Are dental implants right for you?

Are dental implants right for you?

If you are self-conscious because you have missing teeth, wear dentures that are uncomfortable or don't like that a bridge means good teeth would have to have work done on them, talk to your dentist to see if dental implants are an option for you.

Dental implants are a good tooth replacement option for many people. However, there are a lot of factors that go into making the process of getting an implant successful and having the smile you've always wanted and comfort you deserve.

Please read on to see if dental implants are right you.
Tooth vs. Implant

Thank you for considering our Implant Clinic for your dental implant needs.

Talk to your dentist and then get more information and schedule a screening appointment.



Number of implants done at the College of Dentistry in 2022.

Dental implants are one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years.

Implant Information

Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth and are designed to blend in with your other teeth. They are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile.

Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and a good replacement for their own tooth or teeth.

Implants are made of titanium and are very durable and will last many years. They can replace individual teeth, partial bridges or even the full row of upper or lower teeth.  Dental implants can help restore almost anyone’s smile even if natural teeth have been lost to injury or disease.

Dental implants are permanent fixtures of titanium posts anchored to the jawbone and topped with individual replacement teeth or a bridge that screws into the posts.  These implants serve as "roots" for the tooth, bridge or denture which is on top.

A very common reason people consider implants is because their lower denture slides and makes chewing and talking difficult.  The majority of patients treated with dental implants experience a significant improvement in their ability to chew food and feel more comfortable.  Nearly everyone who can have routine dental care can successfully use implants.

Single teeth or a full or partial row of teeth can be replaced with dental implants. Implants are very durable and will last many years and require no more maintenance than real teeth.

The science and technology of implants are very mature having been developed more than 30 years ago.  Additionally, the success rate for implants is remarkably high: 98% for lower implants and 91% for upper implants.

If you are interested in dental implants and are in good health (Age is not a factor, but some medical conditions or lifestyle choices may make other treatments better options for you), discuss it with your dentist today.


Implant costs vary depending on the provider level (faculty, resident or dental student) assigned to your case, and provider levels are assigned based on treatment complexity and tooth location.

Estimate fee by provider for 1 dental implant*

  • Dental Student: $2,000 - $5,000
  • Residents: $3,500 - $5,000
  • Faculty: $4,600 - $6,000

Fees are, also, based on the number and type of implants. They can range from $1,000 to $25,000 depending upon your specific needs. The fees can be more accurately determined following the diagnostic work-up and evaluation by the team as fees are dependent on many factors.

Some dental insurance carriers may cover all or a portion of the implant treatment costs though many do not.

Payment plans are available and can be discussed with our business office following your initial assessment and work-up after an estimate for treatment is provided. Half of the total treatment cost will need to made before treatment begins and then a payment plan can be set up for the remaining balance.

*Prices listed are general estimates for 1 dental implant from start to finish. A screening appointment will be needed to determine the actual cost of treatment.

The dental implant process from start to finish can take anywhere from 10 months to 2+ years depending on your circumstances and complexity of your needs.

This is not something that can be rushed. It takes time and proper planning to be successful.

Estimated duration of treatment, number of visits and length of each visit for 1 dental implant based on provider type:

  • Dental Student
    • The process will take at least 1 year and will require 6 – 10 visits each visit lasting about 4 hours.
  • Residents
    • The process will take about 1 year and will require 6 – 10 visits with each visit lasting 1 – 3 hours.
  • Faculty
    • The process will take 6 – 8 months and will require 6 – 8 visits with each visit lasting 1 – 3 hours.


There are many phases to getting an implant.  Once you have been screened, multiple appointments are required. This is our process at The College of Dentistry.

  • Appointment #1 – Diagnostics.
    • Impressions, a mold of your mouth, will be made and x-rays taken.
    • From the impressions and x-rays, a surgical guide will be made.
      • A surgical guide is used to make sure the implant is placed in the right spot.
  • Appointment #2 – Surgical guide try-in.
    • The surgical guide will be tried on and adjusted where needed to ensure a good fit and accurate guidance.
    • A special 3D x-ray, also called a CBCT, will be taken.
  • Appointment #3 – Implant surgery.
    • The dentist will surgically put the implant in to your jawbone.
    • Some one will need to accompany you to this appointment.
    • After surgery, a diet of soft, cold foods or warm soups is generally recommended.
  • Appointment #4 – Surgical healing check.
    • Healing takes time, so the implant will be checked several times to make sure it is healing well and setting properly into your jawbone.
    • Implants are so strong because your bone grows around the implant and anchors it in place.
    • This is why healing is so important and can not be rushed.
    • Everyone is different, so healing times can be very different.
  • Appointment #5 – Final impression.
    • A final impression will be made, and a special connector called an abutment will be put on the implant.
    • The impression will then be sent to the dental lab, and the final crown (or artificial tooth) will be made.
      • This new tooth will be made so it blends with your other teeth and looks seamless while giving you the function and smile you deserve.
      • It does take some time for the new tooth to be made.
        • Patience is key when it comes to dental implants.
  • Appointment #6 – Crown placement.
    • The final crown will be placed on the implant and checked for proper fit, placement and alignment.
  • Appointment #7 – Post-op check-up.
    • This is the final check of the implant and crown to ensure proper fit.
    • We will also make sure all of your questions have been answered.

Treatment with dental implants requires meticulous planning for best results.

To ensure the best possible outcome, the first phase of treatment is the diagnostic phase.  Prospective implant patients are screened by a team of dental implant specialists at the UI College of Dentistry.  At the screening appointment, the specialists use an x-ray to determine if the bone in the jaw is adequate to hold the implant. To help with measurements and planning, models of the mouth may, also, be made.

From the information gained during the diagnostic phase, the team determines the number, type and location of the dental implants, and the second or surgical phase can begin. A guide is made for the surgeons from the models of the patient's mouth, and the implants are placed.  Most often, implants only require one surgical procedure using a local anesthetic and sedative. However, there are occasions when the implants may require two surgical procedures. This is determined on an individual basis.

After the placement procedure, the gums may be sore 7 - 10 days. There may also be in the gums as the bone grows around the implant which may take several weeks.  It can take as little as 6 weeks up to as much as 6 months implants to heal completely.  The healing time depends on the person, the situation and the type of implant.

Following adequate healing, a series of appointments will be made so the team members can make the bridge or individual teeth which are customized to each patient.

Treatment time from placement of the implants until final restoration may take three to twelve months.

Dental implants require the same “maintenance” as real teeth, including brushing, flossing and regular dental check-ups.  Routine maintenance, check-ups and x-rays will be necessary to insure your implant will have a long life.

The tooth or teeth which sit on top of the implant do require routine maintenance, as well, and are subject to regular wear and tear.

Breakage of the implant parts is rare but is usually repairable.

Do you have an outside dentist referring you to The College of Dentistry?

Yes, my dentist is referring me.

  • We will need your dentist to complete a referral.
  • We will also need your dentist to send your x-rays to
  • Once we have that referral and review it, we can get you scheduled to come in.

No, I am not being referred by my dentist, but I'd like to know if implants are right for me.

  • You will need to have a limited exam performed in our Admissions clinic.
  • Please email our Dental Implant Coordinators ( for complete information.
    • Email is best, but if you do not use email, leave a message for our implant coordinators (319) 335-7169 letting them know when you are available, and they will call you back to discuss further.