Dental implants are the ideal tooth replacement option for anyone missing one or more teeth. Today's dental implants look, feel, and function in the same way, a natural tooth does, leaving you with nothing but a beautifully restored smile that can last you a lifetime.
Finding the appropriate tooth replacement option for your needs is vital, and it's also a decision that will require research and professional consultation. Before considering dental implant treatment, be sure to ask these questions at your consultation appointment. Doing so will leave you feeling confident and prepared for what's to come.
A dental implant is a threaded titanium screw that is strong enough for a post to be placed inside it. Once the screw and post are placed, the dentist finishes the tooth with a cap or crown that looks like a natural tooth. The actual dental implant replaces the root of the tooth only, and the crown your dentist places on top replaces the surfaces of the missing tooth.
Whether you're missing just one tooth or a series of teeth, a dental implant can be an excellent option for you and replacing your missing teeth. If you experience issues such as difficulties chewing or eating, implants can make you feel more confident in your smile by restoring the ability to eat solid foods without worry and to know that you're no longer missing teeth.
No one other than a dentist examining your mouth will be able to tell you have a dental implant, no matter where the missing tooth is located in your mouth. Implants are made to look and feel completely natural in your mouth, and your dentist will match the color and shape of your other teeth to the implant, guaranteeing a seamless look and feel.
Dental implants last upwards of forty years if taken care of properly, making them a great long-term solution to anyone who wants to replace a missing tooth. Often lasting a lifetime if properly cared for, patients will need to brush, floss, and attend dental checkups to prolong the lifetime of the implant. Following the recommendations put in place by your dentist ensures the implant has the best chance to last the rest of your lifetime.
Placing a single implant may take as little as thirty minutes, while a complex surgery requiring multiple replacements can take more than 3-4 hours. After the implant is placed, the patient schedules a follow-up appointment several months later to allow the implant to heal and fuse with the jawbone properly. Once the implant is fully healed, your dentist will fit the cap or crown over the implant, completing the procedure.
Most patients manage pain by taking over-the-counter Tylenol or Advil for 2-5 days post-surgery. If a patient requires a bone graft or multiple dental implants, more significant postoperative discomfort may occur. Your dentist will evaluate and prescribe any necessary pain medications based on the extent of your surgery. Depending on the extent of your treatment, recovery takes roughly a week.
The upfront costs of dental implants are high. That being said, implants hold up over time, making the long-term costs significantly less than other tooth replacement options. Surgical fees vary but often cost $2,000-$5,000 for a single tooth, on top of the price of required materials for the actual procedure.
While some dental insurance plans may cover part of an implant procedure, most do not provide any coverage for this type of extensive procedure. Checking with your insurance company before any treatments will help to give you a better understanding of what, if anything, your insurance will cover and what your out-of-pocket costs will be.
Our Ithaca dental practice is built on a foundation of trust. At Tompkins Dental, we do everything possible to provide our patients a relaxing and positive experience with gentle, state-of-the-art dentistry. Have your dental implant procedure done by someone who you can trust, and call us for a consultation appointment today!