Dental Implant Basics

The crown, however, usually only lasts about 10 to 15 years before it may need a replacement due to wear and tear. However, maintaining excellent dental hygiene and using it cautiously could extend the life of the crown beyond 15 years. Mouth location is also a factor in predicting the life of a dental implant. Implants in the rear of the mouth are used more actively in chewing, which means they will likely wear out more quickly than implants near the front of the mouth.

Are you feeling self-conscious about a missing tooth? Then you’re not alone. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 85 percent of Americans age 65 and older have lost teeth. Missing teeth can make speaking uncomfortable, challenging your ability to socialize with confidence. 

But, don’t worry – there’s still hope! To help you replace your missing teeth, consider tooth replacement solutions like dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Your local Fairview Dentist is here to help you get your smile back.

What is a Dental Implant

Dental implants have many advantages over the conventional treatment of tooth loss. They offer a solution to tooth loss by acting as a replacement for your natural tooth. To do this, an artificial tooth root called an implant is interested into the jawbone underneath the gums to replace the missing teeth. An abutment is then placed on the implant where the replacement tooth, called a crown, is attached to complete the process.

Dental Implant benefits are…

  • In the majority of the cases, no preparation of adjacent teeth is necessary
  • Help with bone loss, prevent you from having a sunken appearance
  • A permanent solution to tooth loss
  • Prevents bone deterioration by stimulating new bone growth
  • Are designed to look and be as functional as your own teeth
  • No embarrassing slippage you would get with dentures

Am I a good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Like all other dental procedures, dental implants require a consultation to make sure you’re healthy enough to move forward. Candidates for implants need to have an adequate bone density in their jaw, healthy gums so that the implant can be supported, and have no periodontal disease present. That way, the implant itself and even surrounding teeth are more likely to remain in place. If a patient has lost significant bone volume over time, particularly because of periodontal disease or absence of natural teeth, it may not be possible to place an implant without restoring the area with bone grafting data-preserver-spaces=”true”>. If bone grafting isn’t a viable solution, there are alternatives such as dental bridges and dentures.

If you’re missing multiple teeth, we can use dental implants to make tooth replacements more secure for bridges or dentures. With implants, patients can eat whatever they want and not worry about their teeth falling out, and best of all, they look and function exactly like natural teeth. 

The Process of Getting Dental Implants

Getting dental implants is a big decision and depending on the treatment plan, it can take some time to go through the entire process. Let us walk you through the process so you can make an informed decision about treatments available at Sloan Creek Dental in Fairview.

Step #1: The Initial Consultation

A consultation with our friendly and highly skilled dentist will allow you to talk openly about your needs for dental implants and if it is a procedure that would be valuable for you. This consultation allows you to discuss the results you want to achieve and helps determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. If you’re a good candidate and would like to proceed, we’ll discuss the costs and financing options to help you make the best decision possible.

Step #2: Bone Grafting / PLACING THE IMPLANT

During the consultation, your dentist will let you know whether bone grafting will be required or not. If required, the bone graft is done to increase the amount of healthy bone in your mouth to place the implant. Depending on the treatment required, it typically takes four to six months for the area to heal and be ready for the implant.

Once you’re ready for the implant, we’ll start by giving you a local anesthetic at the site where the dental implant will be placed. You’ll feel comfortable and relaxed. After the numbness kicks in, your dentist will strategically perform a brief surgical procedure by making a small cut for the implant post. This implant post is similar to a tooth root and is placed to hold the tooth securely in place.

Step #3: Healing and Fusing with the Bone

When a dental implant is placed, it fuses with your jawbone via a process known as osseointegration. It takes approximately several months for the mouth to heal and create a healthy, strong foundation for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.

Step #4: Attaching the Permanent Crown

Where your gums have fully healed and your implant infused to the natural bone,  your dentist will put a custom-made crown over the new implant abutment. Your tooth stays permanently fixed in position and feels just like a normal tooth! Your dentist can easily match the color to your other teeth, so it blends well. Once you’re fitted with your crown, you’re done! Your implant is treated like a natural tooth and should be brushed and flossed to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

What If I'm missing more than one tooth?

If you need multiple implants, there are a couple of options available. All on 4 (or All on 6 if indicated) is a procedure that involves the use of four or six posts for the support of overdenture in place of individual dental implants or dentures. One of the significant benefits of overdenture is that it won’t slip around in your mouth like traditional dentures, it prevents bone loss like dental implants, and you won’t have to worry about teeth falling out.

Is dental implant surgery covered by dental insurance?

Each dental insurance policy is different and it may vary depending on your plan. But typically, a basic dental insurance policy doesn’t cover a dental implant. So you’ll need to look into cosmetic dental procedure coverage. Cosmetic dental procedure coverage typically covers 50% of the cost, meaning half your deductible is covered by your dental implant insurance. If you have questions about whether your plan covers dental implants, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

What should I expect after my treatment?

After your treatment, you will need to continue taking good care of your new smile by being committed to good oral hygiene. Brushing twice daily and flossing is crucial for preventing plaque buildup, tooth decay or cavities. In addition, you’ll want to visit your local Fairview dentist regularly to help ensure that your gums and teeth remain healthy and to protect your implant investment. Dental implants are designed to last as long as your natural teeth with proper dental care.

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Have more questions about Dental Implants?

At Sloan Creek Dental, we’re committed to providing the best preventative and restorative dental care for you and your entire family. Whether you’re looking for a single implant or more than one, or if you have questions about the benefits of dental implants, please contact our office (972) 468-1440 in Fairview, TX, and we’ll be happy to assist you.