Dental Implant Q&A
Dental implants are one of the best ways to secure restorations and replace missing teeth and restore your smile. They secure restorations at the tooth root. This reduces the risk of jaw bone deterioration and other issues that are commonly associated with traditionally secured restorations. Continue reading to learn more about dental implants and find answers to the following questions that are frequently asked in our office.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. They are one of the best options for securing restorations because they allow for a very natural function and appearance. Dental implants are long-lasting and very durable as well. They are a great option for permanently securing restorations without the need for adhesives and the risk of slippage.
The process for placing implants is lengthy and can be expensive, however, they provide a variety of benefits. They last much longer than traditionally secured restorations and provide a much more stable foundation.
Why should I choose dental implants over other dental restoration options?
Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option to preserve the jaw bone, preserve the health of the surrounding teeth and give you back full chewing function. Even though dental implants cost more upfront, other dental restorations like dentures will eventually need to be repaired, replaced, or adjusted.
That cost will add up over the years. Dental implants are permanent and require the same care as your normal teeth. Dr. Robert J. Gauthier offers complete treatment for dental implants in his Northborough dental office.
Do I qualify for dental implants?
Dental implants are for people who are missing one tooth, several teeth, or even all their teeth. People of any age can get dental implants except children since their jawbone has not completely developed. Healthy bone structure is the most important qualification for receiving a dental implant.
The bone structure must be healthy for the implant to fuse with the bone to support a dental restoration completely. If you have suffered from bone loss, Dr. Gauthier may recommend bone grafting to ensure the success of your dental implant. Patients also need to have healthy gums. An overall healthy tooth and jaw structure are very important to ensure that patients’ implants function properly and last. If you suffer from periodontal disease, you must first be treated for that before receiving dental implants.
Before beginning the implant process, we will perform an in-depth oral examination to ensure that the patient will be a good candidate for implants. During this examination, we will also be sure to explain each step of the dental implant process so that patients know each step and are prepared beforehand.
How quickly can I get a replacement tooth?
The entire dental implant process can take from 3-9 months. Many factors go into how long it will take. The number of implants you need, the location, and if you require any other treatments before the implants are placed, like gum disease treatment or a bone graft, all affect how long the process will take.
Dr. Gauthier will perform a thorough dental exam and create a treatment plan. The implant procedure requires precise and careful planning to help increase long-term success. You will have the implants surgically placed, requiring a healing time of at least 3 to 6 months. The implants will fuse with your jawbone during this time creating a stable and natural foundation for your restoration to be secured to.
After your implant has fused with the jaw, an abutment will be attached to each dental implant, and a brief healing time will follow. Then you will return for the attachment of your dental restoration.
In general dental implants require longer treatment and healing times than traditional restorations, however, the benefits that implants offer are worth the wait. Dental implants offer the most natural functioning and aesthetic restoration to patients, that with proper care, can last a lifetime.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants permanently secure restorations by attaching them to patients’ natural jawbone. This allows them to function and appear very similar to natural teeth. With proper oral care and regular dental cleanings, implants can last a lifetime. They are a long-lasting investment in your oral health. Although implants do take longer to place than traditional restorations, they should last a lifetime with proper care, and in general, they never need to be replaced.
How do I care for my dental implants?
Dental implants require the same maintenance as natural teeth. This means you should floss once a day, brush your teeth twice a day and visit Dr. Gauthier at his Northborough, MA dentist’s office regularly.
It is important to maintain your oral health after implants are placed. If you follow a basic dental health routine recommended by the American Dental Association, your dental implants should last a lifetime. If you have any questions about how to care for your implants do not hesitate to contact our office. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Does dental insurance cover the cost of dental implants?
Everyone’s dental insurance is different; coverage will vary depending on your plan. Dental insurance covers routine care, emergencies, and basic dental care. Typically, dental insurance will not cover dental implant placement. Some may cover the dental restoration (the dental crown, dental bridge, denture), or the tooth extraction if required.
Will I need to see a specialist?
Dr. Gauthier offers complete treatment for dental implants in his Northborough dental office. For most cases, Dr. Gauthier will perform the surgical placement of the dental implant as well as the restoration of the dental crown, dental bridge, or denture. If a specialist is needed, Dr. Gauthier will make the appropriate referral and coordinate the entire treatment plan.