Dental implants are a comfortable, natural-looking alternative to natural teeth. Implants not only preserve the bone tissue, they also act and look like natural teeth – allowing you to eat and speak clearly. They can be used to replace one or many missing teeth. Discover more about implant dentistry and the many implant services we offer in our Concord and Lexington, MA offices.
Are Dental Implants Right For Me?
Technology advancements have made it possible for almost anyone to be a candidate for dental implants. Missing teeth can be embarrassing and make it hard to speak clearly or eat the foods you love. The old solutions to missing teeth were dentures, bridges, and crowns, but these solutions provide only short-term results and can be difficult to maintain.
During your dental implant consultation, the doctor will evaluate your mouth and determine the best dental implant procedure to meet your needs. Implants are a viable option for most patients and have even been performed on patients with diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Patients who have any of the following conditions will need to discuss their options with the dentist:
- Existing Dental Work – Implants can reinforce or replace existing dental work, such as bridges or dentures.
- Bone Loss – As long as enough bone tissue is in the area, dental implants may still be successful. If there is insufficient bone, bone-grafting procedures may be required before an implant can be placed.
- Existing Medical Conditions – Discuss any medications or medical conditions with your doctor. Generally, you can undergo the dental implant procedure if you can have typical dental work done.
- Gum Disease – Gum disease can affect the success of a dental implant. Patients with moderate to severe gum disease may require treatment before implant placement.
- Smoking Habit – Discuss how often you smoke with your doctor. Smoking can affect the implant’s success and your overall dental health.
Steps Towards Healthy Bones
Preserving the health of your bones is vital to your overall and oral health. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you have optimal bone health:
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamin D and calcium.
- Exercise regularly. Weight-bearing activities like walking, jogging, dancing, and weight training are best for strengthening bones.
- Do not smoke; limit alcohol consumption.
- Report any issues with loose teeth, detached or receding gums, or ill-fitting dentures to your dentist immediately.
Dental Implant FAQs
Read answers to commonly asked questions about dental implants.
Should I consider dental implants?
Missing teeth affects not only your oral health but your quality of life as well. Without tooth replacement, your smile is less attractive, and you may experience pain or difficulty eating and speaking, which can be embarrassing. Dental implants can alleviate these concerns by acting as natural teeth.
What are some benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants are a safe, predictable solution for replacing missing teeth. Implants look and feel like your natural teeth. Patients with implants experience improved taste and appetite as they can chew without pain or discomfort. Dental implants also improve your aesthetic appearance by rebuilding your smile and preserving your facial structure. Your overall quality of life can improve with dental implants.
Are there limitations to who is eligible for dental implants?
There are no limitations as to who is eligible for implants. They are suitable for all ages, provided there is enough bone to set the implants.
How successful are implants?
Implants successfully integrate with the jaw bone in 97% of cases. When integration is unsuccessful, your doctor will attempt to place the implant in a slightly different location within the jaw to promote better integration.
Is implant surgery painful?
No. A local anesthetic is administered before and during surgery to ensure the patient does not feel pain or discomfort throughout the procedure. Usually, your doctor will prescribe post-operative pain medication to minimize any discomfort initially occurring after the surgery.
When can I return to work?
Patients can often return to work the next day. Your doctor will discuss your post-operative care plan with you before the procedure.
Does dental insurance cover dental implants?
Dental implants may be covered under certain policies. Coverage is generally limited to what is covered for bridges or dentures.
What care and maintenance are required for dental implants?
Dental implants require the same care as your natural teeth: daily brushing, flossing, and regular, bi-annual dental check-ups.
What will happen if I do not choose implants?
If you do not opt for dental implants, you will experience steady, gradual bone loss, causing additional problems with your remaining healthy teeth. This bone loss can eventually impact your denture fit, facial appearance, and diet. It is important to replace missing teeth before these side effects occur. The risks incurred by waiting to replace teeth may make you ineligible for dental implants and require bone grafting.
Restore Your Smile
Restore the full function of your smile with our implant services. Contact our Lexington office at 781.384.5892 or our Concord office at 978.391.6081.
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