If you suffer from tooth loss, dental implants can restore your smile and confidence by enhancing your functionality and overall oral health. Known as one of the most secure and long-lasting tooth replacement options available, dental implants can seamlessly blend in with the rest of your teeth so you can start smiling again.
Unlike your natural teeth, dental implants can't get cavities.
Your dentist will first sit down with you to determine if dental implants best suit your unique needs. After examining your mouth, administering X-rays, and checking your jaw health, your dentist will decide if one or more dental implants will provide the proper tooth restoration required for your smile. At this time, you and your dentist can discuss other restorative dentistry alternatives that may be a better fit for you.
Once you’ve been approved for treatment, your dentist will schedule your oral surgery appointment and provide a surgical plan. During the surgery, your dentist will open your gum tissue slightly to securely place a dental implant in the jaw. Your dentist will complete the procedure by cleaning the area and adding sutures to begin the healing process.
Your gums will begin to heal once your implants have been placed. Most patients heal completely from surgery within 1-2 weeks. In a process called “osseointegration,” the dental implant will take between 3-6 months to permanently bond with your jaw bone.
To ensure proper healing and bonding occurs, you’ll want to visit our office for a few follow-up appointments after your surgery. Your dentist will examine your jaw and gums and take impressions of your implant and teeth. These impressions will be sent over to a lab, who will craft a custom prosthetic, dental crown or arch of teeth.
After the lab has completed your prosthetic and your mouth has fully healed, you’ll visit our office for your final appointment. During the visit, your dentist will complete the procedure by permanently placing the restoration to your dental implant.
Keep your mouth and dental implant healthy by brushing and flossing regularly. Don’t forget to see your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
As the most-frequently used dental implant, single-tooth implants are made up of two main parts. The dental implant, or post, is a titanium rod with a screw-like shape. A dental crown is the restoration that is usually applied to the single implant.
To place a single dental implant, the post is bonded permanently into your gum and jaw. As the gum heals, a dental crown is created, which is eventually attached to the post by an “abutment.” This dental crown reinstates the shape, function, and appearance of your natural tooth. Unlike a partial denture, single-tooth implants are extremely durable and never move or shift.
If you are missing all or most of your natural teeth, and are looking for a secure, durable alternative to traditional dentures, full-arch implants may be the best option for you. By placing a series of 4-6 dental implants per arch into your mouth, you can enjoy the look and function of a new smile that can last a lifetime.
These dental implants act as artificial roots that allow a set of removable implant-supported overdentures or fixed dental bridges to permanently bond to the gumline and restore your smile. Full-arch implants look and feel much more natural, and will never shift or move when you eat or speak, unlike dentures.
Unlike dentures which require replacements, dental implants can potentially last a lifetime.
Dental implants are composed of two unique parts: one screw-shaped titanium “post”, and the restorative component, which is usually a dental crown and abutment. A wide selection of pre-selected post sizes are available to ensure each patient gets an implant that suits their needs. The restoration, on the other hand, is a custom-made appliance. Once your dentist secures your dental implant, they will administer impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab.
The lab will create a long-lasting, resilient dental implant restoration. Most are crafted out of porcelain or another high-quality, durable material. Once the restoration is complete, the lab will send it back to our office, and your dentist will complete the procedure by securely attaching your dental implant in place.
When properly placed and maintained with care, dental implants can last up to 30 years or more. It’s very common for patients to keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
The dental implant restoration, on the other hand, may not last this long. Restorations such as dental crowns or overdentures are exposed to regular wear and tear from chewing, biting, and more. Over the years, the restoration may need to be replaced a few times to keep your smile healthy and functional.
Dental implants can become infected, but it is a very rare complication. Known as “peri-implantitis,” a dental implant infection usually only occurs if the implant is not kept clean or cared for after surgery.
To avoid peri-implantitis and maintain a healthy implant, follow your dentist’s instructions while recovering, and be sure to brush and floss regularly after your implant has healed.
Yes. When your jaw is no longer stimulated by the natural pressure of chewing and biting, bone loss will occur. Losing a tooth stops this process, causing the jaw bone to weaken.
When the dental implant post is bonded directly into the jaw bone, it acts as an artificial tooth root and transmits the force of chewing and biting through the root and into your jaw bone, keeping it healthy and strong.
There are a few types of dental implants that can be done in one day. The restoration your dentist provides is a temporary appliance to keep your tooth healthy and functional until you have fully healed from your dental implant placement surgery. With your restoration, you can speak and eat normally throughout the healing process.
Your dentist will schedule a series of follow up appointments to track your healing process and take impressions of your teeth. These impressions will help the lab create your custom-made restoration, which will be a more permanent, durable, and natural-looking prosthetic than your temporaries.
Dental implants should not shift in your mouth. The titanium post is implanted into the jawbone and over 3 to 6 months, the implant fuses with the jawbone during osseointegration. This process restores the tooth root by forming an artificial one.
It’s this tooth root that holds the implant in place so that it can never move. This is one of the biggest advantages of implants – that you never have to worry about shifting teeth when you eat or speak, unlike dentures.
Sometimes patients think that their implants are moving shortly after implant surgery because they feel changing sensations as their mouth gets used to the differences in pressure from a foreign object in the mouth.
This creates the sensation of moving teeth even when they aren’t moving at all, similar to the feeling of getting braces tightened. However, you need to carefully examine your implants to rule out genuine movement.
If your implants truly are moving, then this is a dental emergency. Implants should never move and this is a sign of implant failure. This typically happens as a result of an allergy to metal or an infection known as peri-implantitis which is caused by poor oral hygiene.
Smoking also increases your risk of implant failure. Contact us at Titletown Dental right away if you believe your implants are moving so we can examine them and rule out implant failure.
One of the great advantages of dental implants is that they’re so low maintenance. However, you still need to practice good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and implant failure.
You should brush your implant-supported teeth twice a day with a soft nylon toothbrush and nonabrasive toothpaste. Abrasive products like toothpaste and mouthwash should be avoided because they can damage your implant restorations as well as cause discomfort.
Don’t forget to floss between your implants. This is really important because it’s easier for plaque to become trapped between and around your implants. Use an interdental brush for a thorough floss. Attend regular cleanings and checkups every 6 months.
Avoid smoking and alcohol for at least 6 months from receiving your implants to prevent the risk of implant failure. Ideally, smoking should be avoided altogether as it can interfere with the success of your implants in the long term.
If you have a removable overdenture, don’t forget to remove it and soak them overnight. You need to remove these dentures to thoroughly brush them with a nonabrasive cleaner. You should always rinse them out when taking them out and before putting them back in.
The answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no because implant coverage varies greatly depending on your insurance. Unfortunately, some insurance companies haven’t caught up to the science of dental implants and only consider them a cosmetic procedure.
Since cosmetic dentistry is not covered by insurance, this could mean no coverage for you. However, many insurance companies do at least partially cover some aspects of the dental implant process.
Even in cases where they don’t, you may be able to get coverage for other steps of the process such as bone grafts, extractions, or your restoration that is attached to the implants.
If you can’t get dental insurance coverage, your medical insurance may partially cover your implant costs if tooth loss has caused you medical complications. If you don’t have insurance, we accept third-party financing through CareCredit to help you fund your treatment.
Dental implants are made of titanium, which is one of the strongest and most durable metals.