Our Dartmouth dentists at Evergreen Dental can place dental implants as part of a process to replace a missing tooth and give you back the ability to speak and chew effectively.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant can replace a single lost tooth or several missing teeth. These small titanium screws function like a natural tooth root.
Your dentist will surgically place the implant into your jaw bone, where it will bond with the natural bone and act as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can restore facial tissues and appearance, alleviate jaw pain, resolve bite issues and prevent surrounding teeth from shifting.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
Misalignment issues can arise when remaining teeth begin to shift into the gap left by a missing tooth. The jaw bone in the affected area may also start to break down, impacting your ability to talk and eat or causing facial collapse.
The Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement are used to complete a dental implant procedure.
Your dentist will begin by situating the implant in your jaw bone, underneath the gum tissue. Over time, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum as healing takes place.
After 3 to 6 months post-surgery, the area should have healed and you can return to our office so your dentist can finish the procedure.
During this appointment, a tooth replacement, such as a denture, crown or bridge will be attached to the implant to create the function and appearance of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Here are the most frequently asked questions we receive from patients at Evergreen Dental.
- How long does a dental implant last?
When a dental implant is cared for properly, it can last a lifetime. A proper at-home oral care routine including brushing and flossing is a must, as are regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
Other factors including genetics, nutrition or development of any dental diseases may also impact the longevity of your dental implant.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Care for a dental implant similar to how you would maintain your natural teeth.
Visit your dentist for regular hygiene appointments and keep up with brushing and flossing at home to prevent diseases or decay from infecting surrounding teeth or gums, which can also negatively impact your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
You will receive anesthesia during the dental implant surgery to ensure your comfort and prevent you from enduring pain during the procedure.
After the procedure is complete, discomfort is not typically a problem. Most pain can be managed with over-the-counter medication for a few days following your procedure.
You should also keep in mind you'll need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks following the procedure to avoid irritation or pain.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
Depending on your treatment plan and your specific case, the entire dental implant procedure typically takes anywhere from two to nine months to complete.
Your dentist can give you a more specific timeline based on your plan and requirements.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While some insurance companies pay a portion of the cost, others may cover the entire cost of your implants and still others may not pay for any of it.
Check with your insurance provider to find out whether your insurance plan will cover your dental implant treatment.