What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that functions like a natural tooth root. Using dental implants our dentists have the option of replacing a single lost tooth or many missing teeth depending on the situation.
The implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone and bonded with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to prevent surrounding teeth from shifting, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and help restore facial tissues and appearance as well as assist with speaking functionality.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When you are missing a tooth, the teeth surrounding the gap may begin to shift out of place and create misalignment of the remaining teeth. This can cause future issues such as the jaw bone around the area deteriorating, resulting in facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to eat and talk.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is straightforward, requiring a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
Your dentist will begin by surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone below the gum tissue. With the healing of the tissue, the implant will bond with the bone and attach itself to the gum.
Once the healing process is complete, approximately 3 to 6 months post-surgery, patients will return to our office to complete the procedure.
At this final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement, such as a dental crown, bridge, or denture, to the implant to create the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Eastside Dental.
- How long does a dental implant last?
Once in place, your dental implant could last for a lifetime with proper care. This includes proper brushing and flossing at home, as well as attending regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
Even with proper care, the lifetime of a dental implant may also depend on other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
You should care for a dental implant just like you care for your natural teeth.
Scheduling regular hygiene appointments with your dentist as well as maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can help prevent decay or diseases from developing in the surrounding teeth and gums, which can negatively affect your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
During dental implant surgery, your dentist will administer anaesthesia to make you comfortable so you won't feel pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will also need to eat a diet primarily containing soft foods for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure in order to avoid pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure usually takes about two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your dentist can provide you with a more specific timeline based on your particular case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Some insurance companies will cover the cost of dental implants, while some will only pay for a portion of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.