At Cornerstone Dental with Dr. Clark our Vernon dentists may place 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 which functions similar to a natural tooth root. They may be used to replace either a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
Your implant will be surgically placed into your jaw bone. It will then bond with the natural bone to act as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants can help to keep surrounding teeth from moving out of alignment, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and restore facial appearance and tissues.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
When a tooth is missing, the teeth around the gap may start to shift out of place and lead to misalignment issues. The jaw bone surrounding the area can also begin to deteriorate, causing facial collapse or negatively impacting your ability to speak and chew.
The Dental Implant Procedure
To perform a dental implant procedure, your dentist will use a dental implant (titanium screw), coupled with a tooth replacement.
Your dentist starts by surgically placing the implant into your jaw bone, below the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and adhere to the gum.
Once healing is complete, typically 3 to 6 months post-surgery, patients return to our office to have the procedure completed.
During this final appointment, your dentist will place a tooth replacement, such as a denture, dental crown or bridge, on the implant to create the appearance and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read the answers to our most frequently asked questions about dental implants at Cornerstone Dental with Dr. Clark.
- How long does a dental implant last?
Provided your implant is cared for properly, it can last a lifetime. This involves proper brushing and flossing at home, in addition to attending your dental office for regular hygiene cleanings and exams.
A dental implant's longevity can also depend on other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
Best practice is to care for a dental implant like you would care for your natural teeth.
Seeing your dentist for routine hygiene appointments and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing regimen at home can help prevent diseases or decay from growing 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 provide anesthesia to ensure you feel comfortable so you won't experience any pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, patients do not typically feel much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain by taking over-the-counter pain medication for a few days following the procedure.
A soft diet will also be necessary for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure to avoid any pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
Depending on your treatment plan, 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 specific case.
- Will my insurance cover dental implants?
While some insurance companies will cover the cost of dental implants, others will only pay for part of the cost, and others won't pay for any portion of it.
To determine what percentage, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, confirm with your insurance provider.