This page is a general overview of what a dental implant is. For an overview of a how a typical dental implants procedure happens at Dental Health Associates of Madison, check out our dental implant surgery walk-through.
Dental Implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth
A dental implant is essentially an artificial tooth root. It provides a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The implant is placed into the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. After the jaw implant is placed an abutment is attached to the top to provide a location to secure the prosthesis.
With overall success rate of about 95% and almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up, dental implants are frequently used in modern dentistry. Unlike using adjacent teeth as anchors (like fixed bridges), or resting on the gum line (like removable dentures), dental implants are a long term fixed replacement solution for missing teeth.
With the ability of an implant to integrate, or lock into the bone, the implant acts as a strong foundation for a crown or prosthetic, combining the best in modern science and technology to help replace missing teeth.
Dental implants are considered the closest replacement to natural teeth available today. They are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots. Made from titanium and other materials that are well-suited to the human body, implants attach to the jaw bone and other surrounding tissues to become a solid base for one or more custom artificial replacement teeth, or crowns.
Bone & Tissue Grafting
Bone grafting rebuilds and reshapes damaged bone and provides better tooth stabilization. Tissue grafting restores lost gum tissue that has been destroyed by periodontal disease and provides greater tooth protection.
A dental implant designed to replace a single tooth is composed of three parts:
- the titanium implant that fuses with the jawbone
- the abutment, which fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes from the gum line
- the crown which is fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance.
The implant is surgically placed by our Periodontist. The abutment and crown are designed and placed by your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist.
If you are missing several teeth in the same area of the mouth you may still enjoy the benefits of implants. Implants can be used to support permanent bridges, or dentures. Our Periodontist can place two or more implants depending upon the number of missing teeth. These implants will support your new teeth, giving you the increase in comfort and confidence.
Many patients who have selected dental implants describe a quality of life that is much more comfortable and secure than when wearing complete or partial removable dentures. We hear comments on the increase in confidence in eating during a social situations and their overall comfort while chewing.
It is a Team Effort.
Dental implants involve a team from several disciplines. At Dental Health Associates we can coordinate and deliver both the placement and restorative parts of dental implants. Your DHA dentist will be happy to discuss implants and develop a specific treatment plan to help you reach your goals.
After your treatment plan has been discussed and you have decided to proceed with implant treatment, a referral will made to our periodontist. Our Periodontist will place the implant and follow your care until the integration is complete. Once the dental implant has integrated in the jawbone, the restorative portion of your treatment will be completed with your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist.
Benefits of dental implants:
Improved appearance, at DHA dental your implants will look and feel like your own teeth. Our experienced periodontists will match the color of your new dental implants to your natural teeth color. Dental implant benefits include:
- Improved speech
- Improved comfort
- Easier eating
- Improved self-esteem & confidence
- Improved oral health
- Convenience- no need to rely on dentures or get crowns replaced
Dental Implants FAQ
Am I a good candidate for a dental implant?
With the exception of growing children, dental implants can be the solution of choice for any ages, even those with certain health concerns. Dental implant placement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. Your Dental Health Associates of Madison dentist will be happy to discuss specific questions or concerns with you.
How long does a dental implant take?
Once the existing tooth is extracted, and proper healing has occurred (usually 2-3 months), the implant can be placed. Typical it will take around 3 months for an implant to integrate into the bone. Healing times can vary depending on the quality of bone where the implant was placed. A few weeks are needed to place a crown and your smile can be restored. Your DHA dentist can tell you more specifically how long this procedure will take for you!
Are dental implants safe?
Like all surgical procedures, dental implants are not completely risk-free. There is a chance of infection at the implant site. Bruxism (teeth grinding) and smoking can negatively affect your dental implants. It is important that patients with tooth implants keep up with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants are designed to last upwards of 25 years and provide effective long-term solutions for people who suffer with missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems.
How much do dental implants cost?
The price of dental implants can range from $5,000 - $6,000 per tooth/without insurance. Teeth implants are an investment in your future health, performed by a qualified periodontist and offer a permanent solution for missing teeth.
Are dental implants covered by insurance?
Dental implants may be covered by your dental insurance plan. All coverage will depend on your specific plan and the cause of the tooth loss. For more information on dental implant coverage please contact your dental insurance provider.
Dental implant recovery: what you can expect
You may experience some pain and discomfort up to 10 days after surgery. This can be controlled with over the counter medications like Advil, Tylenol or a prescription provided by your periodontist. After your dental implant has been placed it will take about 4-6 months for the bone to fuse around your new implant.
How successful are dental implants?
With any surgery there are contributing factors for success. In general dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%.
What is a bone graft and do I need one?
A bone graft is when a piece of bone is transplanted to the area of your jaw where the dental implant will be attached. A bone graft is only necessary when your jaw bone is not thick enough or strong enough to support a dental implant.
How to clean dental implants
Implants require the same care as real teeth: brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash and regular checkups.
What is Malocclusion?
Not replacing a missing tooth can cause malocclusion. Malocclusion happens when remaining teeth move closer together to fill the gap left by the missing tooth. The surrounding teeth will not be able to adequately fill the space which can misalign your teeth causing problems like crossbite, overbite, jaw pain, chewing problems and a greater risk for decay.
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