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I really appreciate Dr. Dodson and my new front tooth. When I came to see Dr. Dodson I had a missing front tooth. I had worn a flipper for years to fill in my smile. It was uncomfortable and I was very aware of it. He made me a beautiful new permanent tooth that matches my other teeth perfectly! Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Dental Implants

Sedation Dentistry

Dental Implants

Who is a candidate for a dental implant?

Anyone in reasonable health who wants to replace missing teeth. One must have enough bone in the proposed area to provide for anchorage of the implant. Individuals who have complete dentures and have all their teeth missing are also excellent candidates for dental implants. Today, we use dental implants to replace single teeth, multiple teeth and removable prostheses. Finally, if a patient does not have enough bone to support a dental implant, bone graphs can be placed.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is nothing more than a metal screw that is placed into the jawbone. It acts as an anchor to support a false tooth or a set of false teeth. When properly placed and restored, a dental implant should be cosmetically pleasing and functionally rewarding. There are three components to the implant complex:

  1. The implant itself, which is the screw that is placed into the bone
  2. The implant abutment that is attached to the implant after the implant integrates with the bone
  3. Finally, the crown or false tooth that is cemented onto the abutment

The pricing of the implant complex is based on the designs and styles of the abutments and dental crowns.

Why have dental implants become so popular?  

As our lifespan increases, the need for a dental replacement system becomes very important to our overall health. Dentures and removable bridges have obvious problems… They are loose and very unstable, causing extreme pain and discomfort. Dental implants can provide people with dental replacements that are functional, cosmetic and very comfortable. The demand was always there… We just needed the tools and technology to fill the demand.

How do I find and choose a doctor for my dental implants?

Finding a highly skilled and trained implant specialist can be the difference between getting the smile you want and a serious disappointment. There are many things to consider, from their credentials to their experience. You are always better off selecting a dentist who has over four years of specialty training at an accredited university or hospital. There are some general dentists who are exceptional at the placing of dental implants who are not trained, but they are few and far in between. Our office has the unique training of a board-certified prosthodontist who is also a certified technician and general dentist. We place the implant, construct the crown and place the crown all in one location.

How long after a dental implant is placed can it be used to anchor a tooth?

The process that was originally developed clearly states that we must wait three months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw until we start to construct the crown or prosthesis that will be supported by the implant. In recent years, however, there has been a movement to speed up the process of osseointegration. Today we believe that it is possible in selected patients to accelerate the healing time. We are even loading dental crowns onto dental implants the very same day the implant is placed. However, the protocol that we follow is three months in the lower jaw and four months in the upper jaw.

Do I have to go without my teeth while the dental implants are bonding to the bone?

No. Most patients will wear a temporary crown or a removable temporary prosthesis to satisfy cosmetics and function while the implant is integrating with the bone. 90% of the time following oral surgery, there is very little discomfort and minimal bleeding. A brief regimen of Ibuprofen for a few days is recommended. Every patient and procedure is evaluated separately and there might occasionally be a recommendation that a patient go without their prosthesis for a short period of time. A soft diet is recommended for four to 6 weeks while trying not to chew on the implant site.

What is the cost of dental implants?

The fees associated with dental implants vary according to the type implant placed. We have basically two types of dental implants to retain crowns and prostheses. They are the root form implant and the mini-implant (a narrower-diameter fixture that can be placed into an area with minimal bone). The root form implant is the more popular and favorably more stable fixture and has the more supported research and literature reviews. Although in recent years, the mini-implant is being used to retain lower dentures that are uncomfortable and ill fitting. On the central coast of California, fees range from $2200 to $3400 just to place the implant fixture surgically. Then the cost of the abutment ranges from $750 to $950. And finally, the crown can cost anywhere from $1350 to $1750 depending on what the crown is utilized for and the materials used to construct the restoration. In our office, we have been charging 40% off for placing the implant, which averages about $1860. The abutment averages around $850 and the crown costs about $1550 to $1650. 

A final word on fees is that each person and the situation varies according to what teeth are missing and how the implant is going to be utilized according to how much bone is available and what arch is involved.

What happens if i have dental implants and they are rejected?

Occasionally, dental implants do fail… or some may say that they are rejected. In many instances, they can be replaced with another implant at a later date after the socket site heals and allows for another fixture to be placed. Failure rates vary from 2% to 5% depending on where the implant is located, the type of implant used and the bone quality available. The rejection rate may be a little higher with smokers and medically compromised individuals. The key element to success is a proper diagnosis and a detailed treatment plan.

What are mini-dental implants?

We receive many inquiries regarding this topic because mini-dental implants are less expensive with a less invasive placement procedure. They are widely being used today and we use the implant to secure lower troublesome dentures that are causing pain and discomfort. Mini-dental implants are generally less than 3 mm in diameter and are self-tapping, requiring less bone preparation and minimizing bone removal. The bottom line is that they are less expensive, need only minimal removal of bone, are very stable when placed properly and are minimally invasive surgically. If you have a loose lower denture, this could be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Sedation Dentistry

Will I be unconscious?

No, not completely. You will be in a deeply relaxed state, yet responsive.

Will I be monitored?

Yes! We will never leave you alone. One of our team members will always be with you and will monitor your vital signs during the entire visit.

How long will I be sleeping?

It varies. Depending on your needs and body size, it can range from two to six hours.

Will someone need to accompany me?

Yes. It is required for you to have a driver. Due to the sedative effects of the medication, you will not be able to drive – legally. We will not use any form of sedation until we have confirmed a driver is present.

How does sedation dentistry work?

You will be given a small pill to take one-hour prior to your dental appointment. When you arrive in our office, you will be escorted into the comfort room, covered with a thick, warm blanket and placed on a monitor to watch your vital signs. After you are comfortable, Dr. Dodson and his clinical team will take care of your dental needs. When your treatment is completed, your driver will take you home to finish your comfortable, relaxing day.

Facts about sedation dentistry

  • It really works! You really can sleep through your dental appointment.
  • It is safe! You take a small pill prior to treatment, with no intravenous tubes or needles.
  • You will have little or no memory of the experience. You won't remember any sounds or smells.
  • You can sleep up to five to six hours after taking the pill. The time you are sleeping will vary depending on your needed treatment.
  • Complex dental treatments that often require six to eight appointments can be done in as little as one! All while you sleep.
  • People who have difficulty getting numb have no problem when relaxed and sleeping.
  • Sedation dentistry is a safe way to reduce the fatigue of extended dental treatment requiring long visits.



Schedule your consultation with William F. Dodson, DDS, FACP simply by calling us at 831.649.1982, or you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form for your convenience. Dr. Dodson provides care to communities in Monterey County, CA (near Highway 68, next to Ryan Ranch), including Salinas, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Carmel and Pebble Beach.