Dental Implant FAQs – Belchertown, MA
Get Answers to Commonly Asked Questions about Implants
What is a Dental Implant?
A simple explanation of a dental implant is that it is an oral prosthesis, which takes the place of a missing tooth. What distinguishes a dental implant from other tooth replacements is that an implant stands in for the root and crown of your missing tooth. A titanium post is surgically embedded in your jaw—that’s the root. Then, a crown, bridge or denture is attached with an abutment, and that becomes the new crown or visible portion of your implant-supported tooth.
Does Getting an Implant Hurt?
During the procedure, you may feel some pressure, but there will not be any pain. If you’ve ever had a cavity filled or a dental crown placed, then you’ll do just fine. Dr. Medaugh administers a local anesthetic to the site before getting to work.
How Are Dental Implants Placed?
After the anesthetic has numbed the site, a small incision is made in your gums. Then, the implant is positioned in your jaw where there is greater bone volume. A protective cap is placed over the implant to shield it during the process of osseointegration—when the implant and surrounding bone bond together. The cap also maintains the shape of your gum tissue, which makes attaching replacement teeth easier.
What Will My Mouth Feel Like After Surgery?
You may notice some discomfort for a couple of days post-surgery. For most patients, over-the-counter pain relievers are helpful. You should also try to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the implant has been placed. A diet of soft foods such as yogurt, applesauce, mashed potatoes, eggs and pasta are recommended for the first few days of healing, as well.
How Long Is the Healing Process?
That depends on how many dental implants you’ve received. For one implant, healing takes between three to six months. If you’ve had more than one, then healing takes a few months longer. During this time, the implant and surrounding bone tissue integrate, essentially fusing together. This process is what anchors the implant, so you have a strong foundation for your tooth restoration.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
The initial cost of dental implants is more than other types of tooth replacement. However, you really can’t consider cost alone.
After all, a dental implant could last a lifetime if you are careful about oral hygiene at home and you schedule regular checkups with the dentist in Belchertown. Dentures, however, will eventually need to be relined as your gum ridge shrinks. Ultimately, dentures need replacement, too, which can make them more expensive than dental implants over time.
Also, dental implants help to prevent jawbone deterioration. Implants stimulate healthy new bone tissue growth in your jaw so you are better able to maintain a full and attractive facial structure. No other tooth replacement can do that.