There’s more to your smile than you can see just by looking at it. Every tooth has roots that hide beneath the gums and jawbone; these roots play an important role in helping the tooth function properly. Since dentures and bridges do not replace the roots, they cannot perform all the same functions as natural teeth. On the other hand, dental implants from our Pensacola, FL dentist make it possible for your new teeth to work like your old ones. Dr. Lisonbee can place and restore dental implants entirely in-house; call us today for a consultation.
What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a special kind of restoration that replicates the tooth’s root structure, making it the most comprehensive tooth replacement option available. Every dental implant can be divided into three main parts: a biocompatible post made from titanium, a restoration that closely mimics the appearance of your natural teeth, and a metal abutment that allows us to attach the restoration to the post. The post will fuse with the jawbone via osseointegration, which allows dental implants to feel like natural teeth.
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
Every step of the dental implant process is completed right here. It usually follows these four steps:
- First, a consultation is held so that we can evaluate the current state of your mouth. We might need to schedule a preliminary treatment such as a bone graft so that dental implants can be successfully placed.
- Second, an appropriate number of implant posts are surgically placed in the jawbone.
- About three to six months are set aside for recovery before you receive an abutment for each implant post.
- Finally, a crown, bridge, or denture will be made for your implants based on an impression of your fully healed mouth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- The implant will stimulate the jaw to keep the bone healthy and prevent facial changes such as sagging cheeks.
- Unlike dentures and bridges, implants have biting force that’s almost on par with your original teeth, so you can eat almost anything.
- Dental implants are very easy to take care of; you can just brush and floss like normal.
- Your new teeth will look and feel like your old teeth. Most casual observers won’t be able to tell which teeth have been replaced, and you may even occasionally forget yourself.
- Dental implants can last 30 years or longer.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Dental implants are useful in many different scenarios involving tooth loss. As long as your mouth and jawbone are healthy, you should most likely be eligible for the treatment, even if certain procedures such as bone grafts and periodontal therapy need to be performed first. We will outline the dental implant process during your first consultation depending on your needs. Below is a list of common situations that can serve as indications for dental implants.
Missing One Tooth
Even just one missing tooth can be a serious oral health problem. To replace it, we can place a titanium implant post in its socket, wait for osseointegration to take place, then attach a lifelike crown. Implants do not require us to remove enamel from remaining healthy teeth and thus are more conservative compared to traditional bridges.
Missing Multiple Teeth
If there’s a gap in your smile that was left by three or more missing teeth, it can be filled with a dental bridge. However, instead of using teeth for support, a bridge can be attached to a pair of dental implants instead, giving them added strength and stability and letting you keep as much of your natural enamel as possible
Missing All of Your Teeth
You only need four to six implants to hold dentures in place, which is why implant dentures are a highly popular option for replacing entire rows of teeth. Depending on your own preferences, you can have your implant dentures be permanently anchored in place, or you can make them removable.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
No two smiles are identical, so it’s impossible to have a flat rate for dental implants. Various factors will influence the amount you’ll pay. After examining your mouth, we will provide you with a personalized estimate based on your treatment plan. We will explain the cost of dental implants in Pensacola and review your payment options to accommodate your budget. Since your treatment will be performed in several steps, you won’t have to worry about paying a lump sum. You can pay for each phase of your treatment separately to invest in a complete smile.
Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery
The first step to rebuilding your smile involves a consultation to ensure you’re a candidate for dental implants in Pensacola. Besides a visual examination, your dentist will also review a CT scan of your mouth to look for any concerns hiding below the surface, like bone loss. Besides the consultation and imaging fees, you can expect your estimate to include:
- Preparatory Treatments: It’s not unusual for patients to require a little prep work before getting dental implants, like gum disease treatment, tooth extractions, or bone grafting.
- Implant Placement Surgery: Sedation or anesthesia will be used to keep you comfortable during your placement surgery.
- Restorations: The type of restoration needed will affect the cost, such as if you’re replacing a single tooth or an entire arch.
- Materials: You’ll find discounted materials, but they are often low quality, which can cost you more in the long run.
Rest assured; you’ll know exactly what you’ll have to pay before committing to anything.
The Parts of Your Dental Implant
A dental implant is unlike any other because it replicates both the root and crown. If you’re missing several teeth, you can expect it to cost more than when treating a single tooth. A specific number of posts are used to support a bridge or denture. Depending on how many teeth you’re replacing, you’ll have to pay for:
- Dental implants
How Dental Implants Can Save You Money
You may pay more for dental implants upfront than traditional prosthetics; however, they are the most cost-effective long-term. With the proper aftercare, dental implants are proven to last for 30 years or longer, so you won’t have to pay for new ones every few years like regular bridges or dentures. You will enjoy reduced oral health expenses overall because dental implants stop bone loss in your jaw to preserve your natural smile.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Most dental insurance can be used to offset the cost of certain steps in your treatment, like the consultation, tooth extractions, or restorations. A member of our team will work on your behalf with your dental insurance to maximize your yearly benefits to lower your out-of-pocket expense.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
Besides using your dental insurance, our office has many financial options to keep dental implants affordable for everyone, including:
- Traditional Payments: We accept cash, checks, and credit cards.
- Third-Party Financing: Pay for your new smile using monthly installments through a third-party financing company.
If you have any questions, or you’re ready to schedule your consultation, contact our office today.
Dental Implant FAQs
After browsing the above information on this page, you now have a basic idea of how dental implants work, what they cost, and what to expect before, during, and after treatment. Even so, it’s normal to have a few additional questions on your mind. To make locating the answers you need as simple as possible, we’ve responded to some of the questions about dental implants that we get asked the most often. Of course, if you’d prefer to learn more in person, you’re always welcome togive our team a call!
Will People Be Able to Tell That I Have Dental Implants?
The crown, bridge, or denture that your implant dentist in Pensacola attaches to your implants will be meticulously designed to match your original teeth. We accomplish this by capturing highly detailed impressions of your mouth and partnering with the best dental labs in the area, ensuring that your replacement teeth appear natural. Plus, you’ll never need to worry about your teeth slipping or falling out, so you won’t have to hold your jaw in an awkward position to keep them in place like denture wearers often do.
Do Dental Implants Feel Natural?
In addition tolookingincredibly lifelike, dental implants alsofeelbasically indistinguishable from the pearly whites you used to have. With our CT/cone beam scanner, our dentists are able to position the implant posts at just the right location and angle where the roots of your natural teeth were. Once the posts have fused with your jawbone, you shouldn’t even be able to tell them apart from any natural teeth you may have left!
Are Dental Implants an Eligible FSA Expense?
It depends, but often, dental implants in Pensacola can be eligible for reimbursement from your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) since they provide oral health benefits. With that being said, your FSA likely has a limit on the amount of reimbursement you can receive each year. Our team at Patriot Dental would be happy to take a look at the details of your FSA and help you navigate how it can offset your dental implant costs.
Will I Have to Take Off Work for Dental Implant Surgery?
Your specific recovery timeline can vary depending on the type of work you do. If your job is mostly sedentary, you may be able to return to work the day after your procedure, if you feel up to it. However, if your job requires more physical activity, then we strongly recommend that you take off for at least three or four days. Excessive exercise could impair the healing process, as it draws blood away from the implant site. In this case, you may want to schedule your procedure on a Thursday so that you could spend the weekend recovering and minimize the amount of time you need to take off work.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
The lifespan of dental implants typically depends on the health and lifestyle choices of the patient. To ensure implants last, it’s important to brush, floss, rinse with mouthwash, and see your dentist on a regular basis. With proper maintenance, dental implants can last upwards of 30 years! This is several times longer than traditional bridges and dentures.
Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?
The jawbone doesn’t have very many nerve endings, and your mouth will be numbed with a local anesthetic before the procedure begins. You will also most likely be sedated, lowering your body’s ability to register pain. While the surgery shouldn’t hurt, your mouth may be sore for a few days afterwards. Take prescribed and over-the-counter pain relievers as directed. Cold compresses can also help. If discomfort worsens instead of improving after three days, give us a call.
How Successful Are Dental Implants?
When placed by a skilled professional, dental implants can have a success rate of over 95%! When you care for them properly with excellent oral hygiene, routine checkups, and a healthy diet, they are more likely to last. Success can also vary depending on where the implants are located in the mouth. Molars receive more strain from chewing than front teeth, so they may be slightly more likely to fail.
Am I Too Young to Get Dental Implants?
Most dental professionals will not place dental implants in patients who are younger than 18. This is because if dental implants are placed before the jaw has finished growing, it could interfere with further bone development and potentially result in complications. Most people’s jawbones aren’t finished growing until young adulthood, and some people’s take until their mid-20s to fully develop. During your consultation, we can determine whether or not dental implants are the best option for you at this time.