Doctor,

    I am a candidate for an implant. I’ve seen many success stories, but some rough ones too. Have you seen peri-implantitis? Can that occur if the implant is successfully done? I am looking at an implant in my lower jaw, and eventually one in my upper. Both are rear teeth. I’m just trying to better understand the typical risks of developing peri-implantitus when the costs are not insubstantial.

  10. I though you were very well spoken, to the point and asking patients to research as much as they can is the most important advise anyone can give. I have gone to the manufacturers to see what the Dentist are paying for the materials only to find it is the labor and expertise that cost the most.
    Felt you were honest and cared that people in general understand what they are about to do.

  11. Dear Dr. Amin, I have been going to a dentist who will do anything even not knowing what he is doing. I will not mention but the last fiasco. He decided to put a 7 tooth bridge over my teeth so that I will never have any problems with those teeth. The bridge shattered the teeth and he at time of bridge removed 2 good teeth. After I had to have what’s left dug out for a denture he mentioned he would put something permanent there. It is a bridge which does not look at all like my teeth. I am ashamed to open my mouth. I have talked to attorney to try to get funds to go to someone as you. No go. This has ruined my life and my Question is can you give me a ball park figure as to price to remove implants, put in new, and get whatever you recommend like maybe like that particular bridge. I am thinking of selling my home. You are the world’s best and I know you can fix this. My lower teeth are fine. He neglected them for 10 years to do money making things with the upper but a fine dentist here can fix them with fillings , etc. I am aware you don’t really have the time for all of these questions but I don’t want to live like this. Thank you sir for any comment.

    1. I’m sure I can help but I would need to see you to full asses your situation. Some of the procedures I do vary from $3000 – $120,000.

      You should be proud of your teeth and they should be 100 percent healthy without extensive maintenance. Patchwork dentistry always fails in the end. I am sorry you have had such a bad experience and poor longevity of your dental work. 🙁

      1. What does this cost? I had some issues during my pregnancy (malnutrition and severe vomiting and acid reflux, it was so bad I was fed by tube for 7 months) and in the past ten years they have crumbled away no matter how meticulous I was.
        I am 33 and am only one week into full immediate dentures but they are just horrible and can tell I don’t want to live this way. I have only state insurance that barely wanted to pay for these so I want to start saving.
        What is the cheapest full mouth implants you do?

  12. The truth is that it IS EXPENSIVE! One implant was $3400 and that didn’t cover the crown.. that is going to be yet another major expense!

  13. Hello!
    First of all, I wanted to compliment you on your blog. It offers such a wide variety of useful information, and has been really helpful in my research. I thought I would reach out to you with a few questions.
    A little background: I am 26 years old, and had porcelain veneers put on my teeth 12 years ago for aesthetic purposes (my original teeth were fine, I just had small gaps). The veneers have aged well, but I’m looking to change them out for something a little more permanent. I have a relatively healthy mouth; no problems other than a few cavities over the course of my life, all of which have been taken care of.
    I am currently serving in the Peace Corps in Belize, and my service will end early September. I am planning on traveling afterwards for a few months, and then leaving for China to teach English in March. I would really like to have the implants done in between the end of my travel and leaving for China.
    After reading a few of your articles, it seems that the implant process can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months. I know it’s difficult to make time estimates without actually seeing the person and assessing the situation, but how many months, average, would you recommend setting aside for this process? I would love to travel for as long as possible after my service, but not at the expense of a successful implant procedure. I’d love any information you can provide.

    Thank you so much for your time and attention, I really appreciate it.
    Best,
    Michelle

    1. Hello Michelle,

      Thank you for your kind words. Your request is a bit odd though…

      The reason why I say this is odd is there is NO reason to transition from veneers to implants unless there is some reason that your teeth need to be extracted. Dental implants are not permanent in a 26-year-old. Nothing will outperform your own natural teeth if the bone is good and your bite is good. If you have lost a tremendous amount of bone or have generalized severe decay that is non-restorable then you can consider removing teeth for dental implants.

      Based on your profile picture it does not seem like that is the case at all. You seem to have a very pretty smile. You may need to replace your veneers in serval years but you just do that with another set of veneers for perhaps conservative cosmetic crowns.

      Hopefully that never happens and you will hopefully never need to see me. Enjoy your time in China and be safe. Thank you for making the world a better place.

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! I so appreciate your honesty, and the fact that you take the time to reply to the people that ask you questions. It really means a lot. I wish you well.

        Thanks again!

  14. I HAD AN IMPLANT IN MY LEFT FRONT TOOTH THAT IS PAINFUL AND LEFT A WHOLE BETWEEN MY RIGHT FRONT TOOTH, A GAP AT THE TOP. MY TEETH WERE NEVER LIKE THAT. ALSO THE SHAPE AND CIRCUMFERENCE ARE OFF. THE ONLY THING GOOD IS THE COLOR. WHAT RECOURSE TO I HAVE. CAN IT BE DONE OVER?

    1. Ugh. Yes it can be redone but perhaps you weren’t a good candidate for an implant in that spot. Front teeth are very difficult and need to be diagnosed and treated differently than back teeth.

  15. I had Grave’s Disease and a few years ago had radiation which has left me hypothyroid. This has really done a number on my teeth. Have you worked on people with thyroid issues? I have a premier blue policy with BCBS of Louisiana. Have you ever had success in getting health insurance to pay due to thyroid issues? I’m terrified of the dentist because of what my thyroids have caused, but your site is comforting and I’m considering flying in to take care of my dental needs.

    1. Having thyroid disease is typically not a contraindication for dental implants. I have successfully treated 100’s of patients with your same situation…. It shouldn’t be an issue. There is a smaller gland next to the thyroid called parathyroid gland which can become a bigger problem for dental implants and bone healing.
      Medical insurance will not help you pay for dental implants because of thyroid disease.

  16. Hello dr.
    I have a bad case of dental phobia..but my teeth are getting really bad and it’s becoming some sort of depression .I’m really terrified that they will fall off..I’m driving to California on the 6th..is there any way you cam see me to give me some type of advice on what to do and what all will I have to do to get them fixed?
    Thank you….

    1. The best thing would be for you to call my office and speak to one of my team members. They can help you schedule an appointment. the phone number for the office is 818-846-3203.

      Every single day I treat patients under IV moderate sedation. It is not uncommon for me to treat a patient under IV sedation for 1-5 hours and complete years of dentistry and a single visit. Oftentimes multiple visits are needed though.

      😉

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

    1. 😉 Burbank, California. I would need to see you first in order to assess your unique situation. The 2 front teeth can be very complex and almost always require bone grafting of some degree.

  17. Hi i want to get my mom dental implants because her teeth are bad but i am trying to find grants for it to help out a little do you have any idea where i could get any grants like that

  18. Sir.. I had a root canal treatment with crown 3 years ago and now I’m facing an abscess on that tooth with severe pain… This happens after every 6 months. Plz give me an advice that should I remove my tooth with a treatment of dental implants????? Please help me…..:(

  19. Hello Dr. Amin
    I will probably have the surgery Thursday to sever and remove part of a bridge, extract the back molar needing a root canal that was the rear anchor to the bridge. Then, we will implant and later place a larger crown to fill up most of the space that two implants would take up. (this due to cost of two implants)

    How successful is this to preventing a top tooth from eventually dropping/becoming lose without a bottom tooth to hit against?

    Thanks.
    Jan

    1. An implant can definitely hold the upper tooth from supraerupting. I would not making the crown too big though. This will make for excessive forces on the bone at the top of the implant. This will result in bone loss around the implant in just a few short years. The implant tooth should not be bigger than the natural tooth.

      RA.

    1. Hello Victor,

      Could you please clarify what you need? If you’re looking to schedule an appointment with me, please call my office at 818-846-3203

      Respectfully,

      Ramsey Amin DDS

    1. Hi Isaac,

      Sickle cell anemia is the disease of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen within our bloodstream. Oxygenation of the surgical site where you may have a dental implant or bone graft is key to its healing.

      If you only have sickle cell anemia and no other medical problems your likely to not have much issue having these procedures done. He should also consult with your physician if it has been a major issue during your life. I have successfully placed implants and done bone grafts on patients with sickle cell anemia in the past

      Very Respectfully,

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  20. Hi Dr. Amin

    I’ve just run across this post regarding dental implants. I very encouraged by your educated responses. My story is a bit different that these. As a teen, I suffered through bulimia for many years. I had no clue that my hair would fall out and eventually my teeth would rot away. Because of my fear of the dentist, I neglected to go for most of my adulthood. I was married about five years ago and gave birth to a baby girl about a few years back. It was then, that I decided that I wanted to be an examplor rather that just an instructor.

    I finally went to the dentist where I live and started the process of restoring my smile. I’m at the point where I’ve had all of the rotted teeth extracted and everything else has been brought to a restorative state. My dds suggests a partial for the top, however, I am still young and would prefer implants. She informed me that a)- they are expensive, and b)- I will need (4) posts (at least) in order to place bridges on the top and bottom.

    I do not have the money to buy implants

    Please help 🙂

    1. Hello Rick,

      It sounds like you are considering the all on 4 dental implant procedure. It is a very under engineered design especially for the upper jaw. I would suggest at least 6 implants on your upper jaw and 5 on your lower jaw at a minimum if you’re considering fixed dental implant Bridges. Avoid plastic hybrid Bridges that break commonly.
      Related links for you:
      All On Four Dental Implant Procedure Review: Is It The Best? –Ramsey Amin DDS
      All-on-Four Dental Implant Procedure -Ramsey Amin DDS Explains Pros and Cons

      Good luck,

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  21. hi Dr Amin,
    while conducting some research on dental implants, we heard your names a few times by some happy patients. That’s how we found your website. We totally agree with you regarding pain, expense and time. We also truly believe dental implants are one the most reliable long term dental substitutes that often outweigh other solutions but the most important factor is definitely finding an implant expert to rely on and from what we heard, your are a no brainer choice 🙂

    1. Find The Dental Implant Experts — Ideally find someone who has both the ‘F’ and ‘D’ status described below!

      How to Choose an Implant Dentist

      American Academy of Implant Dentistry Credentialed Members

      Find an experienced and credentialed dental professional in your area. AAID credentialed members are actively engaged in active practice incorporating dental implants. Following are explanations of the credentials:

      Associate Fellows (AF) have been certified by their peers and have met national standards of education and practice in oral implantology.

      Academic Associate Fellows (AAF) are dentists who are employed as faculty or administrators by accredited dental schools on a full time basis and who are involved in the discipline of implant dentistry.

      Fellows (F) have been certified by their peers and have met national standards of education and practice in oral implantology. Due to the more extensive experiential requirements for Fellow Membership, Fellows are required to demonstrate advanced knowledge and experience in implant dentistry.

      Diplomates (D) are AAID members who have become Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID). The ABOI/ID is a certification agency that serves independently to protect members of the public who seek dental implant care. The designation signifies that these dentists have met the highest criterions in oral implantology – they have met educational and experiential standards; and, they have reached an in-depth level of knowledge and acquired a proficient level of skill and ability.

  22. I am trying to understand the process of implantation of a type of a one piece type of implant that comes with an attached abutment. If properly placed, and after months of healing, can a crown be attached to this one piece implant/abutment without the need for another abutment and hence without an additional abutment fee?

    Thanks for your expert advice!

    Thanks for help

    1. Hello Ed,

      You are exactly correct about the one piece implants. Unfortunately one piece implants have limited use and little versatility. The analogy is trying to make the implant fit your mouth rather than customizing it for your particular situation.

      If the implant is too short, too angulated, too round, or too skinny, and a host of other problems you will have long-term problems and the entire implant will have to be removed. Because it is a one-piece implant your only option is for the dentist to drill on the implant itself.

      I use them and extremely limited situations. Using one-piece dental implants for cost savings can be dangerous because you end up with something that is permanently wrong with no way to correct it besides removing the entire implant from your jawbone.

      It is not worth it. Guided surgical placement may help if it is extremely well planned by a very experienced clinician.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  23. Twelve, or so, years ago I had Five (5) implants installed in the lower jaw with a bar attachment, instant load and the Surgeon probably wrote it up on your Dental Magazine. The bar attachment works well but allows too much food to collect under the denture.
    Because of time and bone erosion: In January 2013 I had a bone graft on my upper jaw, using bone from the back area of my hip., The Oral Surgeon who originally studied at USC Berkley did a masterful job at Mount Sinai in Toronto. The healing time suggested was 6 months and following this I had Six (6) implants installed in the upper jaw at (11,13,15, 21, 23, 25) so far all has gone well and the suggested healing time for this is 4 to 6 month??? before the locators are installed and the denture if installed.
    The actual bone graft left me looking like I was wearing a mask Black and Blue from beneath the eyes to just above the collar bone…but there was very little pain
    Yes there was a little blood from the nose caused by calcified material in the nose (from the Graft)
    The implant installation was quick with almost no pain even though there were screws in the upper jaw from the grafting..

    All in all a masterful job

    .. Now I am thinking about the lower job and whether it would be feasible to change over to locators and get rid of the bar ???

    1. Hi Joseph,

      Changing the lower bar over denture to a locator over denture may it may not help. All over dentures get food under them.

      Have you tried a reline to full in the gaps?

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry

  24. I was in a car accident 23 years ago… they added two implants (upper) with a 6 (I think) tooth bridge. I think two of my bottom teeth got direct implants. I haven’t had a problem with the bottom ones at all. The bridge sucks! I’m on my 2nd replacement and each time it seems like they are grinding more of my adjacent teeth to make it work.

    The last go around started in Oct 2011, with the final placement in January of this year. Since then, I have had soreness that won’t go away. I have had more than a few infections in my upper teeth too. So I’m not sure if the soreness is from alignment issues… I noticed I was grinding at night. Or from gum disease or another infection brewing.

    So I’m a fan of the direct implant over the bridge. I’m not sure why they opted for the bridge other than maybe not enough bone or it was cheaper.

    If someone already had two implants to cover 6 teeth, do you think more than be added, or it would depend on the placement of the original implants, or even other factors? Just wondering.

    1. Hi Fran,

      There are so many factors to your situation. You should really understand each option and its long term outcomes when making a decision. Yes, you can add implants to the area to have the great smile you desire. Occasionally, a non-implant bridge can be better than implants if there is bone missing in certain areas.

      I hope this helps.

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, CA

  25. Six months ago I had to have loose crowns tightened on two implanted molars
    located side by side on my upper jaw right that were installed ten years ago.
    I have been experiencing low jaw pain for about two months now, which has
    worsened. Can you identify with this?

    1. Hi Frank,

      Without seeing you or your x-rays it is very difficult for me to tell you a correct answer. How are the bone level and pockets around the dental implants?

      Ramsey A. Amin, D.D.S.
      Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology /Implant Dentistry
      Fellow-American Academy of Implant Dentistry
      Burbank, CA

  26. I had a sinus lift, dental implants done last week, waiting on them to heal so that they can insert the posts and crowns (about 4 months) … Very painful for me…taking antibiotics and pain meds and I am definitely a person that can take pain.

    1. Hi Linda,

      Hmm…tell me more. In the last eleven years, the majority of my patients only need tylenol and/or advil. Did you have any steriods in the IV? Any blood from your nose? How experienced is the dentist in this procedure?

      Respectfully,

      Dr. Amin

  27. Hi Anne,
    In many instances, the teeth can be extracted and replaced on the same day!
    That is called an “immediate implant with a temp.” There should be no time that you have to be without your front teeth during the process!

  28. If a tooth is first extracted, the patient must wait for a tooth, e.g., if the two front teeth are removed there will be a hole there until the implant surgery takes place. It is only when the implant is inserted that a tooth is provided. Is that correct.
    Thanks
    Anne

  29. Hey Doc,
    I saw your post come through on Facebook. All of this is so true! I am a patient of Dr. Amin
    The implants that you did for me 6 years ago are doing awesome. I always get compliments on my smile.
    I can even tell them apart from my own teeth!
    Thanks for all you did for me. See you at my next appointment.

    1. hello Dr. Ramsey Amin i have my left incisoe ooth broken and i have to choose one option root canal or impant what shoud i choose .was impant was risky?

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About Ramsey A. Amin, DDS

Dr. Ramsey Amin has extensive experience in surgical and restorative implant dentistry. As one of only less than 400 Diplomates of the American Board of Oral Implantology/ Implant Dentistry (ABOI/ID) he is considered an expert, and board-certified in dental implants. He is a former instructor at the UCLA School of Dentistry.