Tooth loss is a serious issue that affects every aspect of your life. No matter if you lose a single tooth or many, it is essential that you have your missing teeth replaced as soon as possible to restore your smile, your oral health, and your overall quality of life. At Raptou Family Dental, we can help with dental implants.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a modern treatment used to replace missing teeth. They provide a unique alternative to traditional bridges and dentures, using small titanium posts to support dental restorations. The posts are surgically placed into your jawbone. As you heal, your bone gradually fuses to the posts, stabilizing them within your jaw. They are then able to provide secure support for your replacement teeth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, and even a full arch of teeth.
Do I Need a Bone Graft?
A bone graft is a surgical procedure that is used to restore strength to your jawbone following bone loss. When you lose teeth, your jawbone loses stimulation. This leads to bone loss, causing the bone to weaken and change shape. If you have lost too much bone mass, your jaw may not be strong enough to support dental implants. With this procedure, bone mass is taken from another area of your body, or from a donor, and it is transplanted to the weak areas of your jaw. As you heal, strength is restored to your jaw, enabling it to more successfully support dental implants. During your initial consultation, we can determine, with the use of dental X-rays, if a bone graft is necessary.
Do I Need Contouring?
Gum contouring or gingival contouring may be recommended around dental implants to help provide an even, natural gumline. This helps to make your implant restorations appear more natural and also helps to improve the quality of your smile. Again, we can help to determine if this treatment is right for you.
What Can I Expect During Implant Surgery?
Implant surgery is done under a local anesthetic as well as sedation. Surgery begins with small incisions in your gums to expose the bone underneath. Next, small holes are drilled into your jawbone, and implants are placed directly inside. Finally, your gums are sutured closed around the posts, and temporary teeth are placed.
What Is Recovery Like?
Recovery times can vary from patient to patient and are dependent upon several factors. During this time, your jawbone gradually fuses to the posts, integrating them into your jaw. Several follow up appointments allow us to monitor your progress to make sure your bone is fusing properly, and there are no other complications. It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete.
After your surgery, you are provided with aftercare instructions. Following these instructions is important for avoiding post-surgical complications. Your instructions will help you to deal with common issues like pain and swelling. They will also provide recommendations on what to eat, limiting your activities, and how to care for your mouth while you heal. Once you have fully healed, we then begin the process of placing your final restorations.
How Much Do Implants Cost?
The exact cost of dental implants varies based on several factors. One of the biggest factors in determining cost is the number of implant posts required. The need for a bone graft will also impact the total cost of your treatment. Also, the number of follow up appointments can play a major factor. Today, more and more insurance companies are providing at least some coverage for dental implants. To find out if your dental insurance provider will provide coverage, and how much they will cover, make sure to contact your insurer.
How Do I Care for My Implants?
You can, and should, brush and floss your dental implants just like your natural teeth. Continue to brush at least twice a day and floss daily. You should also have regular dental cleanings and exams every six months. This will help to protect your natural teeth as well as prevent issues like gum disease.
How Long Do Implants Last?
Implants are designed to be a long-term, even permanent, the solution to tooth loss. The implant posts integrate with your jaw, essentially becoming replacement roots. These new roots work to stimulate your jawbone just like the roots of your natural teeth, stopping and preventing bone loss and keeping your jawbone strong and healthy. Even if your crowns are damaged or worn out and in need of replacement, we can easily provide replacements without having to replace the posts.
If you have any questions regarding dental implants, the implant process, and if you are a candidate, we can help. Call Raptou Family Dental today at (614) 427-0449 to learn more.