Do you think you might be a good candidate for dental implant treatment? Read on to learn…
- What a dental implants is
- The benefits of dental implants
- Who might be a good candidate for dental implants
- Answers to commonly asked questions
- Much more
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants replace the root of your tooth to replicate the support that your teeth and jaw need to stay strong. Implants are used in conjunction with a tooth replacement option, making the implant and restoration look, feel, and function like your natural teeth.
While dental implants can replace multiple teeth, most commonly they replace the root of one tooth and are then used to support a tooth replacement option such as a crown, bridge, or denture.
When your tooth is severely damaged or missing, the bone that surrounds where your tooth once was begins to diminish. This weakens your jaw and can lead to permanent damage. A dental implant will replace the root of the tooth and, with bone grafting, will stop the degradation of your jaw bone that happens when there is a missing tooth.
Who can benefit from dental implants?
Anyone with a severely damaged or missing tooth can benefit from a dental implant. The age to replace a tooth ranges from a young adult to a senior citizen, and can be due to a tooth that cannot be restored or one that was knocked out due to an accident.
In every case, dental implants help restore order in your mouth. Not only will you look better, but, more importantly, the health of your mouth will be restored, too.
Advantages of dental implants
- Restore your dental health. Not only will your smile look natural, but your mouth will function how it was intended.
- An implant is one of the most natural ways to replace missing teeth.
- Dental implants are not only an investment in your oral health, but in your whole body health, too.
- Dental implants can be a long term solution with proper care.
- Dental implants ensure a custom fit. Your tooth replacement option will be matched to blend in with your existing teeth and designed to fit your mouth.
Alternative implant treatment options
- Dental bridge: Dental bridges leverage the support of your missing tooth’s surrounding teeth to provide your smile with a new tooth.
- Partial denture: For those missing multiple teeth that are surrounded by strong, healthy teeth, partial dentures could be a good option. This treatment uses a plate with prosthetic teeth to replace your missing teeth.
- Complete denture: When missing an entire mouth of teeth, complete dentures can replace the entirety of your upper or lower set of teeth (or both). Complete dentures are generally removable.
What to expect during a dental implant treatment
Dental implants should only be performed by a dentist you trust completely. When you meet with your dentist, you can expect to work with them to find out if a dental implant is the right option for you. While we often recommend dental implant treatments, there are situations where a less-invasive treatment might be the better choice.
When undergoing a dental implant treatment, you can expect the following.
- A thorough evaluation of your smile, mouth, bite, and jaw bone.
- To prevent bone loss or replace bone already lost, bone grafts will be necessary for the success of the implant.
- A biocompatible implant is placed in the jawbone and given time to heal.
- A high-tech, tooth-colored dental restoration is then placed over the implant(s).
Additional treatments needed during a dental implant
While a dental implant will many times be enough to help replace your tooth, there are times when additional treatments may be needed to ensure a healthy long-term smile.
When placing dental implants, healthy bone is crucial to implant success. When you are missing a tooth for a significant portion of time, bone loss may have already occurred, creating inadequate bone volume for a successful implant. This can often be prevented or corrected with dental bone grafting.
Some different types of bone grafting treatment include:
- Bone augmentation
- Sinus augmentation (lift)
- Ridge expansion
This patient had several failing crowns and missing teeth. Using a combination of dental implants and crowns, Dr. Cary restored his smile and gave him a more youthful appearance.
This patient was missing her two front teeth. A failing bridge was damaging the supporting teeth. Using two dental implants and four crowns, we restored her smile.
How much do dental implants cost
The cost of dental implants vary based on your personal needs. It can depend on if you are replacing a single tooth or multiple teeth. After a comprehensive exam, you and the doctor will decide on the treatment option that works best for you and the associated cost.
Does dental implant treatment hurt?
It is normal for the patients to feel some discomfort in the first 2-4 days after treatment. We have found that most patients only need over the counter pain medication during the first few days. After the first week, patients should expect to feel no discomfort where the implant was placed. When treatment is complete, it will feel just like a natural tooth.
How should I care for my dental implant?
Dental implants need to be cared for the same as the rest of your natural teeth. Good oral hygiene habits, including flossing and brushing, are important to keep them in good condition. Just as importantly, it is crucial that you keep up with dental exams and cleanings to ensure gum disease and tooth decay in surrounding teeth are kept at bay.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants are completely safe. For patients in good health, dental implants have an incredibly high success rate. In some cases, it can actually be unsafe NOT to get dental implants as it can cause serious and permanent damage to your jaw bone.
For best long-term results with dental implants, it is important to maintain optimal oral hygiene and oral healthcare.
Does insurance cover dental implants?
Dental insurance can cover dental implants. Every insurance provider and plan is different, so how much and if your dental insurance will cover dental implants depends on your specific situation. In many cases, dental implants will be partially covered by dental insurance, but some of the cost will have to be paid for out of pocket.
To get more details about if your insurance will cover your dental implant procedure, reach out to our team. We will fill you in on what you can expect with your insurance and procedure.
Will I continue to have bone loss if I have a bridge or denture?
While bridges and dentures do replace the visual part of your tooth, your tooth’s root will generally not be replaced with these treatments. This can lead to permanent bone loss and serious issues with oral, jaw, and full body health down the line.
Questions or want to schedule an appointment?
Dr. Mike Cary is a leading implant dentist and can help you find success in your dental implant treatment.
Questions on dental implant treatments at Cary Dental? Contact us today!