Dental Implants — Wayne, PA
State-of-the-Art Tooth Replacement
According to the latest research, over 178 million Americans are currently missing at least one or more teeth. If you count yourself among this group, then you’re probably well aware of the eating, speaking, and confidence issues even a single missing tooth can cause. Thankfully, dentistry has come up with a replacement that offers the next best thing to nature: dental implants.
Dental implants are the only treatment that actually replaces both parts of a missing tooth: the root and crown. As a result, the new teeth are not only extremely stable and durable, but realistic-looking as well. Whether you’re missing a single tooth or all of them, dental implants can help you reclaim your complete smile for a lifetime. To learn more about this treatment and what it could do for you, contact Wayne Family Dentistry today.
Why Choose Wayne Family Dentistry for Dental Implants?
- Works with Local Specialists to Perform Placement
- Replace Any Number of Teeth with Personalized Restorations
- Flexible Financing and Transparent Dental Fees
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is actually a small titanium post that is placed directly into the jawbone to recreate the root structure of a lost tooth. The restoration that sits on top will be made entirely of natural-looking porcelain, whether it’s a crown, bridge, or denture, and it will connect directly to the implant using something called an abutment. Once in place, it should blend seamlessly into the smile in both look and function. Not only can you expect your tooth replacement to last for decades, but it will feel almost indistinguishable from your natural teeth and prevent common side effects caused by tooth loss.
The 4-Step Dental Implant Process
Unlike traditional tooth replacement methods, the dental implant process can take several months to a year or longer to complete. That being said, their incredibly long lifespan and numerous lifestyle benefits make them worth the wait! Your specific treatment plan will be personalized just for you, but most patients go through some variation of four basic steps. Here’s what you need to know about how dental implants work in Wayne.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
Are you a good candidate for dental implants? Will you require one or more preparatory procedures before your implants can be surgically placed? We’ll find the answers to these questions and more when you visit your implant dentist in Wayne for an initial consultation. After thoroughly examining your mouth, we can determine the exact steps we need to take to ensure successful treatment. That may involve additional procedures, such as bone grafting to strengthen a weakened jawbone, tooth extractions, or gum disease therapy. Once these preliminary procedures are completed (or if you didn’t need any at all), we can move forward with the treatment process.
Dental Implant Surgery
For the surgical placement of your dental implants, we’ll refer you to a trusted oral surgeon in the area. That way, you can be sure that you’re receiving high-quality care from someone who has completed specialized training in this procedure.
Dental implant placement is fairly simple, as far as oral surgeries go. Your mouth is numbed, your gum tissue is opened up, and tiny holes are created at specific points in your jawbone. The implants are then inserted in specific positions that makes it easy for them to fuse with your bone structure. Lastly, your gums are stitched closed, and protective caps are placed on top of the implants.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment
The next step in the process will happen all by itself: the implant posts will encourage your jawbone to grow around them, creating a powerful bond. This process, called osseointegration, generally takes between three and six months, but the exact timeline can vary from patient to patient.
When osseointegration is done, you’ll undergo another brief surgical procedure to receive your abutments. These small metal connectors are attached to the tops of your implants, and they’ll allow us to secure your restoration into place. You’ll spend a couple of weeks healing from the abutment procedure before the final step can occur.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)
At long last, it’s time to receive your new teeth! You’ll return to our office, where we’ll anchor your restoration – whether that be a crown, bridge, or denture – onto your dental implants in Wayne. These replacement teeth will be customized based on impressions that we’ve taken during your consultation. Once we make sure that your restoration fits correctly and everything looks and feels natural, you’ll be able to enjoy your new and improved smile!
Benefits of Dental Implants
Before you invest the time and funding into a complex dental implant tooth replacement plan, you may want to take some time to better understand the many benefits of dental implants. Some of the benefits you can look forward to include:
- Long-lasting – traditional crowns, bridges, and dentures will need to be repaired or replaced every five to ten years to ensure proper function. An implant prosthetic can last for three decades or longer with proper care.
- Self-supporting – unlike their traditional counterparts that rely on surrounding teeth and oral structures for support, dental implant posts mimic tooth roots, providing necessary stability without potentially damaging surrounding teeth.
- Increased stability – especially for removable denture wearers, implant posts improve the stability of the prosthetic. Where traditional dentures return about 20% of chewing ability, an implant partial or full denture allows for 70% or greater chewing ability.
- Natural function and appearance – once in place, your implant dental crown, bridge, or denture will look, feel, and function almost exactly like your previous tooth (or teeth.) You can even care for these teeth the same way you would your natural smile.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
For those dealing with the loss of one or more teeth, we are proud to offer a range of tooth replacement solutions that will replace lost teeth and restore healthy function to your smile. To learn how the process changes depending on the severity of your tooth loss, you’ll want to keep reading!
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Generally speaking, anyone with good oral health should be able to get a dental implant. This means having infection-free gums, enough jawbone to integrate with the implant, and an excellent oral hygiene routine. Heavy smoking, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or recent radiation therapy can all hurt your candidacy for dental implants. Overall, though, it’ll be decided on a patient-by-patient basis; we can examine you during your initial consultation and decide how to proceed based on your health history.
Missing One Tooth
A single dental implant post is surgically positioned, replacing the lost root of your missing tooth. Then, a tooth-colored dental crown is custom crafted to fit over the top of the implant post. This seamlessly recreates the lost tooth structure.
Missing Multiple Teeth
If a patient is missing more than one tooth in a row, dental implants can also be used to support a bridge restoration. Two implant crowns are placed on either side of the gap in a patient’s smile, and these are bonded to prosthetic teeth to fill it. Compared to traditional bridges, implant bridges appear more lifelike, have a more secure fit, and can be trusted to last longer as well.
Missing All Teeth
Do you have a denture that is constantly moving around in your mouth? If so, dental implants can make it stop! With an implant denture, the teeth are secured directly to the jawbone using multiple prosthetic roots. This gives a denture a level of security a traditional removable prosthetic simply can’t match, plus they have been shown to restore much more of a person’s bite strength. This allows a patient to enjoy a wider variety of foods with ease.
An All-on-4 denture uses implant posts to stabilize a denture by maximizing the already denser parts of the jawbone. Rather than placing the implant posts along the jaw, the posts are positioned to fuse with the densest areas of the jawbone by changing the direction they are placed in.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Dental implants are extremely versatile. So, the overall price of the treatment can vary quite a bit from patient to patient depending on their particular needs. It’s important to note that while the cost of dental implants in Wayne is often higher upfront than traditional bridges and dentures, they are actually the most cost-effective replacement over time due to their long lifespan. Our Wayne Family Dentistry team is happy to help you explore your options for comfortably fitting your new smile into your budget!
Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery
During your initial consultation, our dentists will determine whether you need certain preliminary procedures before your dental implant surgery. For example, gum disease requires periodontal therapy, extensive tooth decay requires extractions, and a weakened jawbone requires bone grafting. Although these treatments set the foundation your new smile needs for long-term success, they will incur their own costs.
Additionally, you’ll have to factor in the cost of your surgical procedure. Because we’ll refer you to an expert oral surgeon for this step in the process, you’ll be responsible for a separate bill to their office.
The Parts of Your Dental Implant
Each of the three parts of your dental implant – the implant post, the abutment, and the restoration – can all be made from different materials, which will naturally affect the price. Your implant dentist in Wayne will be transparent with you about why they’ve chosen one particular material over another.
The number of teeth you need to replace must also be considered. For example, it should go without saying that placing a dental crown on top of a single implant post will cost less than restoring four or more implants with a full denture. We’ll review your specific tooth replacement needs during your consultation as well as how they’ll affect your overall treatment costs.
How Dental Implants Can Save You Money
It’s true, you’ll initially pay more for dental implants than other tooth loss treatments. However, they are more cost-effective in the long run because they are the most reliable solution to replace missing teeth. For example, normal restorations typically need to be completely replaced every seven to 10 years, while dental implants can easily last for more than 30 with routine oral hygiene and regular dental appointments. This makes them a one-time investment for many patients.
Dental implants also keep your jaw strong by stimulating new bone growth. This stops dental drift to protect any remaining natural teeth. Overall, this improves your oral health to lower your long-term cost for care.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Every policy differs, but many plans offer some coverage for dental implants after paying your annual deductible and before reaching your yearly limit. We’ll work on your behalf with your dental insurance to maximize your benefits to lower the amount you need to pay out-of-pocket.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
Even if you don’t have dental insurance, or if your plan doesn’t provide sufficient coverage, we can make dental implants in Wayne affordable through CareCredit. We have partnered with this third-party financing company to help our patients break up their treatment costs into low- to no-interest payment plans. We’d be more than happy to help you learn how to pay for dental implants without breaking the bank!
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
While dental implants are an ideal solution for tooth loss due to their longevity, you’ll need to practice certain habits to protect their lifespan and esthetics. Our team members at Wayne Family Dentistry are prepared to help in any way they can to make your dental implant care in Wayne simple and easy to understand. With that being said, here are the five basic steps you need to take to help your replacement teeth last as long as possible!
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
When you don’t prioritize your oral hygiene, harmful oral bacteria can build up not just on the implant itself, but the tissue that’s supporting it. To reduce your risk and ensure your implant lasts for many decades, be sure to:
- Brush your teeth (natural and implants) twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day (purchase a water flosser or floss threader to clean an implant bridge or denture).
- Consider adding an antibacterial fluoride mouth rinse to your routine
- Make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day (this keeps saliva production high, which is crucial for keeping the mouth clean).
Eat a Healthy Diet
Another way to minimize bad bacteria in your mouth is to limit your sugar consumption. Indulging in sweet treats every now and then is fine, but remember that moderation is key. Too much sugar can fuel destructive bacteria, leading to gum disease and decay in your remaining teeth – both of which could compromise the long-term success of your dental implants in Wayne. Be sure to include plenty of mouth-healthy foods in your diet, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy products.
Break Bad Habits
Smoking is one of the most dangerous activities for your dental implants. Tobacco not only increases the risk of gum disease and other infections in the mouth, but it also impairs the healing process. This may prevent the implants from successfully integrating with the jawbone. That’s why we wholeheartedly recommend that you quit smoking before dental implant surgery. Other habits that could damage your implants include eating ice, chewing on pens/pencils, and biting your nails.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Dental implants are strong, but they can still become damaged or even knocked out as a result of physical trauma. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you should always wear a protective mouthguard whenever you play a sport that could potentially result in a blow to the face. Your implants could also become worn-down as a result of chronic teeth grinding. To prevent this, ask your implant dentist in Wayne about a custom nightguard that creates cushioning between your upper and lower teeth.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
It doesn’t matter if you’ve only replaced a single tooth or a whole arch; you’ll still need to maintain routine dental checkups and cleanings to ensure your oral health is in order. During these checkups, our dentists will examine the condition of your natural teeth, your gums, and your dental implants. This way, you can avoid long-term issues before they have a chance to cause any harm to your oral health. If necessary, the restoration attached to your implant could even be detached to clean certain areas more thoroughly during your checkup.
Dental Implant FAQs
If you are interested in addressing tooth loss head-on with dental implants in Wayne, then reading through the above information is a great place to start. With that being said, you may still have a few questions on your mind – and that’s okay! If you’d prefer to speak directly with our team about them, then we encourage you to schedule an initial consultation. However, if you’d like to do your research online, then keep reading for the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear from patients below.
Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?
If you are worried about the procedure being painful, you’ll be happy to know that the first step is always to numb your mouth with a local anesthetic (and we won’t get to work until we confirm that you are comfortable!). During the healing process, it is normal to experience some soreness and discomfort. Fortunately, using a cold compress, resting, and taking OTC pain medication can help exponentially. If your symptoms don’t improve within three days, get in touch with your dental team.
What Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail?
Although dental implants hold an impressive 95% success rate, it is possible for complications to arise. Typically, the culprit is either peri-implantitis (a form of gum disease) or failed osseointegration (when the post and your jawbone don’t successfully fuse together). Other common causes include chronic teeth grinding, use of tobacco products, and certain medications/health conditions. Don’t worry – our implant dentist in Wayne will discuss all of these and more during your initial consultation to ensure your dental implants are set up for success.
Can I Get Dental Implants If I Smoke?
Although candidacy for dental implants is determined on a case-by-case basis, it is important to know that smokers have a higher rate of dental implant failure. That is because tobacco products inhibit the mouth’s ability to heal and can prevent the implant from fusing to the jawbone properly. Therefore, all patients should quit using tobacco products before, during, and after the procedure. If you’ve had difficulty kicking the habit in the past, don’t hesitate to bring this up during your initial consultation so we can try and help you find a solution.
Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Eat with Dental Implants?
Since dental implants in Wayne are comprised of high-quality, extremely durable materials, you won’t have to worry about dietary restrictions. In fact, since they rely on your jawbone (not your gums) for support, you can enjoy more foods than ever before! Just make sure to exercise caution around hard or sticky foods. After all, like your natural teeth, your dental implants aren’t indestructible. You should also limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks and avoid poor dental habits, like chewing on ice.