Your Hampton dentist at Smiles by the Sea will tell you everything you need to know about dental implants before, during, and after your procedure. But it helps to have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into before you pursue this restorative dentistry treatment for missing teeth. Below are some Dental Implant FAQ to begin your journey.

What Are Dental Implants?

Woman in dental chairLet’s break down the parts of a dental implant. First, there is the titanium post that is known to be one of the most reliable materials to fuse to the jawbone. It looks like a screw but mimics the natural tooth root, allowing the bone to be stimulated and prevent changes in a person’s facial appearance. Next, there is the metal abutment that connects the implant to the restoration. Finally, there is the custom-made dental crown, implant bridge, or implant-retained denture. The type of prosthetic you will receive is dependent upon the number of teeth that are missing.

These individual implant posts are surgically placed into your jawbone by a skilled oral surgeon who will make a small incision in your gums and insert the implant. Once the gum tissue is closed, you will return home to recover for 3-6 months. This will allow osseointegration to occur, which is the fusing of the implant to the bone and surrounding tissues.

After you’ve fully healed, you return to our office and have your metal abutment and final restoration put into place by a dentist in Hampton.

There Is Always a Way to Replace Missing Teeth

The reason you have a missing tooth or teeth is incredibly important. If you had a tooth knocked out in an accident, pulled because of a large infection, or lost to gum disease, the restorations that are possible for your smile makeover will vary.

Know, though, that you do not need to live with an incomplete smile and there is always a way to replace missing teeth, even if dental implants aren’t the right answer for you. Dental bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures are options that are on the table.

How long does it take to get dental implants?

Woman in dental chairThe dental implant procedure from start to finish takes about six months. First, your dentist needs to ensure that your mouth is healthy enough to manage a surgery. This includes treating gum disease or infections that are present, and confirming that there is quality bone density to accept the implant. You may need to undergo a bone graft procedure first and heal from that before next steps can be taken.

Once you are green-lit for the procedure, the implant is put in place. When it fuses with the jawbone it acts like a natural tooth root. This healing time can take two to four months or more and patients are often fitted with a temporary crown or bridge so it looks like their smile is complete. Once healing is fully complete, the final restoration is permanently attached to the implant rod for a finished smile.

Will I feel the implants in my mouth?

Certainly, you will notice some changes within your mouth when your dental implant is in place. Most likely, what you are experiencing is the healing process and also you’re getting used to the feeling of having a tooth where there wasn’t one before. The implant itself is unnoticeable and cannot be felt under the gum line. The beauty of dental implants is that they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth – and that means you don’t notice them more than any of your other teeth.

How long do dental implants last?

Implants are a permanent dental restoration. If they are done well and implanted in an area of your mouth that is sound and strong, they can last for a lifetime. The crown on the implant can last for 15 to 20 years or more with proper care and upkeep.

Do I need an implant for every missing tooth?

If you are missing an entire arch of teeth, you can replace them all with dental implants – but you may only need about four implants total. Customized bridges or permanent dentures will be attached to the implants to complete your smile.

How much does it cost to get dental implants?

Dental implant costsIn general, dental implants and the abutment and crown that are visible above the gum line can cost anywhere from a total of $3,000 to $6,000 total. This number will vary, though, based on many factors, including:

  • The number of implants you are getting
  • Whether you need a bone graft
  • Where the implants will be situated
  • Materials used for the implants and crowns
  • Whether you need other dental restorations too

Because dental implants are a restorative procedure, they are often covered in part by dental insurance plans, which can minimize the cost significantly. Affordable financing options are also available, like CareCredit, for reasonable monthly payment plans, often interest-free.

Will I be awake for the dental implant procedure?

The dental implant procedure is considered an oral surgery. Most patients are put to sleep for the procedure using sedation dentistry. This allows your dentist to work more efficiently and without interruption, and it keeps the most anxious and worried patients free from their concerns about the length, sounds, and logistics of the surgery.

Nevertheless, some patients may do just fine with a local anesthetic, especially if you are only getting one or two dental implants. You will have a serious conversation with your dentist about sedation to settle on the solution that makes you feel the most comfortable.

Dental Implants Near Me in Hampton, NH

Learn more about dental restorations and get answers to all your dental implant FAQ from Smiles by the Sea, your Hampton, NH, a restorative dentistry practice.