Whether you’ve lost a tooth or it was never there to begin with, dental implants provide an esthetic alternative to natural teeth.
Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically positioned into the jawbone to provide stable support for artificial teeth. If you lost a tooth long ago, you may first need some additional bone grafting to prepare the area for implants. Dentures and bridges mounted to implants won’t slip, so you can feel more comfortable and confident about eating and speaking. After receiving implants, regular follow-up visits are a must.
At our initial consultation, we will assess the amount of bone and space available to properly secure a dental implant. We will take photos and use an intaoral scanner to create a 3D model of your mouth. Our collaborating laboratory will then make a surgical guide to assure the most predictable and accurate implant placement. If you are an implant candidate but significant bone loss has taken place, a bone graft may be recommended, after which approximately three months of healing time will be required. If you are generally nervous at the dentist, we may offer some medication to make you feel most comfortable during your next visit.
After administering local anesthesia, an implant will be inserted into your bone with the help of a custom surgical guide. We will take an xray and close the gums with suture material. We will allow approximately 3 months of healing time so that the implant can fuse with your bone.
In 3-4 weeks, we will confirm healing and remove your stitches.
Once the implant has fused with your bone, the gums will be opened and a healing cap will be placed to shape the gums for the final crown.
Next, we will remove the healing cap and place an impression coping, ensuring proper placement with an xray. We will scan the area so that the dental ceramist can create a customized restoration for the area. The healing cap will be reinserted until your next visit.
We will remove the healing cap, disinfect the area of any bacteria and seat a custom abutment and crown. We will confirm proper seating with an xray and make any adjustments needed so your bite feel natural. Finally, we will review home care so that you are comfortable maintaining your implant between cleaning visits.
Generally, dental implants are made out of a biocompatible metal such as titanium. Biocompatible metals are also used for other common bone implants (such as shoulder, hip, and knee replacements). The visible portion of the implant is usually made out of porcelain and is custom-made to match your existing teeth.
Dental implants are designed to fuse to the bone, which makes them become permanent fixtures. Typically speaking, the success rate is nearly 100%. There are few cases in which the implant will not fuse as intended and must be removed. If this happens to occur, the procedure can be attempted again a few months later.
Dental implants are not usually covered by dental insurance, but may be covered under a patient's medical insurance. Our office and your insurance company can discuss coverage options with you based on your individual case and treatment plan.
Caring for your implant is much the same as your natural teeth. This involves regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. If your individual case requires specialized home care tools, we will instruct you on how to use these.
No Dental Benefits?We Have You Covered!