At Acadian Smiles our Meteghan, dentists may place a dental implant as part of the process to replace a missing tooth in order to leave you with a natural-looking smile.
What Is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that functions like a natural tooth root and can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
The implant is surgically implanted into the jaw bone, where it bonds with the natural bone to serve as a tooth replacement anchor.
Dental implants can help restore facial tissues and appearance by preventing surrounding teeth from shifting, resolving bite issues or jaw joint pain and preventing surrounding teeth from shifting.
Why Replace Missing Teeth?
When a tooth is lost, the teeth on either side of the gap may begin to shift out of place, causing problems with alignment. The jaw bone in the area may deteriorate as well, resulting in facial collapse or affecting your ability to eat and speak.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure requires a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
Your dentist will begin by surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone below the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum.
Once the healing is complete — generally 3 to 6 months after the surgery — patients return to our office to complete the procedure.
At this final appointment, the dentist attaches a tooth replacement — such as a dental crown, bridge or denture — to the implant to create the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Acadian Smiles.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If you care for your implant properly, it can last a lifetime. This includes proper 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 other factors like 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.
Visiting your dentist for regular hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can help prevent decay or diseases from developing 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 administer anesthesia to make you comfortable so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will need 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 will be able to provide you with a more specific timeline based on your particular case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Some insurances companies will cover the cost of dental implants and some will only pay for a portion of the cost, while others won't pay for any part of it.
To determine which part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.