Dental implants may be the newest tooth replacement method on the market, but advanced technology has brought them to the forefront of modern dentistry for a good reason. Today, our team at Meriden Dental Group recommends dental implants as the ideal option for most patients with one or more gaps in their smile that are in need of restoration. Durable, lifelike, and incredibly beneficial to one’s oral health, implants offer adults relief from the struggles of missing teeth by infusing their smile with newfound support and confidence.
A dental implant is a small titanium post that can be inserted directed into the jawbone to mimic the roots of a missing tooth. Unlike dentures and dental bridges that only replace the visible portion of teeth, this unique placement provides unmatched comfort and functionality. On top of the post an abutment holds the final restoration in place, which can be a crown, bridge, or denture depending on how many teeth you are missing. These are custom-made and shaded to blend in with the rest of your pearly whites seamlessly. In the end, rebuilding missing teeth from the roots up gives you a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like natural.
Getting dental implants requires a multistep process that spans the course of several months or longer. That may seem like a long time, but the end result is well worth it due to the remarkable benefits that this treatment offers. While many practices must refer patients to an outside specialist for parts of the implant process, the team of dentists at Meriden Dental Group has all the training and experience necessary to provide start to finish dental implant care. The exact process varies from patient to patient, but how dental implants work in Meriden can generally be broken down into four stages:
To begin your journey, you will attend a consultation with your implant dentist in Meriden. They will get to know you as a person and thoroughly examine your mouth. Then, they will be able to determine whether you are currently a candidate for dental implants or if you need some preliminary treatments before you qualify. Feel free to ask any questions you may have during your consultation — we hope that all of our patients are well-informed!
After your mouth is healthy enough to support dental implants, we will begin to plan your implant placement surgery.
While many dentists must send their patients to outside specialists for the implant placement surgery, our team has the training and experience necessary to conveniently handle every step of the implant process at our office, saving you valuable time and making your treatment as convenient as possible.
The surgery itself is fairly simple. First, we will make sure you are as comfortable as possible, after which we will make incisions in your gums. After the implants are inserted at precise locations in your jawbone, the incisions will be closed, and you can go home to begin recovery. Most patients are feeling well enough to resume a fairly normal routine within a few days of their surgery.
After your surgery, osseointegration will begin. Osseointegration is the biological process through which your bone will fuse to your dental implants in Meriden. It is what makes it possible for the implants to serve as sturdy prosthetic tooth roots.
Following osseointegration, which usually takes 3 – 6 months or so, you might have to undergo a second minor surgery. The tops of your implants will be exposed, and healing caps will be placed on them. Later, after your gums have healed, abutments will be attached to your implants. Abutments are small attachments that will serve to keep your new prosthetic teeth in place.
The last step on your dental implant journey is the restoration phase. Our team will take detailed images and impressions of your mouth, which your dentist will use as the basis for designing the crown, bridge, or denture that will go on top of your dental implants. After a laboratory fabricates the restoration, we will verify its fit before we attach it to your implants. Then, you can go off and begin to enjoy the benefits of your renewed smile!
Every tooth replacement option has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, we you compare the pros of cons of dental implants to that of dentures and dental bridges, you will quickly see why thousands of patients choose to replace their missing teeth with dental implants every year. Dental implants have the potential to improve your confidence, health, and quality of life in numerous ways that other options simply cannot.
Dental implants replace both the roots and crown of missing teeth, whereas other tooth replacement treatments only replace the visible portion of lost teeth. Dental implants’ unique structure enables them to provide extremely sturdy function that feels natural. You will be able to eat practically anything without worrying that you will destabilize your implants. Many patients find that their dental implants are so comfortable and natural-feeling that it is easy to forget that the implants are even there.
We custom design dental implant restorations with the goal of creating artificial teeth that complement your natural orofacial structures. The materials we use closely resemble real tooth enamel. When you smile, onlookers will likely have no idea that your teeth are not the same ones nature bestowed on you.
When you lose teeth, the bone that once supported them begins to be resorbed; it becomes smaller and weaker, which can greatly affect facial aesthetics. Dental implants help to preserve your face’s natural shape. They fortify the bone structure of the jaw, helping to keep it strong and whole. You will therefore be able to avoid the “sunken” appearance that often accompanies tooth loss.
You can care for implants in much the same way as you would care for your natural teeth. Thorough oral hygiene practices, along with regular dental visits, will help your implants and your restorations stay functional, clean, and problem-free.
Dental implants form a strong bond with the tissue around them. In ideal conditions, that bond can last for several decades — perhaps for the rest of your life. You can also expect the restorations on top of your implants to endure for many years.
When you lose a tooth, the ones around it may begin to drift out of place. Eventually, they might fall out altogether. Dental implants serve as placeholders, helping your remaining natural teeth to stay where they belong. Also, placing dental implants does not typically require that any of your natural teeth be modified or extracted.
No matter how many teeth you are missing, you can get a new smile with dental implants. This versatile treatment can be used to address all levels of tooth loss, whether you are missing just one tooth or an entire arch. During your free initial consultation, we will discuss your goals for your smile, inspect your oral health, and review your medical history to make sure dental implants are right for you.
The ideal candidate for dental implants in Meriden is in fair oral and overall health, has good bone density and bone height in their jaw, and does not smoke. However, even if you do smoke or have a weakened jaw, it may still be possible for you to receive implants. The only way to find out for sure if the procedure is right for you is to consult with an implant expert. During your consultation, we will ask you some questions, take some X-rays, and then recommend a course of treatment.
Then, once you have overcome any issues that could cause your dental implants to fail, we can begin planning your treatment around how many teeth you are missing.
Replacing a single tooth is a fairly straightforward process. We will simply place one implant in your jaw, and, after your bone has had a chance to heal, place a custom crown on top of it.
If you are missing several teeth in a row, an implant-supported bridge may be the ideal solution for you. This type of restoration is supported by two implants and their accompanying crowns. Pontics (artificial teeth) are suspended between the two crowns.
Patients who are missing all or most of their teeth are often candidates for implant dentures, which can replace an entire arch of pearly whites. Your dentist will strategically plan your procedure in order to place as few implants as possible while still providing your new smile with the strong support it needs. An implant denture may be either a fixed or removable prosthesis.
When you come to our office for your implant consultation, we will crunch some numbers and give you a realistic idea of the total cost of your procedure. Each step of your implant journey, including placement and restoration, comes with its own price. The number of implants you need, the extent of any preliminary work you must receive, and the type of restoration you are getting will all affect the cost of your new smile.
Although implants may seem expensive, they are well worth it! They are an investment in your oral health and confidence that could last for many decades.
There are various factors that influence the cost of dental implants, including:
When you visit us for your consultation, we will analyze your oral health, talk to you about your treatment options, and provide you with a personalized estimate for the cost of your procedures. Then, you will be able to make a fully informed decision about how to replace your lost teeth.
The dental implant process takes place across several stages, including:
Each of the above-listed procedures comes with its own cost, and not every patient needs to go through every stage. For example, some individuals do not need preliminary treatment before they can receive dental implants. Since some parts of the implant process take place several months apart, you will have time between them to plan your budget for each stage treatment.
The majority of patients who opt for dental implants believe that they made the right decision. That is because, although dental implants present a significant upfront cost, they bring many benefits that alternative treatments cannot deliver. For example, they look, function, and feel almost exactly like natural teeth. Moreover, dental implants have the potential to last for decades, whereas other tooth replacement options might last for just a few years before replacement becomes necessary. In fact, dental implants might end up costing you less than other treatments in the long-run because of their outstanding ability to stand the test of time.
Dental insurance policies vary greatly. You must check the details of your specific plan to find out whether it provides coverage for dental implants. Even if it does not cover the implants themselves, it may cover other portions of your treatment, such as preliminary treatment or your final restoration.
In addition to dental insurance, financing throughout CareCredit may be available to help you manage the cost of your treatment. We also participate in a dental savings plan for individuals without insurance, which can significantly reduce the cost of any procedure.
Are you ready to find out more about dental implants and their cost? Contact us today to schedule your FREE dental implant consultation.