As part of the process to replace a missing tooth and leave you with a natural-looking smile, the dental team at Forest City Dental may opt to give you a dental implant.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a compact titanium screw that functions similarly to a natural tooth root. They can replace a single lost tooth or a group of missing teeth.
The implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone and then bonds with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can assist to prevent neighbouring teeth from moving, correct biting problems or jaw joint discomfort and restore face tissues and aesthetics.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
When a tooth is lost, the teeth around it may begin to move out of place, causing misalignment problems. The jaw bone around the region may also begin to degenerate, causing facial collapse or impairing your ability to eat and speak.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure consists of the dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
Dentists begin by first surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone below the gum tissue. The implant will eventually bond with the bone and attach to the gum as the tissue heals.
Once the healing is complete — usually between 3 and 6 months after the surgery — patients return to the dental office to complete the procedure.
At this last session, your dentist will connect a tooth replacement — such as a dental crown, bridge or denture — with the implant so that it mimics the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Forest City Dental.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If cared for properly, dental implants can last for a lifetime. Proper care includes brushing and flossing at home as well as attending regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
The longevity of a dental implant may also depend on factors like 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.
Maintaining a thorough brushing and flossing regimen at home, as well as seeing your dentist for regular hygiene checkups, may help prevent decay or illnesses from forming 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 likely administer anesthesia with the goal 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 be advised to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure usually takes about 2 to 9 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 others will just cover a fraction of the cost. Some may not cover any of it at all.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.