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If you are a missing one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease or an accident injury, dental implants may be an ideal solution for restoring your smile. Implants are a safe and long-lasting alternative to dental bridges and dentures. Below, our implant dentist answers five of your most frequently asked questions about implant dentistry.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used to replace the missing tooth. The titanium implant is inserted into the jawbone. The implant fuses with the bone, providing a strong foundation for the crown, the visible portion of the tooth that is specially milled to match the surrounding teeth. Dental implants are among the most successful options for replacing multiple missing teeth.
Am I a good candidate for implants?
You may be a good candidate for dental implants if you are missing one or more teeth and would like a permanent, fixed solution other than dentures. Drilling implants directly into the jawbone helps to preserve and protect the bone against deterioration, so you do not have to worry about a sagging jaw line. Implants fully integrate with the existing jawbone, which helps to keep the bone healthy. With implants, you will be able to enjoy a normal range of activities, including eating hard foods and brushing your teeth, without having to “remove” your teeth (like with dentures) or worry that you may damage the tooth.
Will my implants look natural?
Absolutely! In fact, since the implant is fused fully with the jawbone, this helps to preserve the jaw’s integrity and the natural appearance of your jaw and smile when compared with a dental bridge. Gums typically recede around the dental bridge, which exposes the bridge’s metal base and increases the risk for gum disease.
What should I expect during the implant procedure?
The first step for dental implants is to insert the titanium based into the jawbone. This is done by drilling into the jaw and placing the screw. Following the insertion of the screw, patients typically must wait two to six months for the titanium base to fuse with the existing jawbone. Once the jawbone and implant root are fully fused together, a replacement tooth (the crown) will be custom milled to match the color and appearance of your existing teeth and placed on top. With implants, our goal is to create a seamless appearance that blends perfectly with your existing smile so that no one can tell that one or more of your teeth are not “real”.
Will insurance cover the cost of my implants?
Your coverage depends on the type of dental insurance that you currently hold. In most cases, your dental insurance should cover part or all of the dental implants. Our dental team will work closely with your insurance company to ensure you receive the maximum allotted benefit. Specific questions about insurance coverage and reimbursement, however, should be directed to your policy holder.