Dental Implants – Belchertown, MA

We Can Fill the Gaps in Your Smile

man with dental implants in Belchertown sitting by a lakeFollowing tooth loss, you may hesitate to replace it, especially if you can’t see the missing tooth or teeth when you smile. However, even one lost tooth can have serious consequences in terms of your oral health. That’s why Dr. Medaugh and the rest of our team at Valley Dentists of Belchertown is dedicated to providing fast, effective tooth replacement options to help fully repair your damaged smile to flawless form and function. By far, the best of these treatments is dental implants. They’ll let you smile confidently while also preventing the oral health problems that accompany tooth loss. Call us today to learn how we can fill the gaps in your smile with dental implants in Belchertown.

Why Choose Valley Dentists of Belchertown for Dental Implants?

  • Partnered with Local Dental Implant Experts
  • Friendly, Experienced Dentist & Team
  • Budget-Friendly Financing Available

What Are Dental Implants?

close-up of a woman smiling with a dental implant crownWhat distinguishes a dental implant from other tooth replacements is that an implant stands in for both the root and crown of your missing tooth. The implant itself is a titanium post that is surgically embedded in your jaw to recreate the root. Then, a crown, bridge or denture is attached to the post via a metal abutment, and that becomes the new visible portion of your implant-supported tooth.

The unique three-part structure of dental implants makes them vastly superior to conventional tooth replacement solutions. As the only option to bring back the tooth’s root structure, dental implants are able to feel and function more like your natural teeth than dentures or dental bridges alone. They’re also able to last several times longer due to the posts natural fusing to your jawbone – a process called osseointegration. For these reasons and many more, Dr. M tends to suggest dental implants as the best tooth replacement solution for most patients.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

single dental implant with a crown replacing a missing tooth

In general, the entire dental implant process usually takes anywhere from several months to a year (that might seem like a long time, but we assure you — it’s worth it!). To ensure you receive the highest quality of care, Dr. M has partnered with a network of trusted oral surgeons and periodontists in the Belchertown area for the surgical portions of the dental implant treatment. He’ll go over the details of the treatment during your consultation, but for now, here are the four basic steps in the dental implant process.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

implant dentist in Belchertown showing a patient their X-rays

During this first visit, Dr. M will spend some time asking you about the specific goals you have for your new smile. Then, he’ll take detailed X-rays and visually examine your mouth. From his findings, he can determine whether you’re eligible for dental implant surgery right away. Many patients have to undergo preparatory procedures (such as bone grating or gum disease therapy) before their jaws are ready to support implants.

Dr. M will then outline what you can expect at every step of the treatment process. You’ll also have the chance to ask any questions you might have about how dental implants work in Belchertown.

Dental Implant Surgery

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

Once any needed preliminary treatments are squared away, you should be ready for dental implant surgery. For this procedure, you’ll be referred to an experienced local specialist who has completed advanced training in dental implant placement. This team-based approach ensures that your treatment proceeds as smoothly and safely as possible.

As far as oral surgeries go, dental implant placement is fairly simple. The surgeon will make tiny incisions in your gums through which they can position the implants in precise, predetermined locations in your jawbone. Then, they’ll place protective caps over your implants and stitch your gum tissue closed.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

dental implant being placed in the lower jaw

You’ll spend the next three to six months healing while a natural process called osseointegration occurs. Osseointegration involves the biocompatible implant posts encouraging your jawbone to grow around them until they are as embedded in the bone as your natural tooth roots.

After osseointegration is finished, you’ll complete another minor surgery. During this procedure, your implant dentist in Belchertown installs metal attachments, called abutments, onto the tops of your implants. These connector pieces are what will allow Dr. M to secure your new pearly whites into place.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

bearded man admiring his own smile after getting dental implants

Recovering from abutment surgery usually doesn’t take more than a couple of weeks. At that point, you can return to our office to have Dr. M place your customized dental crown, bridge, or denture onto your abutments. These restorations have been made to resemble your natural teeth in every way, based on impressions that we have taken of your mouth. Once in place, your new smile should be virtually indistinguishable from your old one!

Benefits of Dental Implants

couple pointing to their smiles

Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option out there that restores the roots of the missing teeth, allowing for all sorts of additional advantages that you can’t find with dental bridges or dentures. Read on to learn about some of the amazing benefits you can experience by replacing your missing teeth with dental implants.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Closeup of a woman brushing her teeth

Dental implants feel and look just like natural teeth, so you shouldn’t even notice them much in your everyday life. Here are some benefits that you can experience on a daily basis:

  • Bite Force: Your bite force can be restored upwards of 90%! This is much more than what you can expect from dental bridges or dentures.
  • Easy Maintenance: Caring for dental implants is just like caring for your natural teeth. Brush twice, floss, and use mouthwash every day.
  • Increased Confidence: You don’t need to worry about visible gaps in your smile or a poor-fitting restoration.

Health Benefits

Man smiling in the dental chair

In addition to daily benefits, your health will also be positively impacted by replacing your missing teeth:

  • Improved Oral Health: Because the dental implant replaces the root of your lost tooth, you will not need to worry about the diminished jawbone density or gum tissue volume that often occurs following tooth loss.
  • Improved General Health: Having excellent oral health will have a positive influence on your overall health. It even lowers your risk of serious medical issues, including diabetes and heart disease.
  • Prevents Bone Loss: If you are missing teeth for a long time, jawbone deterioration will follow. Dental implants stimulate the jawbone just like tooth roots, keeping it strong and healthy.

Long-Term Benefits

Woman smiling outside

By choosing dental implants, you are investing in the future of your smile! Here are some benefits you can enjoy for many years to come:

  • Long-Lasting: Once in place, a dental implant-supported tooth will last for two decades or longer with proper care. In fact, most people keep their implant restorations for the rest of their lives.
  • Successful: Dental implants have an astonishing success rate of over 95%! Dental implant failure is highly unlikely with proper maintenance.
  • Save Money: You don’t need to worry about purchasing adhesives or soaking solutions. You also don’t need to pay for frequent repairs or replacements. Dental implants also reduce your risk of many oral health issues, saving you time, discomfort, and money.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

dentist showing a patient a dental implant modelGenerally speaking, most patients who are in good oral and overall health make good candidates for dental implants. They can help people with varying degrees of tooth loss:

Missing One Tooth

Traditionally, dental bridges require the reduction of surrounding teeth to support the cemented replacement, but a dental implant post can bring back a single missing tooth without sacrificing the health and form of neighboring teeth.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Rather than replacing each individual missing tooth with an implant, a small number of posts can be strategically placed to secure a partial denture or dental bridge.

Missing All Teeth

Implant dentures are more comfortable and can better stabilize prosthetic teeth than traditional dentures. By anchoring a full denture onto an average of four to eight implant posts, this solution will allow you to enjoy all of your favorite foods. Plus, it doesn’t require the extra daily maintenance of traditional dentures.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

dentist showing a patient their dental X-raysWhen you come in for your consultation, we’ll crunch some numbers with you and help you explore your payment options. The overall cost of receiving implants varies depending on how many implants you’re receiving, whether you need a bone graft, and other factors.

Although dental implants do tend to present a higher upfront cost than other tooth replacement methods, they present a better overall value because of their longevity and the numerous health benefits they offer.

The Price of Dental Implant Posts

two dental implant posts supporting a dental bridgeEach dental implant post will range in price from $500 and $1,500, and that’s just for the post. A variety of materials can be used to craft dental implants, including titanium, zirconia, and even polymers. In most cases, we recommend titanium. For patients with metal allergies and sensitivities, we may recommend zirconia. Polymers have not been used for long, and it may be necessary to complete further research before we begin recommending these restoration materials. In addition to the cost of the implants, you’ll also need to keep in mind a number of other elements and treatments that may be necessary.

Factors That Impact Dental Implant Cost

older woman showing off her smileThere are a variety of factors that impact the cost of your implant supported tooth replacement plan, including:

  • The number of missing teeth
  • The material used to craft implant posts
  • The manufacturer who crafts the implant
  • The type of restoration (crown, bridge, denture)
  • The need for preparatory tooth extractions, tissue grafts, and other treatments
  • The use of dental sedation to ensure comfort during advanced procedures

Dental Insurance & Financing Options

dental insurance formUnfortunately, dental insurance is notoriously slow to change. Most dental benefit plans have had the same annual maximums between $1,000 and $1,500 since the 1960s, and orthodontic treatment was considered purely cosmetic until the 1980s or 1990s. Currently, the majority of dental benefit plans are still refusing to cover the costs of dental implant posts and their surgical placement. However, insurers do tend to cover the cost of replacement teeth, preparatory treatments, and dental sedation. We’ll maximize your benefits for these aspects of dental care.

Our team will also help you to receive low and no interest payment plans, so you can spread the cost of treatment out over several months. We work with CareCredit, a third-party financier, to offer these payment plans. You can apply online for preapproval, or we’ll be happy to help you with your application during your consultation appointment.

Dental Implant FAQs

dental hygienist cleaning a patient’s mouthAre you seeking a permanent tooth loss solution? Dental implants offer tooth loss patients a new lease on life because they can so closely mimic the form and function of natural teeth. However, we understand if you have a few questions about the procedure. For your convenience, we’ve included the answers to a handful of frequently asked dental implant questions below.

Is It Painful to Get Dental Implants?

You should be very comfortable and pain-free during the surgery to install dental implants in Belchertown. Afterward, you might be a bit swollen and tender, but most patients find that the entire process is much easier than they anticipated. You’ll be able to manage your discomfort by being careful about your food choices and by using painkillers.

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 Dental Implant 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 Dental Implant Healing Process?

That depends on how many dental implants you’ve received. For one implant, healing takes between three and 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 your 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 that you are better able to maintain a full and attractive facial structure. No other tooth replacement can do that.