What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that works the same way as a natural tooth root. They can be used to replace a single missing tooth or a group of missing teeth.
The implant is surgically implanted into the jaw bone, where it bonds with the natural bone to act as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help prevent neighbouring teeth from shifting, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and restore facial tissues and appearance.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is lost, the teeth around it may begin to shift out of place, causing misalignment problems. The jaw bone surrounding the area may also begin to deteriorate, causing facial collapse or impairing your ability to eat and speak.
The Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant (titanium screw) and tooth replacement are required for the dental implant procedure.
Your dentist begins by surgically inserting the implant beneath the gum tissue into your jaw bone. The implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum as the tissue heals.
Patients usually return to our office to complete the procedure once the healing is complete, which is usually 3 to 6 months after surgery.
At this final appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement to the implant, such as a dental crown, bridge, or partial denture, to mimic the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Spackman Dental.
- 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 including 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 pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will also want to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant procedure usually takes about two to nine months to complete, depending on your treatment plan.
Your dentist can 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, while some will only pay for a portion of the cost, and others won't pay for any part of it.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.