What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a tiny titanium screw that works like a natural tooth root. Implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or several missing teeth.
Your dentist surgically places the implant into the jaw bone. The implant then bends with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to keep surrounding teeth from moving out of place, resolve jaw joint pain or bite issues, and restore facial tissues and appearance.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
The teeth surrounding the gap left by a missing tooth could start to shift out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to break down, which can lead to facial collapse or negatively impact your ability to speak and eat.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To complete a dental implant procedure, your dentist will use a dental implant (titanium screw) and a tooth replacement.
Your dentist will start by surgically placing the implant below the gum tissue, into your jaw bone. As the tissue heals, the implant will attach to the gum and bond with the bone.
Once healing is complete, generally 3 to 6 months post-surgery, patients return for an appointment to complete the procedure.
At this final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement, such as a dental bridge, crown, 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 Anchor Dental Group.
- How long does a dental implant last?
Your implant could last a lifetime if you care for it properly. This includes proper brushing and flossing at home, as well as seeing your dentist for routine hygiene cleanings and exams.
A dental implant's longevity may also depend on other factors including genetics, nutrition, or development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
A dental implant should be cared for similar to your natural teeth.
Seeing your dentist for regular hygiene appointments and practicing a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can help prevent decay or infections from developing in surrounding teeth and gums, which can negatively impact your dental implants.
- Does getting a dental implant hurt?
During dental implant surgery, you'll receive anesthesia to make you feel comfortable, so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
After the procedure, there is not typically much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will also need to eat a diet of soft foods for the first couple of weeks following the implant procedure to prevent any irritation or pain.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
Depending on your treatment plan, the entire dental procedure typically takes about two to nine months to complete.
Your dentist can offer a more specific timeline based on your specific case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
Some insurance companies will cover the cost of your dental implants, while some will pay just a portion of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
Check with your insurance provider to determine which part, if any, of your dental implant treatment your insurance will cover.
We can replace missing teeth with implant-retained dentures, which can allow you to retain bone structure and eat foods you would otherwise need to avoid. They also look natural and are fully functional.