At Cornerstone Dental Group - Dr Rex Hawthorne and Associates our Vernon dentists may recommend a dental implant as part of the process to replace a missing tooth and leave you with a natural-looking smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that functions like a natural tooth root. Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or many.
The implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone and then bonds with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to preserve your oral health by preventing surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap left by a missing tooth, resolving bite issues or jaw joint pain, and restoring facial tissues and appearance.
Why Replace A Missing Tooth
When a tooth is missing, the teeth surrounding the gap can begin to shift out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, resulting in facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to eat and speak.
The Dental Implant Process
The first step in the dental implant process is to have the implant surgically placed by your dentist, where your natural tooth's root once rested. Once the implant site has healed (4-6 months), you will return to your dentist to have a crown, bridge or a denture secured to your implants, giving you a natural looking smile.
Implant Supported Dentures
Implant-supported dentures can be an ideal alternative to traditional dentures for people looking to permanently replace a full jaw of teeth. Unlike traditional dentures which rest on the gums, implant-supported dentures have special attachments that snap onto your dental implants, holding the denture securely in place.
Dental Implant FAQs
To find out more about the dental implant process here at Cornerstone Dental Group - Dr Rex Hawthorne and Associates read through the following answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants.
- How long does a dental implant last?
If you care for your implant properly, they 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 any pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will also need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid any 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, others pay for a portion of the cost, and still others won't pay towards dental implants at all.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.