A Quick Guide to What You Should Know About Dental Implants

illustration of teeth

Thinking about dental implants? Then you’ve come to the right place. Associated Dentists has been successfully performing dental implants for many years. That means we’ve helped hundreds of patients have their smiles, and lives, improved with dental implants. If you have any questions about the procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, check out the following to learn more.

What’s so great about dental implants?

Dental ImplantsIn two words, a lot. For patients with a missing or non-restorable tooth, a dental implant can be an affordable and extremely reliable long-term solution. In the past, bridges and dentures were the only options out there for missing teeth, but today that’s no longer the case. Dental implants are fast-becoming a routine part of general dentistry. In fact, when it comes to dental work, implants are the closest thing you can get to real teeth. Even better, they aren’t prone to decay or disease.

Depending on your situation, dental implants can also be a less invasive option. For example, let’s say you have a missing tooth with a healthy tooth on each side of it. A dental implant can replace the absent tooth and leave the surrounding teeth completely untouched. That’s a big reason why dental implants are actually one of the most straightforward, and predictably successful, dental procedures we perform.

It may not look good, but is a missing tooth really a big deal?

The short answer is yes. If you have a missing tooth or a tooth that needs to be extracted, it’s important to understand the empty spot in your mouth is more than just a cosmetic problem. From a dentist’s perspective, a missing tooth can create a series of negative consequences: It can affect your ability to chew, alter the way you talk, and over time cause surrounding teeth to shift. To put it another way, a missing tooth compromises the healthy structure of your teeth and your overall mouth—a situation that will likely worsen over time. A dental implant works exceptionally well to remedy this.

How does a dental implant work?

Unlike bridges and dentures, a dental implant acts like a permanent tooth. This means you never need to remove it or use an adhesive to keep it in place. Instead, just brush and floss like you regularly would. Simple! Also, you may want to prepare for all the ways a dental implant can improve your life—including smiling more comfortably, feeling more confident, and enjoying the foods you may have been avoiding for years.

Is a dental implant procedure painful?

Dental ServiceConsider this: Patients often walk out of our offices amazed when they’ve had an implant placed. In fact, we typically get patient responses that go something like this: “You mean that was it?!”
The procedure involves placing a titanium implant into your jawbone so that it can bond to the bone material. Although that may sound unpleasant, here’s the reality: Bone is actually much less sensitive than a tooth. Local anesthetic is completely sufficient for comfort during the procedure, and there is typically minimal discomfort afterward.

How long will it take?

Although exact timelines will vary from patient to patient, a dental implant generally involves the following carefully phased process over 6 to 12 months:

  • Extraction of compromised tooth (if it’s not already missing)
  • Healing period following extraction
  • Placing implant
  • Allowing time for implant to integrate
  • Placing an abutment on the implant (so a crown can attach to it)
  • Putting a custom-made crown in place
  • Conducting routine follow-up

Does insurance cover dental implants?

Good news! More and more dental insurance plans today cover dental implants. If you’re not sure, don’t worry. Before you have any procedure done with Associated Dentists, our payment & benefits specialists will walk you through the details of your coverage. But they’ll do way more than that. They’ll work with you to help make sure your benefits are strategically applied over the course of the dental implant process.

More specifically, they’ll break things down into actual costs over time, explaining what will be covered and what you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket. In short, they’ll do their best to make sure your benefits are applied as wisely as possible from one benefit period to the next.

What if I don’t have dental insurance?

For patients without insurance, Associated Dentists has multiple payment options. Check out this page to learn how Associated Dentists provides a team of payment & benefits specialists to help you with all of your payment questions and concerns.

Are you still wondering if dental implants are right for you? Then take the next step. Contact Associated Dentists today. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you have.