What is a dental implant?
Our teeth have crowns and roots. The crowns sit above the gumline and are visible. The roots sit below the gums. Although many of us think of the crown when a tooth is lost, the root has the important job of stimulating the jawbone and gums to keep them healthy and protected.
The loss of even a single tooth can lead to bone loss and shifting teeth. With a gap from a missing tooth, bacteria can spread into the gums causing periodontal disease. Without a root in place, the bone can begin to break down. If this occurs, a bone graft may be needed before the dental implant procedure can take place.
A dental implant is a titanium post or cylinder that is precisely positioned in the gap from the missing tooth. This post replaces and takes on the role of the tooth root. An abutment then connects the implant with a custom dental crown or bridge to completely restore the structure, function, and appearance of the tooth.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Losing a tooth can be devastating. It disrupts the balance of your mouth. The teeth may shift and your bite may change. Whether you are missing one or more teeth or expecting a tooth extraction, dental implants can restore that natural balance once again.
A dental implant is an advanced, permanent option to replace a missing tooth. Basically a post that is positioned in the jaw, this dental device forms the base for a sturdy, durable restoration. When topped with an implant crown or bridge, the entire restoration mimics the structure of a natural tooth, replicating the function and aesthetic with unparalleled precision.
Here are some reasons to consider a dental implant procedure with LandMark Dentistry:
Beautifully restored smile that looks natural
More youthful appearance
Better, more normal function of the mouth
Improved bite surface, speech, and digestion
No more gaps or shifting teeth
Our cutting-edge implant procedures give you the smile you deserve. Replace a single tooth or complete a full mouth reconstruction for improved function and aesthetic.
Dental implant restoration gives patients permanent options to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or an entire arch or mouth. The procedure is customized for each patient based on his/her needs.
Although it is considered an oral surgery, implant restoration can be done right in the office. The implant is precisely placed in place of the missing tooth. The bone and gums are given time to heal around the implant before an abutment is placed to connect the crown, bridge, or denture.
To replace an individual tooth, a dental implant and crown are used. Multiple teeth can be replaced, but each requires its own implant and crown. This procedure produces a restoration that looks and functions as a natural tooth. As one of the easiest restorations to care for, dental implant crowns are long-lasting with good oral hygiene.
When more than one tooth needs to be replaced, a dental implant bridge procedure is an option. A fixed bridge is an option for patients who have to replace some teeth but do not want dentures or a full mouth restoration.
During an implant bridge procedure, a titanium implant sits on each end of the gap. Prosthetic teeth are connected and fill the space from the missing teeth. The prosthetic teeth are matched to the patient’s natural teeth in color, size, and shape. More than one treatment is needed to complete the implant bridge procedure.
Full mouth reconstruction is an option for patients who wish to completely correct or restore their smiles. This fully customized process requires in-depth planning. Multiple procedures may be needed to give you the smile you deserve. Treatments may include extractions, bone grafts, dental implants, crowns, and bridges.
All-on-4 implants have changed the look (and function) of dentures as we’ve known them. Patients who need an entire arch of teeth can get the added stability of dental implants with their dentures. All-on-4 dental implants use four precisely spaced implants to securely attach an upper or lower denture.
With implant-supported dentures, patients have improved functionality, increased stability, and a shorter transition or recovery period. Since the implants fuse with the jawbone, the dentures do not move around. Patients get used to the new device faster.
Dental Implants: Before and After
The photos of our patients below show the results of our dental implant procedure.
Dental Implants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a cylinder or post that replaces a missing tooth. Often made of titanium, the post is positioned in the jawbone and replaces the tooth root. An abutment connects the implant to a crown, bridge, or denture to create a fully functioning, aesthetically pleasing dental restoration. Dental implant restoration is a permanent tooth replacement option that comes with added stability and comfort so you can forget about your missing tooth.
Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Anyone who is missing a single tooth or multiple teeth may be a candidate for dental implants. Healthy bone structure is necessary to support the implant. In some cases, a bone graft may be required first for adequate healthy bone. A consultation is necessary to determine your specific needs.
Are dental implants safe?
Dental implants have been used for years to replace teeth. The technology is constantly improving. Today’s implants are sophisticated, reliable solutions to replace missing teeth.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Without a tooth in place, the bone can begin to deteriorate, the adjacent teeth may shift, the bite surface is disrupted, and the appearance of the smile and face is affected. A dental implant corrects all of that. As a permanent, fixed option to replace a missing tooth, the implant keeps the bone healthy and the surrounding teeth in place. The chewing surface is restored so you can eat and speak normally. When topped with a crown, bridge, or denture, the implant completes the patient’s smile. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime without the worry of dental decay.
What are the disadvantages of dental implants?
Having a dental implant placed requires a minor oral surgery. Although the procedure is performed in the office, any oral surgery comes with the possibility of infection, inflammation, or discomfort. Depending on the patient’s needs and oral structure, a bone and/or gum graft may be needed. These procedures may increase the overall treatment cost. However, implants can last a lifetime with proper care so the upfront investment pays off long term.
How much do implants cost?
Does insurance cover dental implants?
Dental implants may qualify for insurance coverage. However, situations and types of insurance vary. Check with your insurance company to understand your exact coverage benefits. The total cost depends on the number of implants needed, the patient’s bone quality, and the region of the mouth being treated. If you are concerned about the cost, financing options through CareCredit may be available. Contact our office for additional information regarding the cost of dental implants, insurance coverage, and financing options.
What is the process for getting dental implants?
A consultation is necessary to first determine if you qualify for dental implants. After examining your mouth and taking x-rays, your dental team will create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs. If extractions or bone grafts are required, those procedures are done first and given time to heal. Then, the implant is placed in the gap left by the missing tooth. Once the mouth heals, the crown or bridge is connected to the implant. The end result is a fully functioning, aesthetically pleasing tooth.
Does it hurt to get a dental implant?
Every patient has a different pain tolerance level. However, most patients report having less discomfort than expected following a dental implant procedure. An anesthetic is used during the procedure itself so you should not feel any pain at that time. Afterwards you may be prescribed antibiotics to avoid infection. Pain medication may also be given to ease any discomfort.
How long is a dental implant procedure?
The length of the procedure is determined by the following:
- The number of teeth being replaced
- Whether or not an extraction is needed first
- Your dental health, including the health of the gums and bone
- The area of the mouth being treated
More than one appointment is necessary to complete the implant process. The mouth needs time to heal after the implant is placed and before the crown or bridge is attached. During your initial appointment, our dental team will give you a detailed assessment and treatment plan.
How long is the healing process for dental implants?
Depending on your overall health and the number of dental implants needed, the average healing process takes 6-12 weeks.
How long do implants last?
The success of implants depends on the patient, his/her health, and habits. For a healthy individual with good oral hygiene, dental implants have a 90-95% success rate. Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper oral care. Dental implants do not decay.
Do implants contain metal?
Dental implants are commonly made from a titanium alloy. The material is also used in hip, shoulder, and knee implants. Titanium is highly biocompatible; therefore it is easily accepted by the body and an allergy is rare.
Are dental implants fixed or removable?
Unlike dentures which can be taken out of your mouth, dental implants are fixed. Once they are placed in the jaw, they can only be removed by a dental professional or oral surgeon.
Can all of my teeth be replaced with implants?
Full mouth reconstruction is possible to completely restore your smile. Ask our team about this customized process. Since full mouth reconstruction is based on your specific needs, an in-depth analysis is required to properly develop your treatment plan. A combination of treatments including extractions, implants, and crowns may be necessary to give you the smile you deserve.