Our Dentistry at Lifestyles dentists offer dental implants as a way to replace missing teeth and restore function to the smiles of our Midland patients.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that your dentist can surgically place in your jaw to act as a 'root' for an artificial tooth or bridge of teeth.
Dental implants can be used to replace a single lost tooth or many missing teeth.
The implant is surgically placed into the jaw bone then as the jaw heals the implant bonds with the natural bone to serve as an anchor for a tooth replacement.
Dental implants are a permanent way to help prevent surrounding teeth from shifting, resolve bite issues or jaw joint pain, and restore facial appearance.
Why It's Important to Replace Missing Teeth
The gap left by a missing tooth can allow the surrounding teeth to begin to shift out of place and cause misalignment issues. The jaw bone around the area may also begin to deteriorate, which can result in facial collapse or negatively impact your ability to eat and talk normally.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Your dentist will begin the dental implant process by surgically placing the titanium implant into your jaw bone below the gum tissue. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum.
Once the healing is complete, generally 3 to 6 months after the placement surgery, you will return to our office to complete the procedure.
At this appointment, your dentist will attach a tooth replacement, such as a dental crown or bridge, to the implant to create the look and function of a natural tooth.
Dental Implant FAQs
Browse through the answers to our most frequently asked questions to learn more about dental implants at Dentistry at Lifestyles.
- How long does a dental implant last?
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Caring for your implants should include thorough brushing and flossing at home, as well as attending regular hygiene cleanings and exams at your dental office.
The longevity of a dental implant may also depend on other factors including nutrition, genetics, or the development of any dental diseases.
- How do I care for my dental implants?
You should care for a dental implant just like you care for your natural teeth.
Attending regular hygiene appointments at your dentist's office and maintaining a proper brushing and flossing routine at home can help prevent decay or diseases from developing 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 administer anesthesia to make you comfortable so you won't feel any pain during the procedure.
Following the procedure, there is not usually much discomfort. Most patients can manage any pain with an over-the-counter pain medication for a few days after the procedure.
You will need to eat a soft diet for the first couple of weeks after the implant procedure in order to avoid pain or irritation.
- How long does the dental implant process take?
The entire dental implant process 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?
Some insurance companies will cover the cost of dental implants, while some will only pay for a portion of the cost, and still others won't pay for any part of the dental implant process.
To determine what part, if any, of your dental implant treatment will be covered by your insurance, check with your insurance provider.