A Patient's Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

A Patient’s Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

TeamDental Implants

If you have heard that dental implants look and function just like a real tooth, you may be curious if they would be an ideal option to replace your missing teeth. 

Scheduling a consultation with your dentist is always the best place to get the most personalized information. In the meantime, we have put together a patient’s guide on dental implants to help you begin to gather your information about the procedure. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

With other tooth replacement options on the market, why do so many patients turn to dental implants? Why have dental implants become the gold standard?

  • Long-lasting. Dental implants are meant to last a lifetime with the dental crowns lasting, on average, 10 to 15 years. 
  • Enjoy all your favorite foods. With dental implants, you don’t have to be selective in the foods that you eat or avoid foods that your artificial tooth won’t handle well. 
  • Enhanced appearance. Dental implants can improve your smile and facial structure. This will, in turn, boost your confidence, too. 
  • Easy maintenance. You don’t have to provide any special care for dental implants. You simply brush and floss just like you would with real teeth. 
  • Strong, durable solution. Dental implants will not fall out, come loose, or slip as other options may. 

Most of all, dental implants look and feel just like real teeth. And they function just like them, too. 

An Overview of the Dental Implant Procedure

The first part of the procedure is to place the small post within the jaw bone. This post may be made of titanium metal or ceramic, based on preference. Because this will act as an anchor for the artificial tooth, it will need to have time to fuse with the bone — a process known as osseointegration. Often, this can take a few months before your dentist can proceed. 

When the implant is ready, an abutment is placed on top of it. Its sole purpose is to securely hold the artificial tooth in place once it is created. The dental crown will look completely natural and blend in beautifully with the rest of your teeth. 

In all, this entire process can take anywhere from one to six months on average, depending on how long it takes to create the secure anchor. Keep in mind that same-day implants may be available depending on a few factors. 

Dental implants can be used in multiple ways. Single-tooth dental implants are used for patients who are just trying to fill the gap where a tooth once was. Implant-supported bridges are the perfect solution with three or more adjacent teeth missing. And, implant-supported dentures provide you with a full arch of dentures that are secure and high-functioning. 

Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants? 

Dental implants may be a wonderful solution for those who need to replace missing teeth, but they are not always the best option for everyone. Your dentist will do an evaluation to determine whether or not they are a good fit for you. 

To have success with a dental implant procedure, an ideal candidate will need to have:

  • Sufficient bone density — or undergo bone grafting
  • Healthy teeth and gums — or address any underlying dental issues
  • Good oral hygiene habits
  • Good overall health

In the rare instance when your dentist just doesn’t feel that dental implants would be the best decision for your oral health, alternative solutions will be recommended. 

Ready to See if You Are a Candidate for Dental Implants? 

Dental implants can greatly improve your quality of life if you have one or more missing teeth. The first step in learning more about dental implants is an evaluation with a dental implant specialist.  Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry in Fairfield, CT can evaluate the current condition of your jaw bone to determine if it is ready to support an implant. From there, we can either make an appointment for dental implant placement or discuss the alternative options for tooth replacement. 

If you would like to learn more about this treatment, including whether or not you are a candidate, the team at Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry can help. Contact us today at 203-255-6878. Or, book an appointment online. 

Dr. Miller specializes in implant, general, family, and cosmetic dentistry and is an active member of the Fairfield, CT community. He has practiced dentistry in Fairfield for over 25 years. Get to know Dr. Miller better by visiting our website.  You can also read Google Reviews submitted by patients for a personal recommendation.

Other popular services provided by the practice include TMJ treatment,  Same Day Crowns, Veneers, and Teeth Whitening.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants

How painful is getting a dental implant? 

Thanks to local anesthesia, the process of getting a dental implant is painless. You may encounter some discomfort as it begins to wear off, but this will quickly subside. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help if needed. 

Does dental insurance pay for dental implants? 

Many insurance companies will pay for dental implants – at least in part. However, each policy is different so it is always a good idea to reach out to your insurance provider to find out about your coverage.